University expertise helping us build for a greener future

The University of Reading’s cutting-edge research and teaching expertise in sustainable design, construction and the built environment will be showcased at the sector’s biggest event next month.
Running March 5th-7th at the London Excel, Ecobuild brings together 1,500 exhibitors and last year attracted over 57,000 visitors from all over the world. 
During Ecobuild, visitors can see what’s on the menu at Reading’s Research Café.  Visitors will be invited to choose demonstrations from a selection of research examples and interactive displays that showcase a diverse range of research outputs, including a wind turbine, a Microsoft energy monitor and bat-friendly roofing material.

Over the three days University of Reading experts will also be presenting and chairing sessions on The Business Case for BIM: Economic and Environmental Drivers, the Role of Commercial Property Retrofitting in Low Carbon Urban Transitions and Sustainable urban form – compact city or garden suburb?
The University is bringing together a network of its academics (called SustBE) to tackle some of the major issues the world faces relating to sustainability in the built environment. Led by Professor Tim Dixon from the School of Construction Management and Engineering, the network incorporates academics working across a range of themes from including energy systems, city planning and ‘green’ behaviour.
Professor Dixon said: “Ecobuild is a great opportunity for us in a number of ways.  By taking our research out to the sector we can demonstrate the myriad of ways our research is having impact, both directly through new materials and technologies, and indirectly through influencing policy and legislation.” 
The University of Reading prides itself on producing highly skilled graduates. The first cohort from the University’s Technologies for Sustainable Built Environment (TSBE) Industrial Doctorate Centre will graduate this year. This next generation of researchers and engineers will be the face of the University during the event, with current PhD and EngD students from TSBE running the stand.
Professor Dixon added: “Ecobuild also provides a fantastic opportunity for our students, to communicate their research to the wider industry, whilst the seminar and conference programmes enable them to engage with the broader debates surrounding sustainability.”
While Reading remains at the forefront of research it prides itself on its commitment to low carbon campuses. The University, one of the world’s top 1% of universities, has won a host of ‘green awards including the Carbon Trust Standard and the gold Ecocampus Award while the Whiteknights Campus has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag for two years’ running. 
Ecobuild will see high profile speakers such as Rt. Hon. Edward Davey MP (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change), Jonathan Dimbleby and Joanna Lumley providing a multitude of perspectives on the topic.  
Reading’s Professor of Sustainable Construction John Connaughton sits on the Ecobuild Advisory Board and recognises the importance of including academic institutions in events such as Ecobuild.
He said “Ecobuild has been the premier event for sustainability in the built environment for some time, and goes from strength to strength each year.  The presence of universities such as Reading helps ensure that the Ecobuild conference and seminar programme is relevant and cutting-edge.”

One of only six universities exhibiting, the event organisers similarly see the benefits of welcoming students: “UBM are delighted to have the University of Reading, along with other universities attending Ecobuild 2013.  We are all working towards a future of sustainable building and construction and recognise that the students of today will be responsible for this future.  We have been extremely impressed with the commitment demonstrated by students and want to promote their ideas to the thousands of visitors who attend Ecobuild.” (Jo Mayer, Marketing Director, Ecobuild 2013)


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