MARCH 2023


Our highlights from Futurebuild 2023​

After attending Futurebuild 2023, an annual sustainable construction trade show and conference event at the ExCel centre in London, I thought I would share our highlights. 


BEWISO triple-glazed sliding sash windows

One product that I came across for the first time was GEORGE, a triple-glazed sliding sash window product with a whole-unit U-value of only 0.78W/m2K, manufactured by Austrian-based company BEWISO, that specialises in energy-efficient  door and windows for historic buildings. 


Space-saving and life-saving LUMI-PLUGIN downlights

At the stand of LUMI-PLUGIN, an amazing range of space and life saving downlights, I welcomed the news that the company will be launching  LUMI-AIR, an air vent plugin in the near future.


Energy-efficient timber frame building kits by WE BUILD ECO

I also visited the STEICO stand and had a good chat with some of the members of a newly formed collaboration called WE BUILD ECO that creates energy-efficient Passivhaus-suitable timber frame building kits that are manufactured in a factory-setting and assembled on site to create buildings that are natural, healthy and sustainable. The collaboration includes four companies including: STEICO, the world’s leading manufacturer of wood fibre insulation as well as structural timber I-joists and laminated veneer lumber (LVL); ECOMERCHANT, a leading supplier of natural and sustainable building products in the UK; KITHURST HOMES, an innovative timber frame manufacturer; and BUILD COLLECTIVE, a bespoke engineering consultancy. 

Back in January I was fortunate enough to visit the factory where these energy-efficient timber frame building kits are produced using a state-of-the-art Hundegger Turbo Drive machine which has a flexible 5 axis saw unit that can make cuts at any angle. In addition to cutting, the machine also individually labels each component of the building kits, making assembly on site much easier.


Leading industry organisations join forces to develop a UK Net Zero Carbon Building Standard

In addition to visiting exhibition stands and learning about some great products at Futurebuild, I also attended a few talks, including one on an initiative to develop a UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard (NZCBS). The building standard does not yet exist, but, recognising the need for a single agreed method of establishing whether new or existing buildings are net zero carbon,  a number of leading industry organisations have come together to jointly work towards the development of such a standard. 

These organisations include: the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the Carbon Trust,  the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Low Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)

The Initiative was launched in May 2022 and in a call for evidence was announced in November 2022. This ended in January 2023 and during the talk (March 2022), it was explained that so far three key things have been established:

(1) that the Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD) will be the main means of collecting carbon data.

(2) that the RICS Whole Life Carbon Assessment (WLCA) 2nd Edition, which is currently out for consultation, will be the adopted methodology for carbon measurement.

(3) that the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard (NZCBS) will set the performance targets and limits, which will likely evolve over time in line with the industry’s required decarbonisation trajectory.  

The standard will apply to both existing and new buildings but not infrastructure. It will initially focus on the most common building typologies and those for which robust performance data is already available. 


Overheating Infosheet

Finally I also attended a talk on Minmising and mitigating overheating risk in homes. This was very informative and inspired me to create an Overheating Infosheet, which can now be downloaded by clicking on the below button. This infosheet focuses on Part O, a brand new part of the Building Regulations that deals with overheating in new residential buildings.


About the author

Oliver Murray is a Cambridge-based Architect and Self Build Coach who specialises in High-Performance Self-Build Homes and provides Self Build Coaching alongside his architectural services to help his clients progress through their self build journeys with clarity and confidence. If you are interested in working with us, you can book a Getting Started Consultation by clicking on the photo below. This is a 45 minute online video call during which you will have a chance to speak directly with Oliver about your self build aspirations and how you can get started.

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