Beyond Builind Barcelona, a new life for Construmat
Construmat, Fira de Barcelona’s International Fair for the Construction industry is starting a new phase in order to adapt to the requirements of the companies in the sector. Two acts in Barcelona and Madrid for industry agents have served to unveil the new direction taken by this benchmark event in the national calendar, and one of the most important in Europe.
After a period of reflection, the traditional Construmat has decided to update itself to meet the demands of the sector. Its president, Josep Miarnau, says in this context that “Construmat must renovate, reinvent and reposition itself”. Miarnau explains that experience was the key “to developing a project that will help to drive this industry forwards”.
One of the consequences of this renovation process has been the change of name, which is now Beyond Building Barcelona. This is intended to emphasise that Fira’s construction event aims to be a lot more than a traditional trade fair. Its new director, the architect and urban planner Jaume Domènech, affirms that Beyond Building Barcelona will be a “new, more interactive way of relating supply with demand” and it will cover the different production domains within the industry: hotels, offices, commerce and residential.
Doménech says it will be “a hub for innovation, where we will discuss smart constructions and home automation solutions; the latest designs , sustainability and renovation”.
With this new outlook, Barcelona’s construction fair hopes to secure more and better business opportunities for the companies in the sector.
To achieve this, it will have a new International Forum where there will be 150 construction projects from Latin American countries such as Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico and Colombia and countries from North Africa such as Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, as well as Turkey. In the National Forum, the organization has already attracted 50 projects that are being developed in different autonomous communities. Together with its business proposals, Beyond Building Barcelona will also offer a full programme of technical workshops, seminars, conferences and presentations. The fair, which is for professionals only, will be held from the 19th to the 23rd May 2015 at the Gran Via site, but it will open its doors to the general public on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd.
Renovation and rental
According to data from the Ministry of Public Works, the construction sector is recovering its strength and currently represents 14% of GDP and 6% of employment, with over a million employees.
In the presentation of the new phase of Construmat, the Ministry of Public Works’ Director of Architecture, Housing and Land, Juan Van-Halen, stated that construction is still a “sector of reference” for Spain, and encouraged the industry “to focus more on renovation and rental properties than on building new houses”. He said that there are five million homes in Spain that are more than 50 years old, and that 60% of these were built prior to any energy regulations, which means that the industry has a real opportunity to invest in renovation”.
This representative of the Ministry of Public Works affirmed that the National Housing Plan 2013-2016 is injecting 3,800 million euros of public and private investments to encourage renovation and rental, with the creation of 36,000 jobs.
In this context, Van-Halen welcomed the idea of Construmat to reinvent itself for its nineteenth edition, pointing out that this transformation “says a lot about the capacity of the sector and its desire to keep working hard” to get over this period of crisis.