by Tim Adams, FBDAV
The ongoing exercise of promoting the role and raising the profile of Building Designers to government, the industry and the general public was kicked along by BDAV having a double booth at the 2010 Building and Home Improvement Expo. Held in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 9th to 11th July 2010, the event combined product exhibits, industry workshops and expert seminar presentations.
Getting as much exposure as possible for award nominees in this year’s Awards program, the excellent work of BDAV members provided an impressive arrangement of display panels. The same panels, which were on display at Federation Square prior to the announcement of the Awards winners on 30th July at the BDAV’s annual dinner were also located prominently at the recent DesignBuild expo.
Like most trade exhibitions, there are always companies represented that we know well, with tried and true product ranges. Refreshing the knowledge base at this level is often valuable but, without fail, there will be a range of new products released and numbers of embryonic organisations showing off innovative options for the first time. Building Designers could spend inordinate amounts of time keeping abreast of product information for incorporation into their designs.
The volume of information keeps growing all the time, and it surely is a challenge that has to be managed with care. Not being equipped with a good understanding of specification options for projects, however, places us at risk of not fully informing our clients of the best solutions for their projects. A quick circuit of exhibitions like the Building & Home Improvement Expo can be most valuable, and the benefit of a ‘touch and feel’ experience is often far more informative than anything achieved with a web search.
Some designers see the opportunity of using trade shows to promote their own services. A number have done this over the years with great success. Maxa Design went down that path at this event, and in addition to their display space they were given the opportunity to participate in the Sustainability on Show seminar program. It will be good to follow up with Sven Maxa to gauge the benefit of participation to his practice.
A number of BDAV members volunteered to man the BDAV stand, which was a great opportunity to support and promote the Association as well as pitching a little marketing for themselves. Their help is greatly appreciated.
BDAV, acknowledged as one of the peak bodies in the building industry, was also asked to provide an expert presentation at the Sustainability on Show seminar program. Tim Adams reinforced the idea that successful sustainability outcomes are primarily geared to a sound knowledge base, not just by adding costs to a project to overcome the problems caused by uninformed designs. In a brief talk titled Getting the Best for Less, the idea of using skilled design input at the start of a project, addressing basic thermal design principles, will always deliver greater performance for a lower capital cost and result in a far superior life cycle analysis.