Innovation is the key theme for this year’s UK Construction Week (UKCW) which returns to the NEC in Birmingham from 9 to 11 October.
UKCW will champion innovating and pioneering ideas, projects and products via a new Innovation Trail which runs through each of the nine shows: Build Show, Energy 2018, Timber Expo, Building Tech Live, Surface & Materials Show, HVAC 2018, Civils Expo, Plant and Machinery Live, and Grand Designs Live.
New talent in the industry will also be celebrated through the Role Models initiative which is actively supporting a new wave of leaders to engage with the next generation and to illustrate the diverse career opportunities available in the built environment.
Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said: “There’s been a lot of focus on what’s not right in the construction industry in recent times. The Hackitt Review and ongoing inquiry continues to demonstrate the need for radical change in the way we design, construct and maintain buildings – change that will touch every part of the industry and its supply chain.
“But if we are to learn the lessons from the past, we also need a platform to see, touch and debate the new ideas and solutions in development for the future.
“UK Construction Week brings together all stakeholders within the built environment across every facet of design, build and product innovation. As the largest event dedicated to knowledge sharing, championing good practice and problem solving, it’s the environment for the whole industry to look, talk, plan, learn and do business; providing answers for what, when, where and how we build our future.”
Discussions around important issues such as the digital future of construction, diversity, Brexit, tackling the housing crisis and new industry delivery models will take place on the main stage. There will be a heavy focus on the lessons learned in the past year such as fire safety and how the industry is moving forward.
Speakers already confirmed include: Phil Wilbraham, expansion programme director at Heathrow; Bridget Rosewell OBE, commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission; Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president; and Ruth Davidson, National Housing Federation executive director. Steph McGovern, BBC Breakfast presenter and journalist, will chair the conference programme as in previous years.
Beyond the main stage, each of the nine shows will be tackling specific issues within its sector of the industry.
These issues will also be addressed through an extensive free CPD programme, with topics chosen by professionals in the industry. Industry organisations such as the BRE, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, Association for Specialist Fire Protection, Chartered Association of Building Engineers, Concrete Centre, Passivhaus, Association for Project Safety, British Woodworking Federation, Finishes & Interiors Sector and BBA will deliver CPD sessions at UKCW.
Nathan Garnett said: “If you work in the construction industry, it’s a must-attend event. It’s an opportunity to try out tools and machinery, see new products, discuss a deal with a supplier, meet with your peers and hear what’s going from leading industry experts.
“For any forward-thinking business, the knowledge that will be taken away is invaluable.”