UKCW Spreads Optimism Regarding the Future of Construction

Steph McGovern talking to Barbara Res on the UKCW Stage (Credit UKCW)

A record-breaking 34,000 industry professionals attended this year’s UK Construction Week (UKCW).

This year’s theme the ‘future of construction’ , across the nine different shows within UKCW was brought to life through an innovation trail, 3D printing, AI, AR, numerous construction site simulators, and robotic technologies.

There were more than 650 exhibitors demonstrating and launching over 10,000 products and services. CPD’s and seminars covering issues surrounding the Grenfell Tower fire and the repercussions of the Hackitt Review were popular. These sessions covered the review of building regulations and fire safety, quality and the consequences of poor building practices, insulation and cladding and more.

Other sessions generated calls for more responsive planning and housing policies, more integration across digital construction and software systems, and more consistency and guidance from the government, especially in procurement and standards.

Equality, diversity and inclusion were also major themes of debates on the UKCW stage. There was an interview with Barbara Res, the woman who built Trump Tower, a presentation by Lord Blunkett discussing the Heathrow Skills Taskforce, and the first award presentation for the UK Construction Week Role Model of the Year. The role models have already inspired a new generation of construction professionals. They were invited to attend the event as part of a successful student programme.

Stuart Gray, senior building services engineer, ROK Construction, said, “You can’t compare looking at the internet and websites to going around and chatting to people who really know what they are talking about. It’s really interesting to see the latest and greatest technology which is coming into the world.”

Looking towards next year’s show, Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director said: “There was a tremendous positivity around UKCW this year, with a real feeling that the industry wants to adapt and embrace a new way of building. The success of the Offsite section was testament to this, as was the interest in new technology, electric vehicle infrastructure, renewables, and the IoT Arena.”

Next year’s UKCW will take place between 8-10 October 2019 at Birmingham’s NEC.

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