Julie MacDonald, GiGL Data Officer
Held in London’s Excel centre, Ecobuild is the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, bringing together the latest ideas and innovations for the future of sustainable building. The exhibition ran for three days and attracted thousands of people from a wide array of industries and interest groups.
The successful integration of biodiversity, and an understanding of the services that ecosystems can provide, will be crucial to a healthy built environment. In recognition of this, the exhibition had a biodiversity pavilion hosting a series of talks, discussions and ‘expert surgeries’, all focused on the importance of incorporating biodiversity and how it can be achieved.
GiGL were lucky enough to be invited to run the ‘biodiversity surgery’ area for an hour on two of the days. Although officially Matt, Chloë and myself were giving advice on ‘green infrastructure and biodiversity – key habitats and priority areas’, the people we talked to were very interested in finding out more about who we were and what information and services we provide.
The event provided a chance to create new and develop existing professional collaborations. It was a great chance for GiGL to talk to a different audience, and, in one case, for our customers to put faces to names: Matt and Chloë were also very pleased to meet one of our data search customers during one of the sessions.
When we weren’t in the biodiversity pavilion we were able to enjoy the rest of the exhibition. A large aspect of the show was the hundreds of exhibition stands from companies ranging from those providing renewable energy technology and water saving devices, to building materials and paints.
Conferences and seminars also ran throughout the three days. These were divided into three themes: ‘making sustainable construction happen’, ‘beyond construction’ and ‘design, architecture and sustainability’. There were so many talks and seminars going on at once that it was hard to know which to attend. All of the talks we went to were not only really interesting and informative, but also very inspiring.
A favourite of mine was by Sir Terry Farrell, member of the Mayor of London’s design advisory panel, and lead on the design and planning of the Thames Gateway. He spoke about the transformation of London from the world’s first industrial city to ‘the world’s most livable metropolis’. It was very interesting to see the development of the city through the eyes of a landscape architect, and see his visual representations of patterns and places.
Ecobuild is an annual exhibition and GiGL hopes to be invited back again next year to represent our part in the sustainability and ecological health of London.
Next year the event runs from Tuesday 20th – Thursday 22nd March. More details can be found on their website at www.ecobuild.co.uk.