Against the background of economic uncertainty over the last few years, and the current spending cuts, Ecobuild represents the construction sector’s most important challenge, and its greatest opportunity, that of creating a sustainable built environment.
And the sector meets that challenge - and that opportunity - with ever-growing enthusiasm. Over 1,300 exhibitors, 600 speakers and 50,000 visitors are expected to attend Ecobuild 2011, exceeding the record attendance at this year’s event.
Leading the line up in Ecobuild’s free conference are headliners Chief Construction Advisor, Paul Morrell, Construction Minister, Mark Prisk, Sir Terry Farrell, Baroness Susan Greenfield, Tim Smit of the Eden Project, Bianca Jagger and Professor AC Grayling, taking on subjects as diverse as The radicalism of localism; The age of unreason: the psychology of climate change; and Ending our love affair with more.
The 2011 seminar programme, also free to attend, is Ecobuild’s biggest ever, with over a dozen streams and more than 130 seminars covering the most pressing concerns for built environment professionals:
Seminars are brought to life through a series of interactive attractions and live demonstrations taking place on the exhibition floor, from how to install a solar panel or a green roof, to timber frame construction and applying exterior wall insulation.
- future energy
- energy in buildings
- regulations revealed
- simplifying standards guides and tools
- refurbishing Britain
- sustainability and the city
- sustainable by design
- sustainable small projects
- from grey to green
- sustainable architecture & design
- beyond construction
- installer business
- installer skills
Of course it wouldn’t be Ecobuild without a whole host of new and surprising events and attractions and the 2011 event certainly won’t disappoint. Amongst the more unusual attractions is a giant tap, sponsored by Waterwise, part of a guide to water efficiency. On Tuesday, 2 March ‘Rock star physicist’ Professor Brian Cox will be presenting an award to the winner of the CIOB’s Inner Space 2050 competition for students aged 11 – 12 years to design sustainable work and living spaces in orbit. Back in the exhibition, visitors will be invited to sink their teeth into some BRE Bites, a series of 10 minute ‘tasters’ on a range of topics including BREEAM In Use, Passivhaus, and Feed in Tariffs taking place daily on the BRE stand, and explore Capita Symonds’ Cool Workspace featuring leading-edge technologies, including phase change surface materials.
Enduringly popular attractions such as Solar Hub, sponsored by Solarcentury and Cityscape, sponsored by Natural England will evolve to reflect and respond to the latest developments . Elsewhere, Renew, in association with Saint-Gobain will demonstrate solid wall treatments, innovative loft insulation, replacement window systems, and insulated floor screeding. And anyone with an interest in the installation of micro-renewable technologies will be delighted to see a much-expanded Ecobuild Installer next year. Sponsored by Plumb Center, with practical installation demonstrations every day, it will offer more than 50 training and seminar sessions covering both practical skills and how to take advantage of the growing market for micro-renewables.
Another innovation for Ecobuild 2011 is the introduction of an online itinerary planner which allows visitors to plan their visit in advance, including the times and locations of conference and seminar sessions, and live demonstrations, as well as listing exhibitors and products of interest. The exhibition will be organised in technology zones, with similar products, relevant seminars and attractions, all located in the same area.
Getting around Ecobuild 2011 will be easier still at the new venue. ExCeL’s straightforward layout, with seminars taking place in rooms along the perimeter of the exhibition halls, and the conference located off the central boulevard, is simple to navigate.
And getting there is easy too. ExCeL is easily accessible by public transport, offers free cycle parking and has ample car parking on site. The nearest rail station is Custom House for ExCeL, approximately 10 minutes from Canary Wharf. Key interchanges for the DLR are Bank, Tower Hill, Canning Town and Shadwell. During Ecobuild shuttle buses will run from the Thames Clipper river taxi stop at Canary Wharf (10 minutes) and from London City Airport (5 minutes).