On a record first day at UK Construction Week, safe buildings, innovation, offsite and the next generation were just some of the buzz words that made it such a brilliant opening to the three day event.
Thousands of event professionals gathered on Birmingham’s NEC for the first day, along with some of the industry’s most popular and recognisable names.
One of these feature names was architect, broadcast and ‘Amazing Spaces’ star George Clarke.
Talking about the future of construction, he said: UK Construction Week is an opportunity for everyone in the industry to come together and share their knowledge and passion.
“It’s our role to get the next generation engaged in and excited about what we do, and the industry needs to recognise and take on the energy and skills the next generation have.”
George led the opening debate over on the UKCW Main Stage, which focused on the theme of innovation.
The panel, which consisted of George alongside Dr David Hancock, Head of Construction at the Cabinet Office; Niraj Dattani, Head of Partnerships at Spacehive Ltd, Sasha Reed, VP of Strategic Developments at Bluebeam Inc.; Head of Innovation at Keir, Mark Austin; Chris Bagley, Head of Infrastructure at KTN; Nick Conway, Director at ITC Concepts and Matthew Egan CEO of Modularize, concluded that the industry must come together and collaborate to build more at a higher quality.
Another key theme of the day was making buildings safe, with crowds flocking to see a live demo from Exova, which included a ‘full-scale’ simulated cross-corridor set-up to demonstrate best-practice installation of passive fire protection measures.
Dennis Davis, Vice Chairman of the Fire Sector Federation, Deon Lombard, Principal of Deon Lombard Architects, Steven Thompson, RICS Associate Director of the Built Environment, and Jonathan Herrick, Business Safety and Protection Coordinator for the National Fire Chiefs Council participated in a fierce debate.
Hot on the agenda was current building regulations, calling for a combined approach from all involved in the project from as early on as the drawing board to avoid unsafe buildings.
Other highlights included Timber Expo showcasing the winning design from the Next Generation Design Brum competition by Scale Rule and Envelope Architects talking about the ingenious new technology to enable practices to become master sculptors in architecture at the Surface & Materials Show.
Crowds were drawn in by exciting product launches, including the OODHOUSE pod solution for creating elegant extra hotel, garden or studio rooms, and the ethereal Lumentile, a multifunctional electronic luminous tile developed by the Universita di Pavia in Italy.
Other product launches included CEMEX, who presented new features of its permeable concrete, Velux and its modular skylight and demonstrations of a £1million state of the art drone from Texodrone.
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