This year’s InstallerSHOW saw record numbers of visitors from elemental’s community. Here, Lucy Dixon sums up the event’s highlights for housing professionals.
Decarbonising housing – both newbuild and existing homes – was a key theme of last month’s InstallerSHOW, with a variety of features and content dedicated to the housing sector as well as hundreds of exhibitors with low-carbon solutions for domestic buildings.
The launch of elemental’s Housing Hub this year, offering an inspiring programme of talks on housing decarbonisation aimed at social landlords and housebuilders, was one of the biggest attractions for those working in housing, and here is my round-up of 11 housing highlights from this area and beyond.
- The future of retrofit. This Housing Hub panel session, chaired by former BBC journalist Roger Harrabin, looked at what we’ve learned from retrofit projects and where our efforts need to be concentrated in the future to ensure we decarbonise at the scale and speed required. The experts sharing their insight and perspective on this topic were: Dr Beck Collins, Senior Sustainability Adviser, Sustainability West Midlands; Becky Lane, CEO and Co-founder, Furbnow; James Higgins, National Insulation Association; Kim Nuut, Head of Partners, Q-Bot; Marta Granda Nistal, UKIMEA Studio Lead, Arup.
- NHIC conference. We hosted the NHIC Home Upgrades conference this year, with speakers including Esther McVey MP and Lord Andrew Stunell discussing the challenges and opportunities of the RMI sector and how we can raise standards while getting homes net zero ready.
- Solar Innovations. This was another new part of the show and was extremely popular. In association with City Plumbing and supported by Solar Energy and MCS, the Solar Innovations zone offered guidance to specification professionals working on domestic properties, as well as a look at the latest solar technologies.
- Who’s going to buy a heat pump? This Housing Hub panel discussion addressed the issue of consumer demand and what can be done to improve the customer journey in the roll-out of heat pumps. Our brilliant panel, chaired by Rachel England, consisted of Louise Shooter, Policy Manager, Energy UK; Dr Kate Morland, Research Fellow, Leeds Sustainability Institute, Leeds Beckett University; Dr Michael Fell. Founder, pump:chic; Ian Mather, National Renewables Strategic BDM, PH Jones; Dr Nicola Lazenby, Energy Innovation Programme Manager, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
- elemental drinks! Getting a chance to have a more informal chat with housing professionals in the elemental lounge at the drinks, sponsored by Corgi, was a lovely addition to the show.
- George Clarke talking in the Bathroom Zone. Architect and TV presenter George Clarke joined Tom Reynolds, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, to talk about sustainable bathroom design, water saving and lots more!
- Heat Pump Ready. How are we going to increase the take-up of heat pumps? That was the topic being tackled in the Heat Pump Ready Zone, in association with the Carbon Trust and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. Visitors to this area could find out about the innovative work taking place to overcome the challenges to heat pumps, whether that’s improving the customer journey, making life easier for installers or improving the technology’s performance.
- Gary Neville’s keynote speech. Former footballer and property developer Gary Neville spoke passionately about energy efficiency in buildings. He said: “The government and the private sector need to work together on this because it is costly to be sustainable…We need to be careful about preaching sustainability because we are expecting a lot of 65 million homeowners to fit insulation [and other measures] – it costs a fortune to increase energy efficiency in these properties and there is little subsidy in place.”
- The latest low-carbon products for housing. With over 450 exhibitors, there were so many interesting and innovative products for those working on housing projects – including loads of new launches.
- BEAMA’s Net Zero by Design theatre. Another content theatre with a huge choice of sessions focused on housing decarbonisation, including a look at the health risks of poor indoor air quality, where the panel provided clear guidance on what is expected under PAS2035 and Approved Document F of the Building Regulations.
- The Future is Electric. The electrification of buildings is a major issue for housing professionals, and visitors to this part of the show could find out how integrated EV charging infrastructure will play a part in both retrofit programmes and newbuild developments. We also had a couple of electric vehicles on display, and the chance to test drive a Tesla.
What housing content would you like to see at the show next year? Get in touch with me with your suggestions on firstname.lastname@example.org.