Be the catalyst for change

The organisers of FutureBuild 2020 are looking to inspire architects to join fellow industry leaders and innovators at this year’s event to be the “catalyst for change” that’s needed to help deliver a more sustainable built environment

Futurebuild’s conference returns for 2020, and the event organisers have described it as “bigger and better than ever before,” with the climate and ecological crisis leading the conversations. Over the three days, politicians, academics and industry shapers will guide the discussions.

Sessions for architects in the Conference Arena will include ‘Professional Collaboration: Do it together,’ developed in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). This session, on day three (5 March), will look to bring the presidents of the institute together to discuss how those working in the built and natural environments are currently responding to the climate and ecological emergency, and will report on “ongoing plans to continually evolve ways of working for the future.”

On the second day of the conference (4 March), candidate for London Mayor Rory Stewart will join a panel for the ‘Carbon neutral cities for the future’ session. They will discuss the actions that cities across the UK and abroad are taking to ensure a “liveable future for all,” from improving mobility to urban greening to combatting air pollution.

With conference discussions focusing on the biggest issues facing the built environment at a macro level, six ‘Keynote Stages’ located across the event will look at the specific challenges impacting buildings; offsite, energy, interiors, resourceful materials, and critical infrastructure. This programme of “solution-driven sessions” will “share the latest thinking and research, to try to educate, inform and inspire visitors to make a positive change.”

Of particular interest to architects will be the ‘Buildings’ area, which is expanding for 2020 to include two new showcase areas; the Whole House Retrofit Zone and the Digital Impact Zone. Here, visitors will have the chance to discuss the various refurb and retrofit solutions, both current and in development, as well as the latest developments in digital construction.

‘Interiors at Futurebuild 2020’ will look to help those seeking inspiration across all areas of commercial and domestic interiors. Buyers and high-level decision makers involved in housebuilding, commercial fit-out, student accommodation, social housing and the public sector, will have access to solutions covering health buildings, kitchens, bathrooms, surfaces, and flooring. Confirmed exhibitors for interiors include SIAMP, Leicht, and Lumi-Plugin. Meanwhile, the Interiors Keynote Stage programme curated by the International WELL Building Institute will provide the latest information and good practice on key topics and challenges that the sector faces.

Beyond the stages

Around each Keynote Stage will be an exhibition of innovative brands, offering solutions to the challenges discussed in the companion knowledge programme. The exhibition 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,” say the organisers.

Connecting the exhibition will be the Innovation Trail; brands and organisations that are taking the lead when it comes to innovation will be recognised through the dedicated route. It will take visitors on a journey through the event and showcase the latest thinking from Futurebuild’s Innovation Partners, which include ACO Technologies, Smart Systems, Internorm, Steico and Kochwerk.

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 tackle of the biggest challenges facing us all.

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 the top spot.

Martin Hurn, event director of Futurebuild, said: “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.”

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