Ecobuild: Bigger than ever

Dubbed as Britain's biggest green building information programme, Ecobuild will showcase truly sustainable construction in action. John Haven reports

Domestic, commercial and industrial buildings account for 47% of total UK carbon emissions, and construction is the single largest user of material resources in the economy, generating 100M tonnes of waste every year. So, it's no surprise that sustainability is one of the very hottest topics facing the sector right now.

Nonetheless, the growth in the annual sustainable design and construction event Ecobuild, returning to London's Earls Court at the end of this month, is quite phenomenal.

It has more than doubled in size in a year, and it offers the most extensive green building information programme ever staged at a UK event - with more than 300 exhibitors.

Visitors to the event can participate in more than 60 free seminars taking place over the three days.

Elsewhere, Ecobuild hosts the official launch of the UK Green Building Council. Formed recently with the support of some of the biggest names in UK property, development and construction, its aim is to champion sustainable building in the UK, and to provide a link with the international community of Green Building councils.

It will launch its charter and membership structure at the show on February 28.

Visitors can also see products in action and get answers to their specific questions from experts on hand at special events and interactive attractions. These include:
  • Green Roofs, showcasing the variety, beauty and practicality of living roofs, including displays from Flag UK, Alumasc Exterior Building Products, Bauder and Langley Waterproofing Systems
  • Streetscene, demonstrating how a well designed public realm can integrate sustainable products and features into the urban landscape, featuring the latest products from the best-known suppliers to the public realm including Finnforest, Marshalls, SureSet, Formpave, Marshalls Street Furniture, Woodhouse, Civic Trees, Ollerton and WRTL
  • Intelligent Buildings Advice Centre, with expert advice on how to drive energy efficiency through design, control systems and management, sponsored by the Intelligent Building Group and with the support of the DTI, UKT&I and BT
  • Natural Building Products Display, featuring hemp and strawbale construction.
Running concurrently with the exhibition, attractions and free seminars, is the Ecobuild 2007 conference, Making Sustainable Construction Happen. These sessions will tackle the most pressing issues including looking at new ways of building; sustainable materials, methods and management; designing and planning for climate change; optimal energy solutions for sustainable buildings; and managing water in a changing environment.

Among the keynote speakers is deputy mayor of London, Nicky Gavron, Environment Agency chairman, Sir John Harman, Minister for Climate Change, Ian Pearson and Shadow Environment Minister, Peter Ainsworth.

With such a packed programme, this year's Ecobuild has extended to three days. There's a late-night opening until 7pm on Wednesday, February 28, and an invitation to all registered visitors to join Ecobuild's speakers and exhibitors for a drink at the cocktail party from 6pm.

Ecobuild takes place at Earls Court 2 from February 27 to March 1 2007. For more details on the seminar and conference programmes or to register, visit www.ecobuild.co.uk

Some of the topics covered at Ecobuild
* Living roofs
* Micro renewables
* Part L and EPBD
* Sustainable architecture
* Biomass
* BREEAM and EcoHomes
* Water management
* Intelligent buildings
* Housing refurbishment
* Building with timber
* Improving carbon performance of buildings
* Zero-carbon buildings
* CHP
* Photovoltaics
* Solar thermal
* Environmental impact assessments

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