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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Futurebuild closes with hope for the future

As the home of innovation, Futurebuild 2022 hosted over 300 game changing brands and 350 influential speakers, sharing how the built environment can go beyond net zero. Across the three days, sustainability pioneers, such as Professor Peter Guthrie OBE, Sue Riddlestone OBE and Robin Nicholson CBE, demonstrated how we can turn net zero ambition into delivery.

Futurebuild aims to inspire the transformational change needed to propel the industry to net zero, focusing on how architects must collaborate and innovate with sustainable suppliers to meet net zero. On the first day of Futurebuild, for example, Lee Rowley, Minister for Business and Industry attended the event to showcase the importance of collaboration between the government and industry as we move towards a net zero future.

“There are some fantastic exhibitions and a brilliant agenda at Futurebuild this year,” commented Rowley. “It is great to see the construction industry coming together to talk about the net zero supply chain and ask the important questions that will help the industry move forwards and find new opportunities. To achieve the challenges that have been set out, we need to work with industry to find solutions and Futurebuild brings people together to do just this.”

Sustainable stand outs

On the second day, on the Wholehouse Retrofit stage David Pierpoint, CEO of the Retrofit Academy and Phil Mason, head of regulatory engagement at Trustmark, discussed the importance of maintaining clear quality standards in the retrofit sector. Over 24 million homes need to be retrofitted over the next 28 years, so we must provide accurate and trusted information to suppliers and homeowners to make this target a reality.

During the show, innovative homes company Kiss House took over James Latham’s stand to showcase how we can build healthier, more sustainable homes. The timber structure, made of two sections from the Kiss House residential construction system, doubled as a seminar space at the show. To celebrate the innovative collaboration, James Latham and Kiss House were declared the winner of the sustainable stand award at the event.

“At the event we wanted to showcase real structures from real houses”, explained Mike Jacob, co-founder and director of Kiss House. “From a sustainability perspective it was vital to create a structure that could be used elsewhere, as exhibitions are traditionally quite wasteful. In this project we’ve taken timber and fed it into a precise manufacturing process to create accurate, high-quality components. After Futurebuild we’ll temporarily store these structures in our facility before using them in Reading’s first ever Passivhaus development.”

Futurebuild exists to amplify the voice of other pioneers in sustainability, so this year it has let Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) host a bar takeover. The bar featured tables themed on the network’s nine working groups and the team hosted live demonstrations on how to use natural materials, such as straw bricks and lime plastering, in future construction projects.

“We cannot affect climate change without changing how we construct and our attitude to how we construct,” explained Sam Turner of ACAN. “When creating the bar takeover, we wanted to live by the principles we want to instil. So, while planning the event we made sure every decision followed our core aims — decarbonising now, promoting ecological regeneration and inspiring cultural transformation.”

Energy section
Energy section
What’s next?

We have a limited time to achieve net zero, so as we look to the future, we must act quickly. Futurebuild’s Climate Action Gallery, sponsored by James Latham, showcased some of the roadmaps and guidance that industry leaders have created in response to the climate emergency.

The Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA), for example, presented on its 2030 Climate Challenge — voluntary performance targets to reduce energy use, water consumption and embodied carbon. The Climate Action Gallery also featured guidance from associations such as the Institute of Civil Engineers, The Edge, Bioregional, Considerate Contractors Scheme, Landscape Institute, ACAN, CIBSE, Active Building Centre, Zero Construct, UKGBC, CIC and IStructE.

“Exhibitors and speakers across the show floor outlined that we have little time to act on climate change,” explained Martin Hurn, event director of Futurebuild. “Collaboration is vital if we are to reach net zero. Futurebuild exists to bring people from across the built environment, from young disruptors such as Thermulon, to established brands such as Viessman, together to tackle the challenges the industry faces together.

“Over the three days we’ve seen the breadth of innovation happening in the sector, given industry experts a platform to share best practice and showcased the latest game-changing products. Now it’s time to take what we’ve learnt from the show and turn it into action to meet net zero.”

To find on-demand content about Futurebuild 2022, visit www.futurebuild.co.uk. Don’t forget to save the date for Futurebuild 2023, taking place from March 7 to March 9, 2023.

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