Ecobuild 2012 – Visit Report

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While the ZED area and a couple of other stands were rather interesting at a whole, however, from my position, this trip to and visit of this year's Ecobuild was rather a waste of time.

The lack of a proper press office, even though journalists had the use of the VIP lounge, did not help either. A press office, staffed with people in the know, makes any event for a journalist and the lack of it makes life rather difficult as one cannot then, properly, target the right people.

I would like to stress again that bamboo flooring and such and concrete are NOT green and environmentally friendly. Far from it. When bamboo comes in a solid trunk from which planks can be cut we can talk about it again.

Bamboo may be a sustainable product but only if we use products made from this grass, for it is a grass, that are made in the traditional way of the countries and cultures where bamboo has been used for hundreds, nay thousands, of years.

As far as concrete is concerned it cannot, ever, be seen as green at all and that not even with the greatest stretch of anyone's imagination; at least as far as I am concerned, and I know I am not alone there.

If we really want to create a sustainable future with sustainable buildings, whether homes, offices, or what have you; sustainable cities, towns and villages, the we will have to stop pretending that certain processes and products are green and sustainable when they are not.

Earth-sheltered houses and buildings per se, and the ZED type of buildings, may fall into the sustainable category but that again only if and when we are actually using sustainable materials, and that includes, as in earth-sheltered and earth-berthed building the use of old tires, bangs filled with sand, earth-filled plastic bottles, etc.

Products and processes, however, which harm the environment, even if they can create a “passive house” are not part of being sustainable. There are enough ways of making building sustainable and building sustainable building without using materials and process that harm or have harmed the environment.

At times, in the same way with some other shows, I am beginning to wonder it one is just trying to sell space rather than actually check the companies involved.

© 2012