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Ecobuild – the blog


Overview of Ecobuild

Before going to ExCel, the Ecobuild website was great for deciding what to see but on arrival the exhibition was a touch overwhelming! There were huge numbers of solar pv stalls & rather too many ‘big boys’ who had tagged green credentials onto ‘business as usual’. Some of the talks which sounded fascinating turned out to be slightly dull & I’m sure the ones I missed were wonderful! You can now download many of the presentations. Highlights of the 3 days were Baroness Susan Greenfield on ‘The age of unreason: the psychology of climate change’ and the ‘Can Science Save Us?’ lecture by Prof Brian Cox.

For me it was rather too full of massive stalls & greenwash, with the really interesting small companies huddled around the edges of the halls. Quite different to earlier years where the focus had been innovation & energy saving. I did manage to catch up with some of my favourite projects & materials, particularly Bill Dunster’s StramitZED, the enocean PV powered wireless window contact systems (potential for wireless monitoring of when blinds are up or down), some glorious green roof systems and my husband’s ‘signpost’ on the UKGBC stand for his Sustainable Housing award for the Threshold Centre, Gillingham.

UKGBC signpost

UKGBC signpost for Threshold Centre

Meeting for a catch-up with Bill Gething & Craig White again was great & I finally got to meet ECDA’s Mark Elton! Mark managed a much more coherent couple of Ecobuild blogs than this one, and I enjoyed Harriet’s coverage on Footprint. Met several new peeps previously met only through twitter, including the lovely Mel Starrs & Liz Male.

I’ve re-ordered the live blog entries so they are less like a back-to-front email;

Day 1: 9.00am 01.03.11 It’s an hour before the opening and I’ve popped into the Fox for some free wifi & to upload a photo of the stand. This was the state of play on our Technology Strategy Board ‘Innovation Future Zone‘ stand when I left yesterday evening & I’m expecting it to be quite different this morning (I hope!). Will update later, perhaps after my two minute explanation with two slides…

Ecobuild stand underway

Day 2 09.00  Just about to head back in to The Zone – a couple of pics from the afternoon networking & presentation from my fellow ‘innovator’. Had a great TSB get-together at the end of the public part of the day but chatted so much I didn’t take any pics. Lovely to meet up with Bill Gething & fellow tweeps @lizmale & @TweetEco (Craig White). Nice to see Ric’s  Sustainable Housing Award for his Threshold Centre showcased on the UKGB stand.

TSB stand networking
‘Innovator’ speaking at TSB stand
threshold centre
Bruges Tozer Threshold Centre signpost on UKGBC stand

Day 2 14.30 Have just given my first quick presentation on the stand – 2 minutes! All went well & of course the stand was pulled together & now looks something like this;

IFZ stand
Innovation Future Zone stand completed

I’ve already had some fascinating chats & plenty of interest in the blinds. I managed to name drop Bill Gething as the inspiration for the blinds from when we worked together messing about with velcro & roller blinds for the superinsulated houses we built in Milton Keynes back in 1985. The lessons about heat escaping from windows still haven’t been learnt. Once I’d worked out a potential solution (after a struggle for a while trying to import some alternatives from a US company),  I just felt compelled to make them myself.  Here is my mini-sample on the stand (it’s red!);

blind on stand

Day 2 13.00  There are too many stands to see, too many talks & too many people here! Networking opportunities at every corner but I’m detecting a considerable amount of greenwash, perhaps I’m over-cynical, at least the big boys are clearly taking CO2 reductions seriously. Exhausted & tending to focus on food quality now…. I’ve just had a chicken & halloumi salad which didn’t have any halloumi!

TSB stand full
TSB stand busy, Ian Meikle in the centre
TSB stand full
Lots of talking, some great comments about the blinds
outside ecobuild
Outside was busy too, smoking & phoning mainly

Day 2 18.00  Buoyed up after wonderful, very full, lecture by Prof Brian Cox, “Can Science Save Us”, mainly about the awesomeness of the universe and the Hadron Collider, I finished the day with a good chin-wag at the UKGBC stand with friends & strangers. Still not met Mark Elton! PS. Quote of the Day (#QOTD) from last questioner to Brian Cox after some very high-powered questions about climate scepticism, Hadron, energy etc. “Sorry Brian but I’m going to be totally unprofessional….. I LOVE YOU!” ….. hall erupts in laughter 🙂

Day 3 15.00  Wow….. just back from the UKTI Green Shoots Award Lunch (I didn’t win) in the best location in Excel (and probably the best food too). The funders, organisers & innovators were all there & we took time out from the stand. Such contrasts…..

Lunch from the UKTI

view from lunch venue
overview of South Hall

TOP TIP – it’s great to be an exhibitor as you can wander round before anyone arrives & see the exhibits in peace AND you can party after they’ve gone! (ref: UKGBC)

Day 3 17:00  …. and its all over. The queue for the DLR is horrendous so I’ve retreated for a bit of blogging. The power of twitter at work – a message from @DrLucyRogers pointed out that @philcampbell was at Ecobuild & doing quick interviews so I tweeted him & over he popped. Listen! A nice ending to a great event….. now back to the sewing (as @mark_elton just pointed out!)

Day 4: Finally a few more pictures from the event – plus me & Prof Brian Cox! Sadly only momentarily in the same room 🙂

my ecobuild stand

My mini-stand at Ecobuild

Brian Cox

The Prof in action!


StramitZED construction

green roof

Delicious green roof stand

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