#ecobuild is the must-attend event for everyone involved with the construction industry, which has grown dramatically in its importance since the show launched in 2005 – proving beyond doubt that sustainable building has become mainstream. From the first few eco warrior pioneers putting up green properties, it is now commonplace for large scale sites to attain Level 4 or better of the Code for Sustainable Homes or the PassivHaus standard.
Indeed, we at #plastic surgeon have long extolled the virtues of being green on building sites across the UK; our practice of repairing rather than replacing damaged building products could not be more environmentally friendly. For many designers, putting up a few bat boxes or adding cycle stores is as green as their horizons go; while our ethos of ‘Don’t Skip it, Fix it’ could easily extend to repairing bat boxes or any other substrate that enabled the Code Assessor to award them points under the Materials section of the Code. Which is why at Ecobuild this year, we took ‘repair’ one step further, with the launch of the Plastic Surgeon “#save our surfaces” or #sos campaign.
Inside the ExCeL Centre there were many lost looking souls wandering around, totally bewildered by the array of supposedly sustainable products on offer – tell me what doesn’t get an A+ from one assessment body or another? Amongst the overwhelmed attendees was Rebecca Golding, who commented: “This (Ecobuild) is a cross between a builder’s yard, a gadget showroom and the Chelsea Flower Show: wind turbines, windows, living walls, biomass boilers, sewage treatment plants, heat pumps, green paving, ventilation systems to extract every impurity from inside a house, revolving doors that generate electricity, hemp and straw houses, compost toilets, even metal screws specifically designed for polluted places.”
So if she saw our stand she would have welcomed the simplicity of our offering. For at Plastic Surgeon we have always aimed to educate people about the service we offer, not just blind them with science: our website provides an up to date and comprehensive list of the materials we can repair, with real life case studies. There are also useful tools – such as our #repair reporter – to help users of our facilities actually see how green they can be, if they let us repair rather than skip seemingly defunct building materials.
As a natural progression of this, the Save Our Surfaces initiative aims to raise awareness of the benefits – both environmental and financial – of adopting a repair rather than replace approach to damage on sites: from new build work to facilities management and full refurbishment projects.
We believe that those who visited us in the North Hall came away enlightened rather than confused, as our MD #rob mouser explains: “For many visitors to our stand it was the first time they had seen just what could be achieved in terms of the range of surface repairs that could be carried out.
“The objective of the Save Our Surfaces campaign is to help reduce the amount of unnecessary waste that is created – by highlighting just what can be repaired – when the first instinct has traditionally been to replace damaged surfaces, and certainly from the reactions we were getting, one of the key elements is raising awareness, as many people are simply unaware what can be achieved.”