My current state of disillusionment has been brought on largely by a visit to Ecobuild last week. I haven’t been to Ecobuild for several years because I find it too depressing. Someone in my office asked me what Ecobuild was and off the cuff I responded:
“It’s a platform for the barely educated to sell their ‘expertise’ to the ignorant”.
After visiting the show again I am afraid I was not wrong.
Advertised as the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, Ecobuild is little more than a construction products trade show with a lot of eco-puff tacked on. Suddenly everyone who has ever eaten an organic vegetable is an expert on sustainability; an extract fan that has always been an extract fan becomes an ‘eco-extract fan’ and building with timber is the latest thing since, well, building with timber.
What is really interesting about events like Ecobuild is watching how manufacturers try to establish themselves in the ecosphere. There are a few manufacturers of really worthwhile products whose show stands are basically the same as they were 3 years ago – their products are the genuine article and they have no need to change. On the other hand we have the mass market suppliers desperately trying to find some form of green branding for their products, who are so intent on keeping up with the zeitgeist that they re-brand every few months.
My tip – buy products that that don’t include ‘eco’ in their title.