I spent two days at EcoBuild this year, and had a very positive experience. I have heard a few complaints that the exhibition wasn’t as impressive as other years, which may have been true, but I don’t go to look at exhibition stands. I look at large expensive exhibition stands at EcoBuild and other trade fairs and generally think that the money could have been better spent. Bah humbug.
Instead of wearing out my feet traversing the several football fields that is the show, I arranged to meet people. Lots of people. Manufacturers, developers, go-betweens, distributors, contractors and researchers, and managed to fit them all in, and had good meetings with them all. I drank a LOT of coffee in the central space, in fact I spent two thirds of the time there rather than in the halls. For me the great thing about EcoBuild has always been the quality of the people who attend it. There is a huge group of serious professionals, clients and manufacturers who are interested in making this world a more sustainable place, and come to EcoBuild to learn about how to do that and to network with other like-minded people that they want to work with. Manufacturers and suppliers can come and go, but the people will remain, and so long as they do, so shall I.
Things that caught my eye this year? A LED bulb in the innovation zone that uses AC power and doesn’t need to transform AC to DC, so its more efficient and last longer, and can provide mood lighting. Vacuum Insulated Panels from Kingspan and others, can’t we make this futuristic product work and bring the costs down?I liked the electric bike test track, that’s a good way of using a bit of spare space, why not have some electric cars and scooters as well? UKTI did a great speed dating service for the show, my colleagues tell me the Life cycle assessment seminars were very good, UKGBC launched the PinPoint website, so as a Pinpoint champion, I am championing it!
I’m already planning 2014 and its going to take me days to get through the to-do list I have accumulated over the last week, so its been a good EcoBuild for me.