UK Construction Week (UKCW), now in its fifth year, is back with a bang and taking on all the big issues for the construction industry.
From diversity and skills, to modern methods of construction (MMC), from mental health advice to sustainability, UKCW is tackling it all.
Held at the NEC on 8-10 October, this year’s all-encompassing show is one not to be missed.
Straight-talking on mental health
With mental health a key priority for the construction sector, the Mind Your Head mental health and safety campaign is launching at UKCW. Designed to promote mental wellbeing for those working in the construction industry, with a particular focus on men who are at greater risk of suicide, the campaign is designed to be straight-talking, no-nonsense and accessible.
As part of the campaign, Carwyn Lloyd Jones, the creator of the Tiny House at last year’s UKCW will be using his talents to create an artistic installation of swings to encourage open discussion about mental health.
There will also be a range of seminars discussing the unique challenges of mental health in the construction sector. On the main stage on Tuesday 8 October, ‘Wellbeing in Construction: Tackling work-life balance, mental health and diversity’, will be chaired by Dr David Hancock, head of construction – infrastructure and projects authority at the Cabinet Office.
On Wednesday 9 October, join Jane Leech, public health development manager at Public Health Portsmouth for ‘Maintaining good mental wellbeing is a skill, a skill that we and our workplaces can learn’. Kevin McAlister, founder of Lift Your Wellbeing will discuss ‘Constructing a wellbeing culture’. And join Brian Parker, business development manager at AFI Group for ‘Mental health in the work place – an industry perspective’ in the Working Well Together theatre.
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Sustainability in construction
This year, UKCW is placing sustainability at the heart of the show. Firstly, a new app will guide visitors around the show, replacing the printed show guide. The app alone will save five million sheets of paper.
Coming to UKCW 2019 is Mission Sustainable. The mission is to encourage all exhibitors and visitors to be as eco-friendly as possible. Examples include: a reduction in single use plastic at the catering points; water fountains located around the show and visitors encouraged to use refillable bottles; visitors encouraged to return lanyards and badges at the end of the show for reuse; visitors and exhibitors encouraged to travel by public transport or car share; exhibitor show stands to be reusable.
Also new for 2019 is the Electric Vehicle (EV) Arcade located outside Hall 12. As the adoption of electric vehicles gathers pace, charging points will become mandatory in new homes, and Boris Johnson is keen for the UK to lead the world in the adoption of electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support them. The EV Arcade will showcase the options on the market, including leading providers of charging points and renewable energy in this field.
Innovating for the future
With disruptors now present in many different markets, this year UKCW is shining a spotlight on the serious change-makers in construction. The aim is to promote productivity, speed, quality, sustainability and social cohesion, showing how innovation can create new value in the industry and stop the short-term, purely cost-driven ‘race to the bottom’.
To aid the search for what is genuinely new and valuable, a new Innovation Zone has been established in partnership with the Construction Innovation Hub – an organisation focused on transforming construction through digital and advanced manufacturing technologies. The Innovation Zone is a non-sales environment where visitors can explore the new ideas, learn and be inspired.
UKCW is one event with many sections, including Build sponsored by Easy-Trim, Building Tech, Civils, Energy and HVAC, Surface and Materials, and Timber. It also features Concrete Expo (8-9 October only) and Grand Designs Live (9-10 October only).
Single registration at, www.ukconstructionweek.com, gives access to all areas of the show. For further information follow @UK_CW or search for the hashtag #UKCW2019.