Building’s publisher buys world’s largest showcase of sustainable products

Building’s publisher UBM has acquired Ecobuild, the largest showcase of sustainable building products in the world and the UK’s fastest-growing exhibition.

Ecobuild - which will next be staged at London’s Excel centre on 20-22 March 2012 - will present green products and services from more than 1,300 manufacturers and suppliers, as well as a conference programme featuring more than 800 speakers.

More than 55,000 professionals from the UK and beyond attended the 2011 event, confirming its status as the industry’s annual meeting place.

Ecobuild’s rapid growth has been driven by its founder International Business Events, under the leadership of David Wood, Moira Edwards and Michael Costain.  The expansion of the event has been underpinned by the accelerating adoption of sustainable construction products and techniques, as well as the increasing focus on sustainability within the regulatory regimes for the UK and European construction industries. Strategy consultant AMR International forecasts that the UK sustainable construction market will grow 30% between 2011 and 2015.

Launched at The Old Truman Brewery in east London as a small “green construction” conference in 2004, the event has expanded impressively to a 2,8000m2 event at Excel, and has attracted support from central and local government, as well as leading industry associations such as RIBA, RICS and the UK Green Building Council.  Ecobuild has also expanded its international reach, with a quarter of exhibitors now coming from outside the UK, along with 10% of visitors.

Adrian Barrick, CEO of UBM’s built environment division, said: ”I am delighted that we are joining forces with Ecobuild. It is a fantastic event, and just what both the industry and government needs in order to drive forward the sustainable construction agenda, the strategic importance of which was highlighted in the recent low carbon construction action plan launched by business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk.”

“There is a natural fit between Ecobuild and UBM. The combination of Ecobuild and our magazines, web- and mobile sites and specialist live and virtual events will allow professionals to meet and discuss best practice all the year round. We will also be able to offer all our customers the best possible value through our combined offering. I can’t wait for March 2012.”

UBM will also use its global network to take Ecobuild to new markets, starting with the launch of Ecobuild China in April 2012 alongside Expobuild, the leading, 19-year-old construction products show in Shanghai.

“With our infrastructure, we will be able to offer Ecobuild’s customers, and our own, an unrivalled opportunity to enter some of the most dynamic growth markets for sustainable development.” Ecobuild’s global expansion will be led by Eliane Van Doorn, UBM Built Environment’s international director, who previously spearheaded the global adaption of CPHI, the market-leading show for professionals in the pharmaceutical industry.

David Wood, managing director of Ecobuild’s founder International Business Events, said: “This is a great opportunity for Ecobuild to develop further, and to capitalise on the strength of UBM’s built environment portfolio to do that. Of course, we’re delighted to be part of the UBM family and all the opportunities that will bring for Ecobuild and its customers, but right now we’re getting our heads down and planning for another great event next March.”

As a result of the acquisition the Ecobuild team will move to UBM’s central London headquarters. David Wood and Moira Edwards will remain with the business until after the 2012 event, when Michael Costain will become Ecobuild’s event director.

Ecobuild joins a stable of leading Built Environment brands including Building, Property Week, Building Design, Barbour ABI – the top sales leads service – and the only digital event for industry professionals committed to sustainability, Sustainability Now.

The Built Environment division also includes Interiors, the leading show for the interior design sector, the education show BFE, RESI and the newly-launched Future Health & Care.