Ecobuild/Futurebuild 2009

I spent a day at Ecobuild/Futurebuild this week. This has become one of the main events in the UK construction industry conference and exhibition calendar. It has become so big that it is in danger of becoming a victim of it’s own success. It takes at least a day just to walk the entire show and understand what all the stands have to offer, which naturally most people are unwilling to do. I question the policy of the show organizers in allowing many companies who essentially offer the same product or service to take stands, often beside one another. There were lots of solar energy companies side by side for example, when a few would have been better. There appears to be a real danger that solar energy is turning into the new double-glazing with all the dangers that brings.
The same applies to the plethora of other building product manufacturers, who are there because they have something to sell which moves water from one place to another. How is that green I ask myself? It appears that while the environmental movement has become mainstream it may be losing some of it’s definition in the process.
If we cannot clearly identify what we have to offer, and if we are not able to differentiate ourselves from the mainstream then can we be said to exist?
The progress that the movement has made in the last ten years on the legislative and policy front is amazing, but the hard part is just beginning. The last thing we should be doing is allowing our message to be subsumed into the general noise of the majority before this progress has been translated into hard results.

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