UK Construction Week

UK Construction Week, the most popular event in the construction calendar, returns to the Birmingham NEC this October. PBC Today takes a look at what’s in store

No matter what those in the built environment are working on, there’s only one roof you’ll want to be under from 10 October. The Birmingham NEC is hosting UK Construction Week, the largest and most anticipated event in the construction calendar.

Here you’ll discover the industry’s most innovative products, from cladding to timber and services, experts sharing insights on all the big issues including health and safety, CPD-certified workshops to enhance your skills, and the chance to network with an estimated 35,000 fellow professionals. All for free.

Nine shows under one roof

Nine shows will take place from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 October: The Build Show sponsored by Easy-Trim; Timber Expo; Smart Buildings 2017; Grand Designs Live; Surface & Materials Show 2017; Energy 2017; Plant & Machinery Live; HVAC 2017; and Civils Expo.

There will be more than 650 exhibitors, including construction’s biggest names and greatest innovators such as Easy-Trim, CAT, Gripple, Jigtech, Knauf Insulation, Portakabin Group, Screwfix, Velux Modular Skylight, Steico, BAXI, CEMEX and Festool.

This year, there are extra zones and theatres, including the Offsite Theatre in association with the Modular & Portable Building Association and the BIM Prospects Theatre delivered by BRE. The event will feature demos of the latest in construction techniques, materials and new products to benefit every conceivable area of housebuilding. There will also be international pavilions from Turkey, China, Belarus and Poland.

Three major motifs

Building safety

Building safety is an absolute priority at this year’s event. Industry professionals will benefit from free CPD advice covering changes to legislation on safety, guidance on product safety, fire prevention strategies and your role in the construction process, among other insights. UK Construction Week has put together a comprehensive CPD programme that will tackle these issues in the form of one-hour workshops, which will allow visitors to share knowledge and ask valuable questions from a range of industry experts from BRE Group, CIAT, FIS, ASFP, CIC, APS BAFSA and manufacturers including Knauf Insulation, ROCKWOOL and Kidde Fire Safety.

Offsite construction 

Another major theme at this year’s event will be offsite construction. There will be a dedicated theatre and awards programme supported by the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA) and the Structural Timber Association (STA), while exhibitions will showcase the latest developments in the sector from industry experts including Portakabin, Containex and Wernick Group.

The MPBA and STA have been working closely with UK Construction Week to establish a major presence to promote this growing sector at the event. The industry has embraced the latest technologies to build quicker, more efficiently and at a quality not achievable before. At the event, the MPBA and STA will seek to educate and inform a wide variety of construction professionals visiting the show about ongoing and future challenges, as well as the quality of products and components that all contribute to the success of this evolving sector.

Elsewhere, industry experts will take to the stage to discuss and debate a range of hot topics, such as what volumetric construction is and its uses in education, healthcare and residential, and why offsite construction will become the way to build in the future. Special guest speakers already include Andy King (MD, Wernick Buildings), Phil Smith (Senior Estates Advisor, NHS), Bob Mears (MPBA Marketing Committee), Michael Hunter (Hemsec SIPS), Steve Newell (Director, Portakabin), Tom Bloxham (Chairman, Urban Splash), Rory Bergin (Partner, Sustainable Futures), Jackie Maginnis (CEO, MPBA) and Richard Hipkiss (MD, Digital Energy).

The present and future of BIM 

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) is hosting the BIM Prospects Theatre. Leading companies such as Wienerberger, Kier Construction and Carillion will provide expert insights on the skills gap and delivering BIM Level 2, while bringing the audience up to date on the government mandate requiring collaborative 3D BIM.

Seminal speakers 

UK Construction Week has an impressive line-up of speakers for 2017, including architecture expert Tom Dyckhoff and speakers from Zaha Hadid Architects, drMM, Arup, Pier Architects, Design for Homes and the HS2 Growth Partnership, discussing every topic from sustainability to housing strategy.

What else is happening? 

UK Construction Week is bringing back the Innovation Trail, a showcase for the newest and most exciting construction-related products on the market.

Zip Panelling will bring its latest composite panel board design, which is set to revolutionise external, party, internal, cladding and flooring construction.

Grundfos will introduce SCALA2, a new fully integrated, variable speed water booster pump that has been specifically designed and built to deliver perfect water pressure to wherever it is needed in the home. Meanwhile, Central Alliance will showcase the latest in mobile mapping with its ROBIN LiDAR mapping system, and Graphene will display its 3D printed graphene shoe with pressure sensor. This is an example of how adding graphene to pre-existing materials can increase its functionality.

Exova, one of the world’s leading providers of testing, calibration and advisory services, will have live installation demonstrations that will take place on their stand on each day at UK Construction Week. This will include a full-scale simulated cross-corridor set-up, which will be used to demonstrate best practice installation of passive fire protection measures.

On Tuesday 10 October, the BSI will host an interactive day exploring some of the key trends coming up in the built environment. Sessions include standards supporting global growth, collaborative working in the supply chain, digitalisation and BIM.

This year’s show will also launch IEMA’s latest research report on the role sustainability skills are playing in enabling the “UK’s Golden Age of Infrastructure”.

Taking place on Wednesday 11 October, it will include presentations from industry leaders who are already actively pursuing the opportunities of embedding sustainability across infrastructure projects, consultancy skills, contractor operations and more.

Additional zones and theatres include Health & Safety, Windows & Doors, Roofing & Insulation, Tools, the Builders Merchants Federation Pavilion, a Development & Regeneration Hub, a ‘How to’ Theatre sponsored by Trimaco featuring product demonstrations, and the Education Hub offering CPDs in partnership with BSI.

Social networking 

Collaboration and knowledge-sharing make the industry stronger. UK Construction Week will encourage exhibitors and visitors to have some downtime at the beer and ale festival, open each day and both middle nights, plus a dodgeball tournament and casino nights on 10 and 11 October with Genting International Casino.

A number of new, specialist awards will also feature at this year’s event. These include LOWCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards and the WAN Transport, Concrete in Architecture and Adaptive Reuse Awards.

The UK’s best companies in the industry will also be recognised at the Construction Enquirer Awards on the opening night of the show.

Register to attend at


UK Construction Week

Tel: +44 (0)20 3225 5200

Twitter: @UK_CW


Linkedin: ukconstructionweek

Youtube: UCW


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