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bautec / Grünbau Berlin 2016 provides fresh momentum


The organisers of bautec 2016 and Grünbau Berlin can look back on a highly successful four days. 35,000 visitors were able to find out about innovative products and services and the very latest industry developments from 500 exhibitors from 17 countries. Both exhibitors and trade visitors expressed their satisfaction with the fair.

The event focused on the concept of energy-saving that integrates the building exterior with intelligent systems engineering, sustainable and energy-efficient solutions, and climate protection. The offering catered for a broad spectrum of target groups, from architects, planners and tradespeople to home-owners: Exhibits included the latest building materials for roofs, walls and facades, services engineering for sanitary, heating and air-conditioning systems, as well as systems and technical equipment for new construction and the renovation of older buildings.

Highly topical themes such as the current housing shortage in urban areas and the lack of specialist personnel in the sector were also covered in the specialised supporting programme and with a special themed exhibition entitled "Housing construction: affordable – quick – sustainable."

The first edition of this special show was warmly received, in particular by politicians. Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), and Gunther Adler, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, visited 18 companies in Hall 24 where they found out about forward-looking solutions and received practical advice. Dr. Barbara Hendricks: "bautec is the leading trade fair for the construction industry. All the decision-makers are here. I found the special show in Hall 24 particularly interesting. We need to construct high-quality housing at great speed and low cost. There were lots of examples which impressed me."

Karel Heijs, division head at bautec: "The positive feedback from exhibitors and trade visitors showed us that bautec understands the market needs of this sector and that both the special show and supporting programme are able to successfully reflect this. We will be striving to continue along the same path in 2018."


Grünbau trade fair

This year's bautec also featured the fifth edition of Grünbau Berlin entitled "Designing, building and maintaining outdoor spaces". On 5000 m² of exhibition space manufacturers, service providers and dealers showcased their ideas and products in urban design, sports and recreational facilities, playgrounds, construction machinery and maintenance equipment.

As part of Grünbau an event entitled PLAYGROUND:TALKS took place on 16 February in conjunction with the children's rights organisation Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk and the trade publication Playground@Landscape. Here various speakers from the fields of landscape architecture, academia and government addressed topics such as "participatory playground design", "the investment backlog" and "inclusive playground design". The highlight of this event, with over 100 participants, was a podium debate on whether there is too little free space for children in towns and cities. Under federal state law Berlin should be providing 350 hectares of play areas but in fact offers just 240 hectares, or two thirds of the legally required space, said Thorsten Kühne, city councillor for the district of Pankow. Some inner city areas, he continued, provide just 30 per cent of the stipulated area. "There is too little space for children and older people, we need to meet the needs of all generations," said Hans-Peter Barz, director of the green spaces department of the city of Heilbronn. In light of the huge outlay on species protection, the question that arises is: "Do we afford ourselves the same consideration?" Urban planner Peter Apel believes that other free spaces such as fallow land, open spaces and roads must also be taken into consideration. Meanwhile, the sociologist Peter Höfling believes the lack of play and open space is already taking a huge toll on today's generation of children. This is illustrated by the rising prevalence of overweight in children and the steadily decreasing ability of children to deal with risk. Jörg Lippert of the Berlin-Brandenburg association of housing providers believes that the time has come to reflect on existing regulations and to make better use of existing grey zones and flexible areas. "We need to be more audacious," summarised Peter Apel. Under building law, he said, the views of children and young people must be listened to as part of public participation and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which also has force of law in Germany, proclaims the right of children to play and age-appropriate active recreation.

Peter Menke, Chairman of the Die Grüne Stadt foundation, was upbeat about his experiences at bautec, stating: "This is my third time at bautec and I always see progress. The fair has expanded again, attracts people from more and more regions, draws national attention and has many international visitors. I would like to see a livelier display of green areas at the fair. In that respect Grünbau Berlin is a welcome section of the fair which I would like to see expand."


Further Grünbau statements

Esther Piehl, project manager of bautec:

"With its focus on residential construction and green urban development bautec 2016 addressed the key themes for the construction sector and therefore provided valuable impetus for the region and nationally. GRÜNBAU BERLIN convinced landscape architects and planners with an exciting programme of presentations and an attractive exhibition on green urban development and playground design that meets the needs of children and young people."


Claudia Neumann, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk e.V.:

"Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk is delighted with the exceptionally positive response to PLAYGROUND:TALKS. For the fourth time Messe Berlin provided us with the opportunity to present play space-related topics and to talk with representatives from the fields of planning, government, education, politics and the housing sector. This enabled us to establish a key specialist forum in northern Germany."


Jens Zumblick, Ulrich Paulig & Co. merry go round OHG:

"As a company with deep roots in the Berlin region we were delighted with the large number of visitors at bautec. The playground talks in the supporting programme played a particularly pivotal role in enabling us to reach our target group from the region. It would be good to further establish bautec as a trade fair in the east of the republic. In future events it will be essential to largely dedicate a hall to the play and open space theme. Bautec will not be an alternative to GaLaBau in the foreseeable future."


Klaus Peter Gust, SIK-Holzgestaltungs GmbH:

"GrünBau Berlin 2016 was of particular interest for many trade visitors from Berlin and Brandenburg. The themed programme of presentations in Hall 25, some of which were very interesting, also attracted many interested users and planners from other regions. The presentation forum and our stand were well attended so boredom certainly wasn't an issue.

The key topics discussed included:

-          Outdoor play and the removal of children's playgrounds

-          There should be no nursery schools without playgrounds

-          Official award of contracts only to FSC-certified companies on principle

In future there is sure to be a greater focus on these key topics for the healthy development of our children and for the protection of our ecosocial environment.

The Deutsches Kinderhilfswerks' Right to Play Alliance drafted a resolution on children's rights and the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Building published form 248 (statement on the use of wood products) on the FSC topic.

For the children's playground equipment manufacturing industry the event was a little disappointing despite Messe Berlin's laudable endeavours. Unfortunately the most well-known manufacturers still aren't very interested in coming to Berlin. The event didn't merit comparison with FSB-Cologne or GaLaBau-Nuremberg. And there was nothing that the interesting presentation programme, organised by the DKHW and the trade publication Playground@Landscape, could do to change this. 

We demand more space for children. If politicians, equipment manufacturers, planners, parents and playspace designers fail to work together to achieve this goal, we are removing our children's future right to healthy development."


Julia Köhler, Berliner Seilfabrik GmbH & Co.:
"We are delighted to have taken part in Grünbau / bautec again this year! We noted a marked increase in the number of visitors to our stand and discussed exciting projects with interested people from as close to home as the Berlin/Brandenburg region and as far afield as other countries. We would be delighted if Grünbau further increased its focus on playground equipment in particular and believe that the event and its supporting programme is an interesting industry platform above all for the region."


Photo: Messe Berlin

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