With new Green Deal incentives providing strong stimulus
This year’s Big Green Home Show (26th-28th October 2012) at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC)* took place against the backdrop of the recent DECC announcement of hundreds of pounds of cash-back on energy saving home improvements under the Green Deal from January 2013.
NSBRC Marketing Director, Verdi Taylor commented:
“These are tough times for everyone but in spite of the weather and the recent recession still depressing the housing sector, our visitor numbers exceeded expectations. Feedback demonstrated that people are still looking to invest in property. But one notable emerging trend, undoubtedly partly fuelled by the Green Deal, shows that this investment is becoming more innovative – with a marked increase in people looking to make eco improvements to their existing property”.
The Show was held at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon, the UK’s only permanent venue designed specifically to meet the needs of those looking to undertake a self build, renovation or home improvement project.
Verdi Taylor adds: “The show featured expert speakers, innovative projects and cutting edge retailers. And we created seminars and features specifically designed to inspire our visitors to move their projects forward”.
A mock up of a new exhibit – the Green Deal Street Scene – due to be installed at the NSBRC at the end of 2013, was unveiled at the Show. The Green Deal Street Scene will communicate recognised Green Deal upgrade options to consumers in three dimensions within life size construction exhibits. It will be designed to resonate with all types of house owners and demonstrate best practice solutions which will be clearly marked with both installation costs and potential energy savings.
“It is not too late for industry to apply for their product to be incorporated within this feature” says Verdi Taylor. “It is our intention, however, for this new exhibit to highlight a broad range of materials and technologies”.
The BGHS hosted a wide variety of seminars across the three days. Topics covered included analysingthe eco technologies on the market at the moment and highlighting what new systems could be soon available.
Experts took visitors through choosing construction materials and technologies, as well as current building regulations. Case study speakers candidly showcased their real life projects, discussing the eco initiatives that they incorporated and highlighting what worked well and what didn’t – and what they learnt along the way.
For those earlier in their build, advice was given on how to find a builder and difficult questions were discussed – such as – “are you actually the right person to project manage your renovation?”
Tim Fenn in the Green Deal Theatre provided the most popular of all the talks – with standing room only – on both Saturday and Sunday. Visitors were able to ask about Green Deal financing, the qualifying technologies and equally importantly, the potential pitfalls.
Visitor Ian Woodmansey said: “(he) picked up dozens of ideas which will help make my renovation project significantly greener. “
Graham Hendra from Freedom Heat Pumps explains further: “It’s a good show because you can get all of the information on all of the technologies in one place. The Internet is fabulous but has too much information…sometimes you need someone to point you in the right direction and steer you away from things that aren’t right for your project.”
Exhibitors were chosen for their strong product offerings and their keenness to fully engage with the self build and renovation community. At this year’s Show, they were more heavily involved than ever before, with visitors given every opportunity to ‘pick their brains’ Many exhibitors chose to launch their new initiatives at the Show including markilux – the market leader in the manufacture of outdoor awnings and screens.
Nigel Shaw, UK Sales Manager, markilux said: “As the weather get’s warmer and technology gets better, people are increasingly viewing their garden as an additional room in their house, and we view our products as improving the ease of fully utilizing that space. We chose the NSBRC as the location of our Southern showcase because of the quality of the visitors that come to the Centre. The Big Green Home Show also gave us a great opportunity to meet with our end customers to see how they were currently receiving our brand”.
The NSBRC arranged for a unique team of experts to be on hand to advise visitors – from architects and planners through to eco consultants, sustainable homes specialists and renewable technology advisers.
Ever popular were the Walking Seminars, expert led tours taking visitors around part of the permanent exhibits. On this educational journey, visitors saw life sized cutaways of everything from site set-up to foundations and building systems, showing the visitor how a project develops.
Tours of the ‘wrecked’ Renovation House also proved particularly popular. This house is used to explain many of the potential pitfalls (and the costs associated with rectifying them) that a home renovator might face. Visitors then saw the house brought back to life in front of their eyes – showing that there is potential in even the largest of housing projects.
Many visitors, both inside and outside of the industry, have already announced that now they have seen the centre they will be returning regularly: “I had a great time and met up with some clients old and new. I was really impressed by the centre and I will certainly be back before too long.” Guy Helliker, Self Build & Design
The next show will be:
The National Self Build & Renovation Show from Friday 12th – Sunday 14th April 2013