Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Personal Impressions: Ecobuild

North Balcony, outside EEN meetings
Ecobuild 2011, with its move from Earls Court to Excel this year reminds me of a quote from the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy":" Space is Big, really Big". That is certainly how Ecobuild 2011 felt, really big, with its East and West entrances served by separate stations on the Docklands Light Railway. However, I was there with some focus, accompanying two of the four green building services companies who were part of the German NRW Mission to London and Ecobuild.

With an excess of 1300 exhibitors, the North and South halls were packed with stands from the large multinationals to the small few square metre start-ups. There was not only variety but also duplication, as you might expect. As one architect commented to me, there were also over 100 thermal/solar panel providers as companies jumped into this market. Numerous meetings and seminars were held in the galleries located on the floor above the long sides of the halls.

Meetings at stands
Wandering through, from one location to another, the impression was of new technologies and materials whilst there were also demonstrations of using natural materials from straw, wood to compressed chalk as building matter. I was taken on the one hand by the natural stone available in multiple shades from quarries throughout the UK; and on the other by a demonstration of harvesting the energy of people's footfall.

Keywords that emerged were the "Passivhaus" standard and "Retrofit".
My pocket pedometer clocked up over 8000 steps (6km) on the day I was accompanying two German companies to their specific meetings. The saving grace was access to the VIP lounge upstairs for a seat and drink at various points during the day.

It is practically impossible to gather a full insight of everything at Ecobuild during your visit. So if you are thinking of coming to the next exhibition, I recommend searching through the exhibitors online and selecting highlights to visit in advance.

One thing I can say about the visit - It's worth it!

Find out more about the mission by following the links below

  1. NRW Green Building Services Companies on a Mission to London & Ecobuild 2011
  2. The People Leading the NRW Green Building Services Companies
  3. Personal Impressions: EcoBuild
  4. Retrofitting Existing Homes in the UK
  5. Supporting the NRW Mission to London 2011, Green Building Services

NRW Mission Brochure at http://goo.gl/XbOOF

A project of NRW International.
Supported by the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Building, Housing and Transport of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Organised by Marie-Theres Luetje, Handwerkskammer Duesseldorf.
Realised by Mark Dodsworth & team, Europartnerships Ltd.

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