Exhibition News November 2018 - Page 25

COVER FEATURE “Single-use plastics are still massively overused, and we wanted to find a way that we could do our bit” – Nathan Garnett “Reusable plastic bottles are given free to the first thousand delegates that come through every morning. “They can refill them with tap water at the show. It’s kind of a feature for the show and it’s of interest to our delegates.” UK Construction Week has also joined the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which is working with it to assess the overall environmental impact of the show, along with health & safety elements during build and breakdown. Above and bottom left: UK Construction Week. Bottom right: Ecobuild 2018 Live, Energy, Building Tech Live, Surface & Materials Show and HVAC– all of which tackle a different aspect of the construction ecosystem. It takes place alongside the more consumer-focused Grand Designs Live, which also has an edition in London. “Each of those shows is marketed to different people,” explains Garnett. “If you’re an architect we would market Timber and Surfaces, because they’re the decorative end and the beautiful end. Whereas Build Show is a lot more about the trades; it’s house building, roofing, cladding, windows – all those kinds of things.” The theme of the 2018 event was ‘The Future of Construction’, which was interpreted differently across the nine different shows. On the UK Construction Week stage, in Energy 2018, construction legend Barbara Res looked to the future by sharing insights from her past role as head of the construction for the Trump Organization for over a decade during the construction of Trump Tower. Res discussed her experiences as a female engineer and of working with Donald Trump and, as Garnett suggests, “how tough that must have been as a woman.” Meanwhile the Future of Construction Hub featured innovations set to change the face of the industry, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and simulators. Elsewhere at the show delegates learned about the repercussions of the Grenfell Tower fire and could visit the Sustainable Construction Conference to hear more about low impact construction. Alongside hosting these kind of discussion, UK Construction Week is also a proactive participant, carrying out a survey of delegates to gauge their thoughts on Grenfell. “We asked what they’ve seen change as a result of Grenfell, whether it would change how they build, what materials they’re using and whether they thought government was doing enough,” says Garnett. “The results were that people aren't waiting for government, they’re doing it themselves. They can’t wait, because it’s too important.” The organiser has also been leading from the front when it comes to sustainability – working alongside the NEC and Join the Pipe, a ‘social network of tap water drinkers’, to install tap water drinking points around the show in a bid to tackle single-use plastic. “Single-use plastics are still massively overused, and we wanted to find a way that we could do our bit,” explains Garnett. Capital expenditure London Build, organised by Oliver Kinross, first launched in June 2015. As with many of the construction events the company runs globally, the show covers a major city in the English-speaking world, with a high GDP and a significant construction market. “A major factor that contributed to the decision to launch London Build was the wide-open net in the UK for a major construction show,” says MD Neil McKenzie. “The UK has for many years been lacking a show as successful as some of the large-scale shows found in the UAE, Germany, France, USA etc.” The UK capital naturally faces many of the challenges faced by the country as a whole, and London Build is divided into nine zones covering topics such as fire safety, infrastructure, interior & fit-out and sustainability, and has seen consistent year- on-year growth since its launch four years go. “Construction shows are a funny old beast,” continues McKenzie. “Some of the biggest exhibitions in the world are in construction, yet many construction shows globally have failed in what can be a tricky market. The construction industry is very broad, which can cause a challenge for organisers. “Furthermore, UK architects and certain groups within the industry are renowned for being difficult (but not impossible) to get to events. On top of all that, the construction industry tends to mirror the performance of the overall economy; and it's fair to say that with the recession in 2008, and now with the uncertainty of Brexit, we live in volatile economic times in the UK.” Reflecting an industry can exhibitionnews.co.uk | November 2018 25