UK Construction Week kicks off at NEC Birmingham with biggest names in industry and latest innovations.
The UK’s largest construction trade event UK Construction Week has begun, with thousands making their way to Birmingham to hear from industry experts and see the latest innovations in the construction industry.
Architect and television presenter George Clarke cut the ribbon at the main entrance of the show and proceeded to host a heavyweight panel discussion on the main stage centred on Chancellor George Osborne’s quote that the UK doesn’t “train enough or build enough or invest enough”.
The panel included Adrian Belton, Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Dr Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association (CPA), Paul Nash FCIOB, President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and David Hancock, Head of Construction at the Cabinet Office.
During the panel Dr Diana Montgomery commented: “In these halls you see so many examples of construction products that highlight the innovation in our industry. Unfortunately, relative to other industries like pharmaceutical, construction has so much conflict at the heart of its supply chain. We need to become more integrated, not just for the big iconic projects but for the more mundane stuff and eventually housing.”
Other notable seminars that took place across the 13 seminar theatres present at the show include the first in a series held throughout the week entitled ‘A Tale of Three Cities’. Today focused on Birmingham and what lessons could be learned from one of the UK’s most active cities. Over the next two days Manchester and London will also be discussed. Over in the Home Building Theatre a seminar lead by John O’Brien, Associate Director for Construction Innovation at the Building Research Establishment (BRE), looked at the latest innovations in offsite housing construction and how this technology will revolutionise the sector.
Alongside the grand opening, a team of cyclists led by Peter Murray, Chairman on New London Architecture and Chairman of the Construction Youth Trust Andy Wates, concluded their 126-mile charity bike ride at the NEC this morning.
Peter commented: “Although we are all experienced cyclists it was a tough ride but well worth it. We’ve raised over £7,000 so far for the Construction Youth Trust, which does a great job of encouraging young talent into the industry. We also did the ride to raise awareness of the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) initiative, aimed at reducing collisions involving vulnerable road users and construction vehicles.”
In addition to all the day’s content, visitors to UK Construction Week can look forward to a host of evening entertainment and awards ceremonies being held at the venue each night. Among those at the festival will be today’s winners of the 5-a-side football competition held in partnership with Construction United. The team from BRE won today’s trophy and a £500 voucher redeemable at the festival.
UK Construction Week runs from 18-20 October, combining nine shows at one location.
The show boasts over 650 exhibitors and visitors are able to attend Timber Expo, the Build Show, Civils Expo, the Surface and Materials Show, Energy 2016, Plant & Machinery Live, HVAC 2016, Smart Buildings 2016 and Grand Designs Live.