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ecobuild Day Two: Driving Change

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A central aim of this year’s ecobuild is to drive real change across the built environment and this was a key theme throughout day two of the event (7th March 2018).

Tackling the big issues head on, the conference programme included a session focusing on “Construction quality in a post-Grenfell world.” Lynne Sullivan, chair of the Good Homes Alliance, described the fire as a “huge wake-up call” and as being “symptomatic of systemic failures” across industry which need to be dealt with. One of the key outcomes of the session was a call for government to take on real responsibility, alongside industry, for implementing change to ensure that better regulations are in place in the future.

The RIBA used day two to launch its consultation for the Building in Quality initiative, in the beautifully designed RIBA Bookshop and Meeting Space. The initiative aims to encourage better collaboration, improved procurement and to introduce new methods to improve the quality of the built environment for the benefit of all society.

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The BREEAM UK New Construction scheme was also officially launched on day two. This revision of the world-leading sustainability method for real estate follows the organisation’s most comprehensive industry consultation to date.

It was also another busy and well-attended day of seminars across ecobuild. Among the many highlights was a session on health and wellbeing in offices, which drew a huge crowd in the Building Performance district. Architectural and interior design expert, Oliver Heath discussed the benefits of “micro-recuperative spaces” and biophilia in not only offices, but also across education, hospitality and healthcare environments and called for a human centred approach.

Seminars in the WasteZone, in association with the University of Brighton Responsible Futures, continued to be popular with visitors. All the individual sets of light-up headphones were taken for “Realising the value of circular economy”. Raimund Bleischwitz from UCL’s Institute for Sustainable Resources highlighted that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have a direct impact on the circular economy through the demand for resources; in that more are needed to meet energy and water management goals and for cities to be developed.

Looking Ahead

Day three (8th March 2018) coincides with International Women’s Day. ecobuild is proud of the calibre of inspirational women who have been instrumental in shaping and contributing to this year’s event. This will be an additional opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across the built environment.

The central conference will continue to tackle the biggest issues on the final day of this year’s ecobuild, with a session looking at the progress being made in the UK around sustainability. It will conclude with a panel of experts developing an action plan to lead us to a more sustainable future.

Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Futurebuild Events Ltd, said: “We’ve said all along that this year’s ecobuild is about more than just talking; it’s about doing. We want the event to finish by bringing together the key actions that we as an industry need to get to work on to improve the built environment for everyone, and that is well underway.” 

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