Looking at the future of construction

4 February 2019

Futurebuild’s conference programme, seminars and workshops will offer 500 hours of CPD-accredited structured learning

Futurebuild 2019 will explore and tackle the biggest challenges impacting the built environment sector, providing visitors with insights and hands-on experience across the latest innovations and products. CM reports.

Futurebuild is the leading built environment event for professionals working across the industry to meet and learn, be inspired and do business.

Taking place from 5-7 March at ExCel in London, the 2019 event will address the key challenges of the built environment sector, and will include 500 hours of CPD-accredited structured learning across three levels: the conference programme, 11 seminar streams and four deep-dive workshops will be hosted in the Knowledge Forum.

Ecobuild conference

Central to the event will be the Ecobuild conference, where visitors will receive insights and knowledge-sharing from industry experts including Ann Bentley, chair of Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), and Jane Briginshaw, director, Design England.

With an overarching theme of “time for action”, the conference sessions will be collaborative forums where visitors will develop plans for implementing change and proposing action for a more sustainable future. 

Meeting challenges

A total of 13 key challenges will be tackled through the conference programme, including: delivering on the ambitions of the £420m Sector Deal; how to achieve a built environment fit for 2050; developing a future workforce; and transforming existing homes through behaviour change and deep retrofits.

Other topics being addressed include: delivering long-term value and sustainable performance; how to achieve a truly circular economy; strengthening environmental protections; meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals; how to put health and wellbeing at the heart of design. 

Knowledge Forum

The Knowledge Forum is a new feature for 2019, where industry-leading partners, academia and professional bodies will offer a comprehensive look at the biggest issues facing the built environment and will provide solutions and guidance for construction managers to take back to the office.

Hubs seminar programme

To ensure visitors gain a truly immersive and in-depth experience across all areas of the industry, the Futurebuild Hubs seminar programme will provide expert insight and inspirational case studies on the key themes of buildings, energy, interiors, materials, offsite, urban infrastructure, waste and the circular economy, and the future vision of London (see below).


The Buildings Hub will cover all aspects of building, including new build, retrofit and refurbishment. Visitors will have the opportunity to speak to pioneering brands working across construction and maintenance – such as Internorm, Recticel, Bauder, Durisol and Smart Systems – as well as engage in conversation around the latest technology and legislation.

A Buildings seminar programme will give visitors insights into the latest thinking and initiatives in building quality and performance and occupier comfort. The sessions will explore new tools, technologies and delivery approaches to improve both new and existing buildings.

In an industry still feeling the effects of Grenfell, attendees will also be given the opportunity to voice their concerns on topics such as social value, overheating, high-rise, Passivhaus and build performance. 

Further key features include the Home of the Future feature build, created by Tufeco and the RIBA Bookshop, designed by Gundry + Ducker and sponsored by Rockwool and Rockpanel. Both will create key focal points and networking opportunities for building professionals.

As an official UK government innovation partner, Futurebuild will also be hosting the Innovation Zone with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.

At the Zone, which sits next to the Buildings Hub, BEIS will be showcasing the work of the Energy Innovation Programme and demonstrating how it is delivering the Clean Growth Strategy.

Focusing on true innovation, it will provide a platform for investment and knowledge exchange across three areas: a dedicated three-day seminar series; an exhibition featuring innovative companies BEIS and Innovate UK have provided funding to; and a “Business Bar” in collaboration with the Knowledge Transfer Network – providing one-to-one advice and support on accessing funding.


Uniting the latest innovations, research and understanding in mainstream materials such as timber and concrete, alongside a spotlight on emerging alternatives, the Materials Hub will bring together the latest advances and expertise from across the sector.

With a focus on supporting visitors in making the best possible material choices on the projects they are working on, the Hub will provide a platform for visitors to meet and learn from leading industry bodies, including TRADA, The Concrete Centre, Wood for Good and the Mineral Products Association.

Adding to the knowledge-sharing and practical demonstrations on offer will be an exhibitor list featuring top brands representing all building materials, including Nudura, Glavloc, Cemex UK, Creagh Concrete, Piveteaubois and Steico.

The Future of Concrete, created in collaboration with The Concrete Centre, will allow visitors to learn more about concrete’s design potential and sustainability.

TRADA will also highlight timber’s design capabilities, with a gallery of shortlisted entries for the TRADA University Challenge competition in its bookshop. In addition, the Natural Building Area will offer free educational information, expert support and showcases of natural materials and businesses within the UK natural building industry.

Waste Zone and Circular Economy

The Waste Zone will return with new and expanded features. Curated by architect, academic and author Duncan Baker-Brown, the area will showcase how waste can be a valuable resource for industry. Central to the experience will be the new Circular Economy Hub, which will take a unique beach hut format and feature a collection of hand-picked brands at the forefront of making the circular economy a reality.


Visitors will be at the heart of construction innovation in the Offsite Hub, hosted in partnership with Explore Offsite. Four dedicated seminar theatres – each focused on a specific technology or theme within offsite and backed by a relevant trade body – will provide hours of in-depth, structured knowledge sharing.

This comprehensive education programme will allow attendees to gain a deep understanding of the latest insights and approaches from across the sector.

Urban Infrastructure

The Urban Infrastructure Hub will explore the latest solutions across blue, green, grey and social infrastructure. The Urban Infrastructure Seminar Theatre, sponsored by ACO, and the accompanying exhibition will feature both nature-based and manufactured solutions to address challenges in active travel, air pollution, landscaping, water management and more, while the Hub’s own green space, City Walk, will allow visitors to experience the benefits of a green setting and see innovations on display.

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