| Ecobuild Round Up 2010
Ecobuild might already feel like a distant memory, but it’s worth reflecting on some of the highlights. The biggest thing that struck me this year was the scale of Ecobuild and the phenomenal buzz around the whole event, right across the 3 days. An event that has grown from 950 attendees 5 years ago, to well over 40,000 people this year, and over 20% more exhibitors than last year. All this in the midst of a horrendous recession, surely demonstrates that sustainability and prosperity can go hand in hand, and gives us cause for optimism.
For the UK-GBC, celebrating our 3rd birthday it was an important week on a number of fronts. The Government’s Home Energy Management Strategy, launched by Ministers at Ecobuild, included a commitment to primary legislation to enable a Pay As You Save scheme to address the upfront cost of low carbon home refurbishment as recommended by UK-GBC. Pay As You Save, now in essence adopted by all the main political parties, has demonstrated once again that we are able to make important strategic interventions, founded on practical advice from industry stakeholders.
The role and influence of UK-GBC was further underlined at the launch of our green building manifesto, at a special breakfast event at Ecobuild. Greg Clark MP, Shadow Energy & Climate Change Secretary, and Simon Hughes MP, his Lib Dem counterpart, recognised the informed leadership position we consistently take on behalf of our members. And Paul Morrell, chief construction advisor, had little argument with the thrust of our key demands.
Jonathon Porritt provided the icing on the cake with his address at our 3rd birthday reception, at which he commended our ability to be both consistently practical and challenging. Jonathon has subsequently written on his blog: “The UK Green Building Council is now providing the kind of leadership (across this complex industry and beyond) that the politicians need in order to stay in touch with the developments on the ground. The UK Green Building Council launched its new Green Building Manifesto at Ecobuild – and it’s well worth a look.”
I hope it was a good Ecobuild for you, and we look forward to seeing you there again next year!
A selection of EcoBuild highlights are available to download from the UK-GBC website. Some of these are available for members only so you’ll need to log-in in the box in the top-right of the screen. If you have forgotten your password or you haven’t registered before, follow the relevant link and you can do so instantly.
• The Green Building Manifesto launch
• World Green Building Council contributions
• The Great British Refurb event – existing homes policy
• The 3rd Anniversary Reception – Jonathan Porritt and Dan Labbad speak
• Zero carbon in the new non-domestic sector
• Sustainable Community Infrastructure
New Literature Online
Many of you will have picked this up from our stand and we’ve also put one full set in the post for every member organisation, but if you want a handy online version of any of our new literature, click on the links below.
• An Introduction – new one-sided introduction to the UK-GBC
• Priorities 2010 – what we’re up to this year
• Green Building Manifesto
• Sustainability Training and Education (STEP) – introduction to the first two courses we’re launching this year
• Membership – updated information on membership.
• Task Groups – a short summary of all our reports to date
Home Energy Management Strategy
‘Warm Homes Greener Homes: A Strategy for Household Energy Management’ was released on Tuesday of EcoBuild by Government. This long awaited publication sets out a strategy to cut carbon emissions from homes by 29% by 2020. We warmly welcomed the strategy in large part because of the commitment to legislate for a Pay As You Save (PAYS) scheme, which describes a system in which the cost of energy efficiency and low carbon measures is paid for over a long period of time – removing the upfront cost for the householder and allowing them to save more on energy bills than they make in repayments. We have been campaigning on this issue for some time, including this task group report in summer 2009. Clearly, there is much work to be done after an election – whichever party is in power – but this is a significant step forward and could lead to a burgeoning new market in low carbon refurbishment, to the benefit of many of our members. It’s also worth reading last week’s Building magazine editorial on PAYS.