27 January 2011

BAU 2011. Munich, Germany.

Last week representatives from Black attended BAU 2011 in Munich, Germany. Billed as the World's Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems, the fair had over 2,000 exhibitors from more than 40 countries and more than 230,000 visitors from around 150 countries.

Every two years this event brings together market leaders from the construction industry to participate in a unique display covering more than 180,000 square metres of exhibition space. Having attended EcoBuild and Interbuild in the UK, we were hoping that the BAU fair, would provide a range of building products not seen before and more at the cutting edge of technology, a chance to showcase the future of the industry much like the international car shows.

Unfortunately walking round the exhibition for several hours we found that it was more a collection of standard products or slight variants from previous years, this was rather disappointing as the fair was billed as a ‘collection of market leaders’ as well as being based in Germany, which it seems is home to most of the building product manufacturers.

That a side, there was definitely a good selection of bags that could be collected as well as a few Flags! And even after a rigorous selection process of what brochures to take home you’re still left with the dilemma of where to put them in a paperless office. The following highlight some of our favourite finds:

Of the exhibitors that were present, Schüco, was one that caught our eye, not just for the sheer size of their stand, 1400m2, but for the advancement of there products. They seem to have addressed their position in the market and provided Architects with a range of windows, façades, and solar products that deliver energy saving along with energy generation. This vision is called in Energy² - a model which is incorporated in all Schüco products.

Eurolam have extended their already smart and well engineered louvre window system by adding what they call ‘the worlds first planted louvre’. A green louvre which brings a little more nature back into the environment.

Swiss manufacturers Lingatur, produce modular timber box sections that join together to create insulated or un-insulated structural floors or ceilings. Cleverly they offset one of the webs to provide a duct for cables to run along.Eurban are the current UK supplier.

Ground screws from krinner, provide an alternative to concrete foundations for temporary or medium sized structural loads.
Lamberts produce U profiled glass with a number of finishes and colours, providing an alternative to Pilkington’s Profilit or Reglit.

It will be interesting to see how many of the 2,000 manufactures and their products will make it to Ecobuild in March.
One thing we can applaud BAU for was the incentive to travel to the exhibition by public transport.

With your ticket you got a day pass to use the Munich transport network for free, somehow an incentive I cannot see ExCel, Network Rail or the Mayor coming to an agreement on!

For anybody thinking of going to Munich, I would fully recommend it, the people are very hospitable, the food is wonderful and there are some great buildings to look at.

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