In a bid to provide momentum to the Green Construction movement in India, UBM India has announced EcoBuild India 2013 – an exhibition and conference on sustainable design, construction and the built environment. Sanjeev Khaira, Managing Director, UBM India speaks to Vandana Joshil about the expo and the company’s future plans.
With the booming construction industry in India, it is the right time for an expo like Ecobuild which focuses on innovation in design and low carbon technologies. How have you planned the expo and what type of exhibitors are you expecting?
Ecobuild is the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to the future of sustainable building design, construction and the built environment. Launched in 2004, Ecobuild in the UK is held annually in March at London’s ExCeL and is attended by the most influential individuals and organisations from the design and construction sector. To provide a platform for the sustainable built environment in Asia, Ecobuild China was successfully launched in April 2012, and now in 2013, we will introduce Ecobuild India.
We feel the time is right to bring the event to the Indian market, as always, we took the decision to launch following significant research and consultation with key stakeholders in the sector. It is clear that that the construction sector in India is set for unprecedented growth. The industry is currently worth more than US$ 300 billion, this is estimated to increase to US$ 500 billion by 2015. At present there are nearly one billion square feet of projects that are registered for LEED in India, with nearly 1500 projects in the pipeline trying to get LEED rating. Achieving this rating is only possible if every aspect of the building conforms to the required sustainability standards.
At a macro level, 380 million people live in cities with inadequate urban infrastructure. This figure is anticipated to rise by 60% by 2030. Fifty three cities in India have a population of over one million and by 2030 this is expected to rise to sixty eight. The country is struggling to meet the growing demand for critical resources and also needs to manage rising energy costs. All these conditions convinced us the we need launch Ecobuild India, next April, in Mumbai.
Sustainability in construction is a very vast area. Are you going to touch on all the verticals of green construction?
We are looking at several hundred companies to take part in the first edition. The Expo will cover over 7000-8000 metres and will target a B2B audience. The exhibition will showcase all aspects of a sustainable building – from renewable energy generation, water management, building services, systems control, finished products – with timber sourced from sustainable sources rather than from the rainforest, external building systems- cladding and self cleaning glass.
Visitors will be architects, specifiers, developers, construction technicians, builders, manufacturers and distributers – we are targeting people who make significant purchases and handle large scale implementations. Often people come to an exhibition to get an update on the latest technology in the market, and we expect many of our exhibitors to launch their latest products at the expo – particularly the international exhibitors. Ecobuild already has a relationship with international players in the UK and China, and they have shown a positive response to the Indian market and want to work with us here.
What will be the focus of the technical seminars?
We have designed a comprehensive content programme based on two broad themes – Beyond the Built Environment – achieving India’s Sustainable future and the second is Making Sustainable Design Construction happen. This will not only include a lot of theory but will also talk about what actually happens on the ground, in a commercial context. For instance some solutions that work in other parts of the world might not actually work in India because of the climatic conditions etc. There will also be a comprehensive seminar programme that will be technical and have an educational focus. I am really excited about the Experience Zone where companies will showcase actual products. In this zone, we will recreate parts of an actual office space to give a complete understanding of what’s actually involved in the layout and mechanics of an installed system.
There will be a combination of Indian and International experts, thought leaders in and outside the industry. Also, there will be developers, architects, environmentalists and technical people. We aim to have a mixed broad base of speakers so that we have interesting and informative sessions that provoke discussion and dialogue.
What are UBM’s plan for the future and the areas it wants to explore as India needs to be introduced to many more advanced technologies?
UBM India has grown considerably since we set up in India in 2006. We now annually deliver 25 exhibitions, over 80 conferences and another 20 round table discussions/awards type events. We organise 125 events in all, and have four magazines and eight web portals. Essentially, we bring buyers and sellers together and we collect communities around areas of interest. Globally, we operate in 40 different verticals; and currently in India we are operating in 18, so we see plenty of opportunity to look at other markets and expand the number of verticals in which we operate. We are also looking at expanding our profile within the verticals we are currently in.