Futurebuild 2020 opened its doors yesterday (3 March) with the clear mission of tackling the biggest challenges facing the industry head on.
Bringing together 450 innovative and inspiring brands, alongside a world class knowledge programme, the event commenced with a programme of activity centred around transforming the industry to achieve net zero carbon emissions in a resilient and sustainable environment.
Futurebuild’s highly-regarded Arena programme opened with a packed crowd listening to eminent speakers from industry, government and academia discussing why we need to put the planet first.
Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, began with an impassioned declaration that, with key environmental performance continuing to decline, Government needs to do more and be held more accountable.
With the gauntlet set, Professor Andy Purvis, Research Leader in Life Sciences at the Natural History Museum, highlighted some shocking facts to bring the scale of the ecological and environmental crisis to life – including that one million animal and plant species are at risk of final extinction.
But while the crisis is severe, Purvis ended on the crucial point that we still have the opportunity to take steps to counteract the damage that has already been done.
The six theme-specific Keynote Stages also provided thought-provoking debate and discussions. It was standing room only at the Building Keynote Stage as leaders from across government and industry covered vital issues, such as the proposed changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations and how we can the make UK’s existing housing energy efficient.
The Offsite Keynote Stage also proved highly popular. Prominent speakers from across the industry, including BRE, the STA and MPBA, joined leading manufacturers and policy makers to tackle the biggest issues in the sector.
This included an honest discussion around ensuring offsite delivers not just on quantity but also quality, as well an exploration of how deeper collaboration between designers, clients and the wider supply chain can successfully deliver offsite solutions.
The focus on innovation didn’t stop there. Visitors explored the all new Innovation Trail, which united Futurebuild’s Innovation Partners – a collection of the built environment’s most innovative brands and part of the event’s commitment to driving positive change in the sector.
The trail offered attendees the opportunity to view and experience revolutionary products, solutions and materials and meet the leading thinkers behind these innovations.
The day also saw a range of product launches and exciting announcements. This included the launch of Generation 2 by Lumi-Plugin. The downlight combines LED lighting with various plugins such as concealed sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, heat alarms, CO alarms, air ventilation, PIR sensors and emergency lighting.
Ventilation solutions specialists, Renson, showcased their industry-first 3D CPD series.
Evan Francis, Marketing Manager at Renson, commented: “We’re exhibiting our innovative 3D CPD learning experience here at Futurebuild, and demonstrating how it can better educate architects and contractors on how our ventilation solutions can improve indoor air quality as well as combat overheating in both residential or commercial builds.
“Our first day at the event has gone really well, having conversations with like-minded individuals that want to facilitate change in the industry is really inspiring.”
The Big Innovation Pitch, in partnership with BRE, also made its return to the event. On each of the six Keynote Stages, brands pitched their new products and approaches against each other, with one innovation shortlisted from each stage.
The finalists are Hope Resources (Critical Infrastructure), Passiv Pod Ltd (Offsite), Gapogroup (Energy), Kenoteq (Resourceful Materials), C.H.E.E.S.E. (Buildings) and Rype (Interiors). They will go head to head to be named overall winner on day two.
Martin Hurn, Futurebuild Event Director, commented: “Everywhere you turn at this year’s event you experience innovation and forward-thinking companies who are tackling the issues we are facing as an industry.
“But these aren’t futuristic or conceptual ideas, they’re tangible solutions which will make a real difference. Our Innovation Partners are leading the charge and we know that visitors over the next two days will be inspired by what they have to offer.
“Tomorrow is a huge day with the final winner of the Big Innovation Pitch being announced and we’re really excited to find out who comes out on top.”
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