Michael Portillo tells Ecobuild audience Government must build more council homes

Former defence secretary turned television personality Michael Portillo called on Theresa May’s Government to take a more interventionist stance in the housing market – and build more council homes.

That was the essence of a speech Portillo gave during his appearance at Ecobuild yesterday, where housing, particularly sustainable housing, found itself top of the agenda.

Earlier in the day, Tony Pidgley, chairman of Berkley Homes, calling for Government to slash more red tape to avoid “clogging up” the planning system. Speaking at The Arena, the theatre area located in the heart of this year’s Ecobuild event, Pidgley labelled current processes “a crime” and called for the Government to use the recently launched housing white paper to bring the industry together and streamline regulation.

Beyond The Arena it was standing room only at many seminar sessions, with Performance Lab, Explore Offsite masterclasses and the Build Circular areas proving particularly popular as visitors to the show explored the fresh ideas and emerging technologies within the built environment.

Alongside the busy Ecobuild Conference and seminar programme, the first day of the show saw several launches including the unveiling of a Green Infrastructure Design Challenge by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Hadley Group also launched a design competition for student architects with a prize worth up to £6,000.

Day one of the show was packed with new product launches such as an innovative range of advanced thermal imaging cameras for electrical, mechanical, and building applications from FLIR Systems and a new concrete for the power sector from Hanson UK. Smart Systems also unveiled its new Visofold 6000 system at the event while design studio Freiraum Kollective showcased its Pallet Homes Project to create homes in Kenya.

“[The day’s] show was a roaring success, with lots of thought-provoking discussions and debates on regeneration and redefining sustainability, plus some fantastic new products that are the very best examples of innovation and creativity,” said Martin Hurn, managing director of Futurebuild, owners of Ecobuild. “[Wednesday] is set to offer another day of agenda-setting discussion and new innovations. It will also be set against the back drop of The Budget so we’re expecting further debate on the Government’s role and commitment to the sustainability and the built environment.”

Ecobuild is running from March 7-9 at ExCel, London.

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email

Features

2017-05-31 13:33

The rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise by two per cent on June 1 to 12 per cent on all non-exempt transactions. Martin Bennison, managing director at construction finance firm Ultimate Finance, explains what this means for UK construction companies.

2017-05-25 08:41

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in popularity and is now mandatory for centrally funded public-sector projects. Experts and the curious are gathering more and more frequently at dedicated congresses, exhibitions and workshops. Many people are now asking: Where does the UK stand on the issue of BIM and the digitisation of the construction industry?

2017-05-10 10:47

Opening site doors to more females is vital to plugging the construction skills gap, reports Claire Cameron

THE construction industry continues to be plagued by a well-documented skills gap with some suggesting the shortage could get worse before it gets better.

2017-05-08 14:27

If you work on a building site, are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you might be surprised to know you work in the ”gig economy”. This is the economy characterised by temporary work and irregular hours, pay and working conditions.

2017-03-29 10:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 09:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 10:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 16:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?