ISG sustainability team wins Best sustainable stand accolade at Futurebuild 2024

Last month, our sustainability team took home the accolade for Best sustainable stand for UKGBC at the Futurebuild event, built in collaboration with Chetwoods Architects and Interface. 

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People discussing sustainability in the construction industry

Futurebuild is the built environment’s premier event, providing the stage for inspiring ideas, innovative solutions and knowledge sharing to drive sustainable construction. The event brings together various organisations across the entire supply chain to showcase and debate the innovations in sustainable construction to ensure a future of net zero. Futurebuild aims to drive the sustainability agenda, with a strong commitment to ensure our built environment remains on track to achieve net zero goals. This is our fourth consecutive year attending Futurebuild since 2019. 

The theme for the UKGBC stand was ‘Systems Change’, with the team wanting this to be reflected in the content and physical design of the stand. It was designed to support and integrate with various activities taking place during the event. Futurebuild attendees were encouraged to craft, collaborate, and sketch their perceptions of what a regenerative built environment looks like.

We became involved when we were contacted by the local network coordinator for Chetwoods, who was working with the UKGBC team on planning Futurebuild. As a member of UKGBC with excellent joinery expertise, we were identified as a suitable collaborator for constructing the stand.

Our joinery team commenced work on building the stand modules in Whitstable, before delivering them to the ExCeL a week prior to Futurebuild. The stand was then assembled on site by UKGBC joiners. The entire build process took three days in the joinery workshop, followed by a day of constructing the stand at the ExCeL.

Adhering to circular economy values, the stand was constructed entirely from reclaimed timber sourced from the Community Wood Recycling Network, a nationwide network of 28 social enterprises recycling wood since 1998, helping the planet by saving carbon and collecting around 20,000 tonnes of wood every year. It was built to be disassembled and reused year on year, reinforcing our efforts to transition towards a regenerative built environment system. Futurebuild attendees were encouraged to craft, collaborate, and sketch their perceptions of what a regenerative built environment looks like on the featured ‘Utopia Wall.’ This provoked some stimulating insights into what attendees envisaged the world to be like in the year 2050.

An interesting aspect of the design was that all materials incorporated in the stand itself, were sourced second hand, or provided by accredited UKGBC members who continue to support the transition towards a regenerative built environment system. Continuing with the theme of repurposing items into the stand, the furniture used was sourced from Go Green Managed Services, a commercial furniture reclamation company that preserves furniture from offices, retail units, and reception areas, stopping it going to landfill. The decision was made for the stand to be preserved in storage once the event concluded, ready for re-use at the next two iterations of Futurebuild in 2025 and 2026.

People listening to a sustainability talk
Additional members of the team also participated at Futurebuild, as Francesca Lofiego, digital construction manager, joined a dynamic panel from Women in BIM, a global community empowering female BIM and digital construction professionals. The panel explored ‘Digital Methods for Sustainable Design and Construction in a Changing Climate’, and spoke on a variety of important topics, such as leveraging digitalisation in construction to reach net-zero targets. The result of the conversation was clear, to make a real impact, we must shift mindsets within the industry. Harnessing data is key to effectively driving transformative change, and when seeking to achieve net zero carbon targets, it’s vital to implement new technology like BIM. For example, BIM can assist in saving quantities of materials used in a building, exporting precise quantities, ultimately stopping waste. 

"We are committed to promoting the reuse and repurposing of excess and unwanted waste timber as a part of our Sustainability Action Plan. We are dedicated to working with the Community Wood Social Enterprise, including Roots Timber, as our preferred supplier for future projects."

Andy Whitehead, Joinery Director, ISG

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