High-performance line-up of thought leaders for Materials 2017

A conference programme of industry leaders has been assembled that will “inspire, inform, and engage” at Materials 2017, the new event focused on construction materials launching in London from 25-26 April. With a panel consisting of architects and

engineers as well manufacturers and associ- ations, coming together to provide key industry opinion in what a comprehensive conference programme. The event was launched following research among 40,000 construction industry professionals, which discovered “a real need for an event entirely focused on materials for the structures, facades, envelope and finishes of buildings.” In fact 82 per cent of respondents said

they would be keen to attend such an event, and the conference and seminar content has been carefully programmed to provide insights on the cutting edge of materials solutions. Key individual materials will be discussed in depth, with a focus on innova- tion, performance and current trends, but also a keen eye on the future.

There will be discussion of the potential to 3D print full scale buildings

Key topics and leading speakers

Current topics for specifiers such as ‘the future of clay materials within architec- ture’ and ‘low carbon materials for a healthier world’ will be featured in confer- ence sessions and an array of panel debates. Following a keynote address from the BBA’s CEO Claire Curtis-Thomas, the first day (Tuesday 25 April) consists of sessions on the core materials of brick, composites, timber, glass and steel. The eclectic variety of sessions on Wednesday 26 April will begin with 3D printing, then moving onto concrete, insulation and stone, followed by BIM, smart materials, bio-based materials and finishing with low carbon materials. Speakers from the architectural sector include Andrew Waugh, director of Waugh

Thistleton Architects, who will be looking at the increasing role of timber in building design in the UK, from cladding to the frame itself. Elaine Toogood, senior archi- tect at the Concrete Centre will be taking part in Wednesday’s panel debate on how concrete is evolving including a look at “extraordinary surface finishes” and case studies of “super thin, high-strength con- crete.” And Tom Woolley of Rachel Bevan Architects will be being discussing bio- based and smart materials. Craig Liddell, CLT solutions manager at

Legal & General Homes will be on hand to offer some first-hand insights into the company’s investment in a pioneering factory producing modular homes with BIM technology to help alleviate the housing crisis. He will explain the “revolu- tion underway in UK housing.” Speakers have been confirmed from inno-

vative leading design and engineering firms including Arup whose Lexi Harrison will give what promises to be a typically engag- ing view of the current state of design using brick. With architects “reinventing the lan- guage of brick,” and increasingly employing architectural ceramics such as terracotta and faience, enlightened manufacturers are building on the resurgence in ceramic art, and merging digital fabrication with traditional crafts. Michelle Greef, MD of design firm Hobs

Studio will give a fascinating glimpse of the future, showing how architects are using interactive 3D printed models as tools to better describe their projects at design stage or to win competitions. Live 3D printed models will be on show and there will be discussion of the potential to 3D print full- scale buildings. Geoff Morrow, director of structural

engineer StructureMode will present a project in Cambodia that involved the use of fabric to quickly cast reinforced concrete beams and columns on two buildings. Geoff will explain how the method, which deskilled the formwork installation process on site and allowed prefabrication of the fabric by local tailors, has potential other commercial applications. In another session, AECOM’s global

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects, Lexi Harrison of Arup, Craig Lidell of CLT Solu- tions, Claire Curtis-Thomas of BBA

Architects are “reinventing the language of brick”

BIM director David Philp will provide some information on how BIM is changing procurement with reference to the life cycle of materials in construction. And Professor Pete Walker of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at Bath University will look at how low carbon materials such as earth and crop- based products have seen increasing inter- est recently. He will also however explore the barriers to their growth and why they have remained a niche market. Within the section focusing on the ever-

popular material of glass for architects, one highlight will be Tim Mcfarlane, of struc- tural engineering consultancy GL&SS, which has been hailed as revolutionising the use of structural glass. Also speaking will be Bruce Nicol of Dow Corning on the future for glass in construction, and Duncan MacKellar of Armourcoat revealing what is claimed to be an “ultra high-performance” cement composite material. A host of other leading manufacturers

from Recticel to Tata Steel will also be appearing over the two day conference programme, and the first day will feature a Pecha Kucha evening event.




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