More than 40,000 built-environment professionals gathered at this year’s Ecobuild event and witnessed UK political leaders pledge investment for growth across the green building sector. More than 800 leading companies across the sustainable design, construction and energy sectors showcased thousands of innovative products and solutions, signifying that the sector is once again experiencing vibrant growth.
Climate change secretary Edward Davey MP pledged a £300million cash injection as part of a new fuel poverty strategy. Davey made the pledge as the Lib Dems made a manifesto pledge to spend more than £2bn a year on a “green homes revolution”.
Keynote speaker Lord John Prescott called for cross-party and global unification to tackle the issue of Britain’s extreme weather. Prescott said: “Sustainability is the new industrialisation and the ‘big key’ to a better type of economy that doesn’t poison the world.” He joined the debate to deliberate whether there is a need for a national environmental resilience plan. He said: “Three leaders agreeing [on climate change strategy] gives us a good chance.”
Focusing on the need for a change to sustainability policy and practice ahead of the general election, Ecobuild also hosted a cross-party political debate, as Davey joined Green Party leader Natalie Bennett to tackle the future for low-carbon electricity.
Ecobuild also hosted a new feature in partnership with M&S. The ‘Big Innovation Pitch’ saw 40 companies whittled down to just a few who pitched to M&S and its expert judging panel live in the Ecobuild arena. Winners Endo Enterprises, creators of Endothermic, a central heating additive shown to save 15 percent on heating bills, will now explore with M&S the possibility of applying its solution to the retailer’s estate.
Alison Jackson, group director of sustainability and construction at Ecobuild, said: “Ecobuild acts as a true barometer for the sustainable built environment sector. Hosting more architects, contractors, specifiers than any other event, we believe Ecobuild 2015 has firmly cemented the event’s position as the sustainable design and energy marketplace for new-build, refer, commercial and domestic buildings. This year’s Ecobuild was the most vibrant to date, borne out by significantly higher rebooking levels than last year.”