Futurebuild 2020: Be the catalyst for change

A clear message to come from the recent climate change demonstrations and declarations of action from government and leading organisations is that we need to work together. Put simply, without collaboration we will fail.

The government’s Clean Growth Challenge intends to halve the energy use of new homes/buildings, as well as the costs of retrofitting to a similar standard to new builds, by 2030. In order to achieve these goals we need to work together as an industry to improve our energy efficiency, and accelerate clean energy innovation and the decarbonisation of energy and heat.

Futurebuild 2020, which takes place from 03 – 05 March at ExCeL London, will inspire those working in the energy sector to come together to deliver a more sustainable built environment, providing a platform for debate and discussion alongside the most innovative brands. The event will empower visitors to be the catalyst for change that is needed across industry.

Setting the agenda

Futurebuild is recognised for its agenda setting conference and this programme is evolving for 2020. Sessions will follow a three-day progression; the central theme will be on how to respond to the climate and ecological crisis facing us and commit to making a change. The Arena will be home to engaging sessions led by politicians, academics and industry shapers.

For those in the energy sector ‘The future is regenerative’ session chaired by Peter Murray, Chair of New London Architecture will be of particular interest. The session which takes place on day one (03 March) will explore how design and construction needs a circular rethink and how we can make our cities fit for purpose, our buildings net zero and champion green retrofit.

Additionally, on the second day of the conference (04 March) Robin Nicholson, Partner at Cullinan Studio and Convenor of the Edge will chair a session on ‘How do we achieve ‘100% net zero carbon?’, exploring views from leading industry and academia on how we build a net-zero construction economy.

On day three (05 March) the ‘Living and working green: what behavioural changes are required to bring about a net-zero world?’ session is not be missed. Chair Roger Harrabin, BBC Environment Analyst, will discuss how decarbonising our economy requires a vast array of changes in policy and economics, in technology and infrastructure, and in attitudes and behaviour. 

While discussions on the conference stage will focus on the biggest issues facing the built environment at a macro level, the six Keynote Stages will look at the specific challenges impacting Energy, Building, Offsite, Interiors, Resourceful Materials and Critical Infrastructure. This programme of solution-driven sessions will share the latest thinking and research, to educate, inform and inspire visitors to make a positive change.

The six Keynote Stages will address the following challenges:

  • Energy: accurate data for carbon accounting and reduced clean energy usage
  • Buildings: retrofitted, re-used, net positive and built to perform
  • Offsite: reliability and efficiency combined with creative placemaking
  • Interiors: sustainable and health promoting
  • Resourceful Materials: thinking circular to reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Critical Infrastructure: delivering integrated green, grey, blue and social infrastructure

Each day, the stages will host a focused keynote presentation by a recognised expert in their field. This and other sessions will look at tangible solutions and approaches which will make a real difference to practice and performance.

The Energy Keynote Stage will deliver the latest thinking on the technologies which will decarbonise the built environment. The stage will shine a light on the interconnections between energy generation, demand management, EVs and charging infrastructure, storage, behaviour change and energy reduction in buildings, the decarbonisation of heat and the delivery of a smart and flexible energy system.

On the second day (04 March), Duncan Law, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Commnity Energy England will be chairing a session on ‘People power: the role of community energy in enabling a decentralised energy system’. The session will explore how community energy still has a huge role to play in delivering a decentralised and decarbonised energy system. 

On day three (05 March), the Active Building Centre will be leading a session titled ‘Active buildings: optimising energy reduction and interaction with energy infrastructure. The session will explore how buildings can be created to not only optimise energy reduction but also interact with the energy infrastructure in a beneficial manner.

Beyond the stages

Around each Keynote Stage there will be an exhibition of innovative brands, offering unique solutions to the challenges discussed in the companion knowledge programme. It will feature some of the largest headline brands in the sector, alongside SMEs and start-up organisations, creating a dedicated platform to connect these companies with forward-thinking specifiers and buyers.

Across the exhibition, brands and organisations that are leading the charge when it comes to innovation will be recognised through the Innovation Trail. A guided route will take visitors on a journey through the event and enable them to learn more about the latest thinking from Futurebuild’s Innovation Partners, which include 540 World, Geberit, Steico and Hadley Group.

The Energy section at Futurebuild 2020 will offer key insights for those in the sector, looking at everything from accurate data for carbon accounting to clean energy usage. Visitors will get an in depth look into the latest thinking on the technologies which will decarbonise the built environment.

In the Buildings area, the new and exclusive Whole House Retrofit Zone in partnership with the Retrofit Academy, a CIC providing training to create qualified Retrofit Coordinators, and Osmosis will be of particular interest for those in the energy sector. The immersive area will enable visitors to deep-dive into how to improve the energy performance of existing buildings. Futurebuild 2020 will be the go-to destination for all the latest thinking and opportunities in this field.

The game changers are back

Championing innovation is the central purpose of Futurebuild and the 2020 event will see the return of the Big Innovation Pitch. Hosted across the event, in conjunction with BRE as technical partner, the competition will be the industry’s largest call-out for innovation to date and will identify and celebrate novel new approaches to some of the biggest challenges facing us all.

On the first day of the event, SMEs will present their ground-breaking ideas on the six Keynote Stages. On day two, the winners on each stage will go head-to-head in the Arena with a panel of renowned judges determining the overall winner. The winner’s idea will be incorporated into BRE Academy Training, with the solution also being showcased in the landmark BRE Innovation Park.

Previous years have seen innovative solutions, such as a sustainable alternative to plywood produced from mixed waste plastics and energy and cost saving air-conditioning units, take top spot.

Martin Hurn, Event Director of Futurebuild added: “The responsibility for tackling the climate emergency lies in all of our hands and we must collaborate in order to find solutions to secure our future. Futurebuild 2020 provides the perfect platform for forward-thinking decision makers across the built environment to come together and play a key part in driving positive change.

“We understand that taking time out of work to attend events can be a challenge, which is why we will make sure that visitors can really get involved across a number of levels, from the world class knowledge programme in the arena and on the keynote stages, to the showcase of the latest innovations across the exhibition. Innovation to us is more than just futuristic ideas, it’s about sharing the latest thinking and ideas, processes and solutions, products and materials. All of these things coming together under one roof at Futurebuild 2020 will inspire people to do things differently and create real change.”

For more information about Futurebuild 2020, the home of innovation, visit www.futurebuild.co.uk.