Building for success

Building for success

Ecobuild, the world’s leading showcase for sustainable design and construction, will take centre stage again at London’s ExCeL in March. Installer looks at why it should be in your diary.

2014 promises to be an exciting year for the industry. The Government’s flagship environmental initiative – the Green Deal – will be a year old, and the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is launching for domestic properties in the Spring.
Add to this rising energy prices that have pushed the average dual bill over £1,500 for the first time ever, and the fact that the UK has some of the oldest and most wasteful buildings in Europe, and it’s clear that energy efficiency is going to be one of the hot topics next year.
Ecobuild 2014 is the world’s leading event for sustainable design, construction, energy and the built environment, and should be the first port of call for installers looking to get ahead of the game.
Returning to London’s ExCeL from the 4-6 March, the three-day event is the perfect opportunity for installers to meet suppliers, merchants, and a whole range of industry experts, and discuss the latest developments in the world of sustainable building.
But with so much under one roof, it’s important for visitors to plan for the event to make sure they get the most from their visit, and a good place to start is Plumb Center’s Practical Installer Arena.
Practical Installer
Produced by Plumb Center in association with Ecobuild, Practical Installer is a unique ‘working’ showcase demonstrating the installation and operation of renewable and energy efficiency products in a retro-fit environment.
It’s been one of the most popular attractions at Ecobuild in recent years, and Practical Installer is returning with more than 14 suppliers, a bigger floor space, and an ever bigger emphasis on how installers can benefit from the impending launch of the RHI in the spring.
Installers will be able to see live demonstrations on how to fit technologies – such as solar thermal and heat pumps – as well as real life ‘before and after’ scenarios that show both the impact on a property’s energy efficiency and the economic benefits  that result from the installation of specific products.
“Taking a couple of days off work to attend Ecobuild is an investment in the future,” said Simon Allan, Plumb Center’s Renewables Director. “So it’s a must-attend event for installers.
“The ability to talk face-to-face to technical experts for advice on maintenance and installation is a huge advantage, and ensures installers know how to keep heating systems running smoothly –  whether it’s a high efficiency boiler or ground source heat pump.
“The Green Deal and RHI are creating great business opportunities for installers, and Practical Installer will have all our renewable products on view so visitors can learn more about the latest sustainable products on the market.
“Many of our branches bring their customers to Ecobuild because – as an industry – we all have to work hard to improve the efficiency of our homes, and protect the public from rising fuel costs, so getting us all under one roof is a great place to start.”
Industry experts
One of the big advantages of Ecobuild is that it provides a platform for installers to meet with leading industry representatives and discuss the latest ideas and technologies on offer.
Exhibitors from every sector of the design and construction world will be there from the UK and abroad, so there’s a lot to discuss whether you’re looking for air conditioning and bioenergy, or heating systems and bathroom fittings. Installers will be able to see, touch and play with thousands of the latest products and come away knowing exactly what’s out there.
The Plumb Center stand will be situated opposite Practical Installer for the first time, featuring Green Deal software to help installers get the most from the initiative. It’s also a good idea to visit the manufacturers’ exhibits to find out what products and ideas they’re promoting in 2014.
The best advice is to plan your day carefully because there’s so much on offer in such a large arena that it’s easy to get distracted.
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Installers can register their interest in attending Ecobuild 2014 by visiting the website www.ecobuild.co.uk. The site also has lots more information about the show as well as all the highlights from last year. [/box]
Feedback
With today’s tough economy, it is important than ever for installers to differentiate themselves in the market and offer customers a wide range of services.
Father and son team Graham and Kevin Cooper – from Graham Cooper Heating and Plumbing LTD – are regular Ecobuild visitors for that exact reason.
“We visit Ecobuild for product knowledge and information,” Graham explained. “It’s the only place you can go where everyone’s is under one roof and available to answer your questions.
“If they say they’re going to contact you they usually do, even if they can’t answer my questions there and then.
“We have to know what products are available to offer to our customers. We won’t be able to sell to customers if we don’t know enough about them.
“There’s no problem taking the day off. If you can’t afford to take one day off then you need to look at your finances; it’s important to be there.”