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Ecobuild: Let the mayhem begin

Rory Bergin, head of sustainability and innovation at HTA, reports

Let the mayhem begin. Put on your most comfy shoes, gird your loins and head down to ExCel for the world’s largest green building show. Is this the only green trade show where you can use Google maps to help you to find your way around? After last year’s experience, I confidently expected a kilowatt peak of solar panel manufacturers, a bathfull of SuDs salespeople and a pallet of green material manufacturers.

Many people, myself among them, have a problem with the size of Ecobuild and the questionable green credentials of many of the companies that attend it. On balance perhaps it is better that they are there no matter how lame their green credentials are. Perhaps by just being there and hobnobbing with their more committed neighbours the environmental message is widened and not diluted. It might be so.

Having been around the entire show I can confirm that not only is the show huge but a lot of manufacturers are not even pretending to have green credentials and are simply here for the network.

There are some reasons to be cheerful. Several innovation platforms are showcasing products in the early stages of development where attendees can vote for their favourite one. This seems to me to be in the original spirit of Ecobuild. Young women wearing badged eye-catching attire seems less so.

On another positive note, I spent the morning in a Green Deal event attended by an influential group with meaningful things to say on the subject. Not all the stands are up to the mark but anyone who is anyone in the UK environmental space is here and that makes it well worth the trek.

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