London Build 2021 – one of the UK’s leading construction and design events – just took place. If you missed it, read on to find out what was hot.
London Build 2021 – at the forefront of construction
This award-winning show is largely viewed as one of the best & largest construction exhibitions in the world. After last year’s online edition of the show, London Build 2021 came back this year to Olympia London. The event is the winner of Best Brand Expansion at the Exhibition News Awards. This year, it featured over 500 speakers across 6 main stages, with over 220 CPD sessions and hundreds of exhibitors.
The improving Covid-19 situation in England allowed the show to happen in-person, rather than online. In order to keep attendees Covid-safe, the organisation required proof of full vaccination or a negative lateral flow test.
One of the key selling points of London Build 2021 was the opportunity to network with thousands of senior decision-makers, buyers and influencers from across the UK’s entire built environment. For instance, attendees were able to engage with CEOs, Managing Directors, Associates, Engineers, Architects, Heads of Construction and many more. Renowned contractors such as Balfour Beatty, Costain, Mace, Skanska, Bouygues and Morgan Sindall, amongst others, were at the headlines of the show. Most of the largest engineering consultancies also had representation, including Arup, WSP, Atkins, Jacobs and Mott MacDonald. And public authorities were not left behind, with Transport for London, City of Westminster, Croydon and Enfield Council also attending.
A wide range of speakers and stages to satisfy everybody
A few of the better-known names under the spotlight included: Andrew Scott, Founder and Director at C-TEC, a world-class fire safety company; Alice Hands, Head of Ethical and Sustainable Procurement at Sir Robert McAlpine; Amanprit Arnold, Senior Infrastructure Planning and Policy Officer at Great London Authority; and Dr. Marzia Bolpagni, Head of BIM international at Mace Group.
One of the highlights of London Build 2021 was the variety of stages and sessions. With a total of 6 different areas, there was always something going on to please even the most demanding attendees. In a nutshell, those 6 thematic areas were:
- Sustainability Summit
- Future of Construction Stage
- Diversity and Inclusion Stage
- Built Environment Networking Hub
- BIM & Digital Construction Summit
- Fire Safety Summit
Diversity and climate change at the heart of London Build 2021
Probably one of the most surprising facts about London Build 2021 was that 50% of speakers were female – a really impressive number for the construction industry. And to celebrate this diversity, the show hosted once again the UK’s largest meeting of Women in Construction. A panel of industry leaders came together to celebrate the successes and discuss the challenges facing female professionals in the AEC industry. One of the most successful sessions in the Diversity and Inclusion Stage was ‘Breaking down barriers – support and development of a more diverse workforce.’ This session featured key industry influencers, including Helen Townend, Technical Director for Diversity and Inclusion at Amey PLC, and Frances McAndrew, Global Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Mott MacDonald.
Moreover, another well-received session was ‘The Climate Emergency –Lessons Learned from COP26’. London Build 2021 happened just at the right time as world leaders committed to climate action. COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference just took place in Glasgow between the 31st of October and the 13th of November. Amongst the panellists of the session at London Build 2021 we could see Sally Sudworth, Global Head of Sustainability and Climate Change at Mott MacDonald, and Kirils Holstovs, Engineer and UN Youth4Climate Pre-COP26 Event Delegate at AECOM.
BIM and innovation, also hot topics
Last but not least, BIM and digital construction were also hot topics at the show. As the industry recovers from the pandemic, there is a huge emphasis on ‘building back better.’ Above all, industry leaders agree that BIM, technology and innovation are the way forward. The opening event at the BIM & Digital Construction Summit was called ‘Digital disruption – trends shaping the construction industry.’ Anna Wylie, UK Digital Engineering Manager at PERI, and David Owens, Head of Automated Design and BIM at Costain, shared their knowledge and vision about digital innovation in the industry.
Finally, the closing event on that stage was the ‘Construction Innovation Hub and CIOB pioneering the UK journey towards construction.’ In this final event, David Philip, Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at AECOM together with Eddie Tuttle, Director of Policy, Research and Public Affairs at CIOB, discussed the latest innovations in construction and how we can shape the future of construction.
In summary, London Build 2021 met everybody’s expectations. From informative sessions given by industry leaders to networking hubs that facilitated the creation of synergies between industry professionals, the show delivered its promises. And now it is time to take action. Together, we can implement all the lessons learned from the event so that we can move forward as an industry.
Did you attend London Build 2021? Let us know your highlights in the comments sections below!