Looking for somewhere to go next week? Need some surface inspiration for a current project? Well, The Surface & Materials Show opens its doors at the NEC on 10th October. An unmissable aspect of UK Construction Week, The Surface & Materials Show is celebrating its third year with what is being billed as an inspiring package of seminars, stands and events. Covering some 1,600 sq. metres, The Surface & Materials Show is part of a multiplex of nine shows, offering an opportunity to explore a wide range of surface solutions, products, technologies and services.
A key feature of the show will be the Material Lab Central Hub. Curated by Material Lab, the Hub aims to gather the latest and most intriguing surface innovations. It brings together established manufacturers with some rising stars in the surfaces world, in collaboration with sponsors Johnson Tiles and Dulux.
Another exhibit worth a look is Oodhouse, an innovative concept from Estonia. Oodhouse (www.oodhouse.com) is a pod home / hotel cabin with serious style credentials. A standardised solution with a quick and flexible construction process, Oodhouse is made from sleek timber and privacy glass that also elegantly reflects its surroundings to the exterior.
The Surface & Materials Show will also host informative talks, debates and CPDs from event partners, including BRE, Grimshaw Architects, The Design Concrete Centre, Envelope Architects, The Cambridge Graphene Centre, Rachel Bevan Architects, Canon 3D Printing and Dulux. The programme aims to bring together suppliers, innovators, manufacturers and specifiers. It will cover issues from sustainability to well-being, current technologies to future material and design trends, and ways of reducing waste to the circular economy.
For the FITA Flooring Workshop, in conjunction with the Flooring Industry Training Association, master fitters have been recruited for informative presentations covering all areas of contract flooring, including wood, carpet, vinyl, laminate, tools and accessories.
From high performance products for large scale specification to elegant and high-impact feature designs, from exterior to interior finishes, and now with a dedicated kitchen and bathroom section, The Surface & Materials Show presents both established and emerging brands.
Visitors can investigate a key selection of decorative and durable finishes, learn about kitchen design CAD services, discover waterproof or hygiene critical solutions, and much more. Exhibitors include The Aluminium Federation, The Panel Company, The Decorative Panels Group, Minercell, Dural (UK) Ltd, Autokitchen, Finishes & Interiors Sector, Fibo, William Smith, Composite Fibreglass Mouldings, Hygienic Finishing Systems, Toupret and The British Laminate Manufacturers Federation.
UKCW Event Director, Nathan Garnett, says, “The Surface & Materials Show goes from strength to strength, representing a dynamic sector of the construction industry at the cutting edge of design, technology and debate. This year, having listened closely to feedback, we have a new position and layout for this exciting zone. Close to the connection with the Grand Designs event, the show now also incorporates a dedicated kitchen and bathroom section, and centres the more decorative finishes around the innovation hub and seminar theatre, circling outward to the heavier duty products and the flooring workshop, which will have its own separate area.”
Event spokesperson George Clarke adds: “Materials, surfacing solutions and finishes are such a vital area of knowledge for me. As an architect, builder and developer, I need to keep up to date with advances in product design and manufacture, as they can make or break the final aesthetic and the long term performance of a project. I will be keeping a very close eye on this area of the UKCW event again this year, as over the last two years I have been delighted, surprised and motivated by what I have discovered there.”
Exhibits to look out for include Lumentile. This originates from an idea of disruptive innovation, where the joint use of new technologies creates added value and new functionality for traditional materials. In this case it means turning the classical ceramic tile into a ‘multifunctional electronic luminous tile’ through the application of large area and organic electronics.
Lumentile (https://www.lumentile-project.eu) aims to fill the gap between a simple construction element and a luminous surface element. It goes further by developing a module with cutting-edge technology (the luminous electronic tile) that is capable of displaying lights, colours and images that can be used as a chameleonic display to be employed as a skin for horizontal (floor) or vertical (wall) applications.
The goal is to develop a new generation of modular luminous components for design-driven applications, where a different meaning is given to the use of light driven by the design, by empowering it to be used as a radical different designed element for architecture, as a skin integrated element for interior design, lighting or advertising purposes. Lumentile also offers decorative scope for creating smart and active pathways. The system is capable of creating signs and other illuminated, added value floor solutions. For instance, it is possible to install pressure sensors that can detect a persons walking on the surface. This could be set so that, for instance, the floor changes colour once it is stepped on. Alternatively Lumentile can be used to define specific paths according to a Human Machine Interface Application.
Waving a more conventional ceramic tile flag is Tiles United (http://tilesunited.co.uk); a ceramic and porcelain tile distributor with a portfolio ranging from budget to high end designer tiles. Tiles United also offers an extensive range of professional ancillary products, including adhesives, grouts, leveling compounds and trims.
With a ‘Trade Collection Point’ servicing local traders, contractors and developers in Halesowen and a ‘Projects Studio’ with hundreds of tile samples; Tiles United now distribute tiles across the whole of the UK, offering a next day delivery service if requested.
Other will known names from the tile world are also participating. Johnson Tiles (http://www.johnson-tiles.com) are co-sponsoring the Material Lab and will use the space to explore some of the latest tile design trends. Tiles from the leading Spanish manufacturer Grespania (http://www.grespania.com) will feature on the Ocean bathrooms stand.
Another company to sign up is Sant Anselmo (http://www.santanselmo.com/), who will be presenting exquisite faience, bricks and terracotta tiles from Italy. Faience is the term that references the city of Faenza. It identifies a particular type of terracotta, normally with a glazed surface. Often elaborately sculpted, faience has been used as an artistic and decorative element on the façades of high quality buildings for centuries. Sant Anselmo specialises in the reproduction of these impressive building adornments, but also creates custom-made faience items to order.
The Surface & Materials Show takes place at NEC Birmingham, 10th to 12th October 2017. Register at: www.surfaceandmaterialsshow.co.uk/register
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, October 2017.