Looking to the future with UK Construction Week

29 August 2018

After last year’s successful UKCW, over 650 exhibitors will return to the NEC Birmingham

The UK’s largest event for the built environment returns next month at the NEC Birmingham. CM looks at the key attractions at this year’s UK Construction Week.

This year’s UK Construction Week, which returns to Birmingham’s NEC between 9-11 October, has the theme the “Future of Construction”, with numerous opportunities to see, touch and hear all about what’s driving the industry forward.

More than 650 exhibitors will provide seminars, CPD sessions and networking opportunities across nine shows spanning the whole built environment: Build Show; Energy 2018; Timber Expo; Surface and Materials Show; Building Tech Live; HVAC 2018; Civils Expo; Plant and Machinery Live and Grand Designs Live.

Debating the big issues

The UKCW Stage will provide high-level discussion around important industry issues with a heavy focus on the lessons learned in the past year, such as fire safety.

Speakers include:

Barbara Res, the project manager behind Trump Tower, will share insights into her experiences as a female in construction and working with Donald Trump;

Lord David Blunkett will discuss how technology and diversity can turn the skills gap into a thriving industry that delivers projects on time and to budget;

Phil Wilbraham (above), expansion programme director at Heathrow, and Bridget Rosewell OBE, commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission, will join Lord Blunkett to debate what the future holds for UK infrastructure post-Brexit, chaired by George Clarke, architect and TV presenter;

Paul Nash, past president of the CIOB and chair of CIOB Construction Quality Commission, will discuss build quality at the RIBA session with Ben Derbyshire, chair of HTA Design and RIBA president.

The Future of Construction Hub provides an immersive opportunity to discover how digital construction, 3D printing, robotics, AI and AR and modern methods of construction can deliver the new construction sector deal. Coventry University is bringing its virtual reality simulator used as part of its training for construction students.

An Innovation Trail will take visitors through the latest innovative ideas, products and systems from companies including: 3THERMO, Bruag, Canon, Ecovolt, Kore Wireless, Marsh Industries, Quinn Building Products, Rockwool and Soudal.

Gooee will host the Internet of Things (IoT) Arena at Building Tech Live. The arena will showcase Gooee’s award-winning IoT ecosystem with its partnered companies, including Aurora Lighting.

Beyond the UKCW stage, each of the shows will host at least one seminar programme discussing sector-specific issues with a wealth of industry experts:

Regeneration Hub, sponsored by Easy-Trim, will explore planning for growth with Victoria Hills, chief executive at the Royal Town Planning Institute, and Passivhaus development, with several sessions chaired by Kunle Barker, property expert and TV presenter.

Digital Construction Hub will delve into BIM maturity for all the supply chain. Speakers include Alex Giles from Action Sustainability and Ivan Gasparetto from BIM Direct.

Offsite Theatre, which is supported by the MPBA, will discuss hybrid concrete solutions and factory-built bathrooms with speakers including Elaine Toogood from the Concrete Centre and Stephen Wade-Palmer from Offsite Solutions.

Building Tech Live Theatre, delivered by Voltimum and ECA, will bring topics such as cybersecurity for smart buildings and market networks, from speakers including Professor Prashant Pillai at the University of Wolverhampton and Steve Martin at ECA.

Sustainability Hub will cover air quality and the benefits of centralised LPG connections for residential developments from speakers including Andie Chessun at HygroMatik and David Taylor at Flogas.

Timber Focus Theatre, delivered by TRADA, will cover topics such as “How tall can we build in wood?” plus how specifiers research and source timber products. Speakers include Anthony Thistleton from Waugh Thistleton Architects and Daniel Kreissig of ZÜBLIN Timber.

Host: BBC’s Steph McGovern

Surface and Materials Hub will include discussions on trend and colour forecasts and bionic buildings from speakers such as Nina Bailey from Formica and Graham Brown from Envelope Architects.

Infrastructure Hub will discuss major UK infrastructure projects and industry issues, including Crossrail, and advice on how to win that construction bid from Harbinder Singh Birdi at Hawkins\Brown and Denise O’Leary at Purpol Marketing.

REA Theatre will cover topics including “Power for a cleaner, quieter world” and “Green strategy – energy policy post Brexit”, featuring speakers Dennis Hayter from Intelligent Energy and former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.

And the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) Time for Timber workshop will be delivered by the Structural Timber Association, Timber Trade Federation, Trussed Rafter Association, British Woodworking Federation and supported by the timber industry’s campaign Wood for Good.

Registration, which is sponsored by Total Gas & Power, is live. Get your free visitor tickets from www.ukconstructionweek.com

Keep up to date about exhibitors, product launches and speakers via www.ukconstructionweek.com and Twitter at @UK_CW or using the hashtag #UKCW2018.

Forums for change

UKCW will play host to a number of conferences including the BRE Conference, Midlands Construction Summit, IEMA Conference and the first BMF Young Merchants Conference as the BMF focuses on youth recruitment and succession planning.

UKCW will also be championing future leaders following the launch of the UKCW Role Models initiative, with help from the Construction Youth Trust, to inspire others and raise awareness of the breadth of roles available in the construction industry. The winner will be announced on 10 October on the UKCW Stage from a shortlist of 36 people from more than 130 high-quality entries.

UKCW will hold the launch of the Passivhaus Student Competition for 2019 – a nationwide competition that aims to arm the next generation of architects and designers with the tools and design skills needed to deliver sustainable buildings.

Building up knowledge with CPD

Following the huge success of the fully booked CPD sessions last year, there will be three hubs based at the Build Show, HVAC 2018 and Surfaces and Materials plus an additional hub supported by the Access Industry Forum dedicated to Working at Height.

Topics will include:

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