UK Construction Week 2019
If you're not yet registered to attend the UK's largest construction event, here are seven things to convince you to pop over to the NEC on 8-10 October.
We all know we need to get out more. How else will we meet new people, learn new things, find new ideas and discover new products? It can be difficult to justify time out of the office with all those deadlines looming. The smartest solution for busy Architectural Technology professionals is choosing days out that can be crammed with as much value as possible. By taking advantage of UK Construction Week (UKCW), supported by CIAT, you can tick off all the above at one event.
1. Products, products everywhere
Staying up to date with all the latest technology is essential to find the right product for the job. So, if you need to source a new heat pump, find a new sustainable material, or even new BIM software, then look no further than UKCW. The event has over 10,000 products being showcased, making it the ideal marketplace. With eight different sections to the show, everything you need is right there. For the second year, MaterialDistrict will have a presence at Surface and Materials. MaterialDistrict is the world's leading platform in the field of innovative material needs with material solutions. The exhibition is entirely dedicated to materials for architecture and design and will take the show's theme of innovation to present the very latest products in the global marketplace.
2. That lucky encounter
Visitors at UKCW say they won new work as a result of a planned meeting or a chance encounter. People do business with people – and with 35,000 visitors set to attend UKCW, that is a lot of potential leads. Meeting face to face is the most engaging way to do business and UKCW can facilitate that. If you have spotted a business that you want to connect with, contact them through the exhibitor's portal and arrange the meeting in advance. To help with meetings, there's a new business and networking lounge with free wifi.
3. Genuine innovation, not another widget
You could leave the future of the sector as a surprise. Where's the business sense in that? Disruptors are now present in many different markets, so this year UKCW is shining a spotlight on the serious change-makers in the built environment. To aid the search, a new Innovation Zone has been established in partnership with the Construction Innovation Hub (the Hub).
George Clarke's educational charity, MOBIE, has also teamed up with the Hub to inspire future designers. The Student Design Challenge asked students to design the ultimate 21st Century house. They had to consider technology, affordability, size, space, family growth, sustainability, comfort, individuality and aesthetics. The winning design will be on display at UKCW.
4. Your own personal industry MBA
With so much going on in the world of design, specification and construction, the comprehensive conference programme and free CPD sessions will give further insight into key topics such as the circular economy and biodiversity, with the opportunity to ask experts questions.
Hear from speakers from Homes England, Atkins, Multiplex, Mott McDonald, BRE, Passivhaus Trust, Project Etopia, bio materials expert Adaptavate, consultancy Action Sustainability, plus many more. Understand more about deleterious materials, BIM, AI, modern methods of construction (MMC), the UK housing crisis and the economic forecast for the construction industry.
This year there will be more than 150 hours of CPD content available. The programme will take on a different theme for each day of the show, tackling fire safety, health and wellbeing and sustainability. There are mini-theatres covering regeneration, MMC, digital construction, energy and HVAC, surfaces and materials, timber and the workplace. Calor Gas will be offering RIBA and CIBSE-approved CPD presentations on off-grid energy supply. Rointe Heating UK will be hosting a RIBA-assessed CPD seminar in the Energy Theatre on design innovation in electric radiators.
The show will also address day to day issues faced by practices such as mental health, work balance and diversity. The new UKCW Careers Centre provides workshops on topics such as career progression and attracting and retaining talent. There is an advice centre too for a more in-depth chat with specialist advisors.
5. A bit of myth busting on MMC
Everyone knows that MMC are back in vogue, but what is the reality this time? MMC is a strong theme at this year's UKCW. Full-scale builds will be erected onsite with live demos of MMC technology in action. Head to the MMC Hub for other digital demos and simulations too. Examples of the pre-manufactured structures at the show range from a modular care annex for the healthcare sector and a SIPS panel residential building, to a factory-finished modular bathroom pod for the high end hotel sector, and offsite solutions for the education sector.
6. An experience not easily forgotten
So, when did you last get to run a building site? Head to the Coventry University site simulator, hailed as one of the most powerful experiences of any construction show. If you're feeling brave, you can step into the site hut and take on the role of the site manager. Not for the faint hearted!
7. Celebrations and a beer festival
Everyone enjoys a good awards night and UKCW is no exception. The show hosts the UKCW Role Model of the year, the new Building Trades Awards with Fix Radio and the new UKCW Construction Awards. Plus, to encourage young people into the built environment sector, the iBuiltThis competition is back and the winners will be announced at UKCW. You can unwind each day with a beer, some street food and a spot of music. The Fischer bar is in Hall 11 and the Rawlplug bar is in Hall 12. Don't forget the Beer Festival, sponsored by NBS, and of course the 'Rockaoke' on Wednesday night.