On the 9th March we took an office outing to Ecobuild at ExCeL in London. Ecobuild is the leading UK exhibition and conference for the construction and energy market, inspiring tens of thousands of industry professionals from across the supply chain. Ecobuild focuses on six main priorities which are as follows; wellness, energy efficiency, infrastructure, technology, housing and sustainability.
ARCHITECTURAL FOOTNOTE: Did you know that the construction market is forecast to grow by over 70% by 2025?
For us this was a journey of discovery and we found plenty of interesting, exciting and even adorable things along the way.
As we made our way around the exhibition we had many ongoing and upcoming projects in mind and so were on the lookout for anything that spiked our curiosity or would help us with design elements for these, as well as anything that we thought was generally interesting or innovative. Not knowing what the day would bring we started walking and very soon discovered something magical… a floating tap!  This brought to our attention a porous driveway material company which helped us understand the material and come up with a possible solution for projects that required this specification.
We carried on walking seeing many stands promoting a variety of different products including bird boxes in the bricks of a building which I thought was very clever and interesting, and solar panels that attached to a carport. Our next stop was something that Mark had talked about wanting to find and try out beforehand and so, even though it wasn’t something we would use ourselves, we had to have a go at it, virtual reality glasses.  Janine and I both had a go. I found it a little weird as I didn’t know where I was walking or what was going on around me but it was fun to see what the product was about and be able to walk around a house without actually being inside one.
ARCHITECTURAL FOOTNOTE: Did you know that London is forecast to be the leading global city for construction?
The next stand which we found particularly helpful was a window and door manufacturer who produced windows that were top-hung but open straight outward slightly for high security but good ventilation, which we liked the idea of for flats or high level windows.  They also made hidden hinge doors for a clean look. The thing which most interested me though was a window that could be turned all the way around for the purpose of easy cleaning. This means no need to climb a ladder to keep your windows looking spotless which makes someone who is scared of heights like me very happy. 
One of our projects required a lift but had a small space in which to fit one in so all day we were on the lookout for some inspiration in this department. As we rounded a corner we found just that in the form of not only a small lift but also one that was stylish and was able to be personalised. Lighting colours could be changed, background pictures could be added and many more alterations could be made (I wouldn’t say no if I had the chance). 
Making our way past a dinosaur, yes that’s right, a dinosaur,  we found a front door company with some pretty cool technology to go with it. These doors were state of the art with finger print recognition, self-closing and locking and built-in letter boxes as just a few of the options available to take your fancy.  Whilst we were talking to one of the representatives from the company we picked up a new work colleague in the form of yet another teddy bear, who enjoyed a spot of lunch with us once the excitement was over. 
One of the last stands that we went to was a company who was advertising heat saving waste pipes for showers. This meant that the heat from the hot water going down your drain could be collected and used to heat up the water for your next shower, meaning that your boiler had to do less work. That’s pretty clever if you ask me. 
ARCHITECTURAL FOOTNOTE: Did you know that up to 2.5 million new homes will be built by 2025?
Now on to the cute but pointless part… Just as we were about to leave Ecobuild we stumbled across the Dulux stand and guess who was waiting to greet us; A GIANT dog! I couldn’t help but go and say hello, have a stroke and get my picture taken with this beautiful creature.  That concluded our visit to Ecobuild 2016.