Stage with posters. and panel sitting down before discussion
News, Updates & Events

Futurebuild 2019 at The ExCel Centre

What is Futurebuild?  

The leading built environment event for professionals to meet and learn, be inspired and do business. The exhibition is held at the ExCel London spanning over three days, 5th – 7th March. There is an array of businesses exhibiting within the event, ranging from Siemens to Greenpeace. The focus is on producing sustainable materials, in order to improve our built environment and beyond. The event is interactive, in addition to plenty of stalls to view and explore, there are scheduled discussions you can attend. The discussions focus on various environmental, educational and housing issues. For example, we attended a talk named, The Environment Challenge: How can we enhance the environment in a post-Brexit world?

Due to the sheer size of the ExCel centre, there are hundreds of companies displaying their products and services. We visited on Wednesday 6th March, and viewed innovative and creative stalls galore.

Poster on ''Time for actiion''
Ecobuild Conference Poster above the stage

The Environment Challenge: How Can we Enhance The Environment in a post-Brexit World?

A significant amount of the environmental legislation in England and Wales derives from EU Law (Thomson Reuters, 2019).  The question is, how will this impact the UK once we leave the EU? And can we feel confident that our government will be dedicated to sustainability?

Image of the Stage, as The Panel prepared for their Discussion
Image of the Stage, as The Panel prepared for their Discussion

This is the overview of the discussion, referenced from the Futurebuild website:

‘’There are some critical questions around resources, such as water and soil, which will be fundamental to future environmental sustainability and will need protection, conservation and improvement. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Commission for Economic Justice report ‘Prosperity and Justice: A Plan for a new Economy’ stated that, “Environmental sustainability must be at the heart of economic policy.” So when the government makes the pledge, “to make ours the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it,” there is a great deal at stake for the future of the UK. Will natural capital accounting help to protect the environment or should we recognise that we cannot value everything in monetary terms? When the Prime Minister launched the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan she confirmed that, “We will use the opportunity Brexit provides to strengthen and enhance our environmental protections – not to weaken them. The EU Withdrawal Act (2018) required the setting up of an independent ‘watchdog’ to hold the government to account, and this was debated extensively throughout the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance. The government has now proposed an Environment Act, which should provide legal underpinning for the 25 Year Environment Plan. How can we influence the Environment Act? Is there the necessary cross-departmental support and resources to give the act the breadth it needs to be truly effective? This session highlights SDGs 2, 6, 13, 14 and 15’’. (Futurebuild, Ecobuild conference, 2019).

The talk was thought-provoking, with contributions from a knowledgeable panel of four:

Maddy Thimont-Jack, Researcher, Institute for Government

 Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)

 Alastair Chisholm, Director of Policy, Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)

Ece Ozdemiroglu, Founding Director eftec, Member of the Committee on Climate Change – Adaptation

Three Reasons Why You Should Visit The Futurebuild Event

Whether you have a chance to (last minute) visit today, or next year. The event will not disappoint, here’s three reasons why you should attend:

  • The event is a great chance to view the latest technologies and innovations in sustainable materials. For example, see images of recycled materials below from BBM Architects. Highlight: Insulation made from Dog Hair!
Various Demolition Waste & Rammed Chalk, made into Bricks
Various Demolition Waste & Rammed Chalk, made into Bricks
Plastic waste from the beach, and recovered from the seat (various examples)
Plastic waste from the beach, and recovered from the sea (various examples)
Dog Hair Insulation
Dog Hair Insulation
  • Engaging discussions that address key environmental issues. ‘’The time is now’’ was the slogan chosen by Futurebuild and it couldn’t be more timely.
Greenpeace stall at Futurebuild. The pressure group focuses on key environmental issues, aiming to make the Earth greener and more peaceful
Greenpeace stall at Futurebuild. The pressure group focuses on key environmental issues, aiming to make the Earth greener and more peaceful
  • Inspiration and change. Whatever industry you work in, you’ll leave the event feeling inspired to make positive changes towards sustainability.

Michelle Whitney, BA (Hons)

RRC Digital Marketing Assistant, Blogger & Writer