More than 90,000 professionals from 132 countries, with high decision-making and purchasing power, attended the trade fairs held under the ePower&Building banner, namely: VETECO, MATELEC, MATELEC INDUSTRY, CONSTRUTEC, BIMEXPO and ARCHISTONE. Moreover, over 43,000 professionals from all over the world joined the event through the Live Connect digital platform.
The show, which was held at IFEMA MADRID from 15 to 18 November, was once again the leading event in southern Europe specialising in advanced solutions for the entire building process. The participating companies were very satisfied with the outcome of the event, reaffirming the model and reinforcing the forecasts for 2024.
One of the most striking features of ePower&Building, and of the fairs held within its framework, was the high decision-making and purchasing power of the visiting companies (more than a third of the total), 80% of which were SMEs, more than half of them operating in foreign markets - mainly Europe and 10% in Latin America - or with an interest in doing so. On the other hand, there was a significant proportion - 15% - of prescribers, such as architectural firms, showing a high level of interest in BIM solutions, innovative materials that incorporate technology, and certifications that accredit the sustainability of products. Innovation was the main attraction of the Fair, which revolved around the exhibitors' products, with their most advanced materials and solutions, and the contents of the activities and training workshops.
Under the ePower&Building banner, the 16th International Trade Fair for Construction Materials, Techniques and Solutions, CONSTRUTEC; the 13th International Trade Fair for Stone Architecture, ARCHISTONE; the 4th leading European Trade Fair for services, networking, knowledge and BIM solutions, BIMEXPO; the 14th International Trade Fair for Windows, Façades and Solar Protection, VETECO; the 21st International Trade Fair for Electrical and Electronic Industry Solutions, MATELEC; and the International Trade Fair for Technological Solutions for Industry and Smart Factory, MATELEC INDUSTRY, were held. The event was supported by the leading sectoral associations, institutions and companies.
The international scope of this event consolidated its position as the benchmark for operating in foreign markets, reflected in the number of buyers invited by the trade fair organisers, selected from among those with the greatest purchasing power for each of the trade fairs and their sectors in each market. More than 12% of the total number of visitors were from other countries (103), and 18% at VETECO. 40% of the foreign visitors came from Portugal, followed by Italy, Germany, France, Morocco, Turkey, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, the countries with the highest number of professionals at the event. Meanwhile, 70% of the visitors from Spain came from outside the Region of Madrid, with Catalonia, Andalusia and the Region of Valencia standing out in terms of number, although there were also professionals from all the other autonomous regions and cities.
The major international scope of ePower&Building was thus backed up by a comprehensive and ambitious programme of foreign guest buyers, the main aim of which was to attract the interest of the key foreign markets. In addition, the main associations and organisations, as well as the leading firms from the different sectors represented at the event, showcased the most cutting-edge technological advances and their R&D&I efforts. The event also featured a new start-ups area, which supported entrepreneurship, talent, employment and the development of the sector.
As for companies engaged in refurbishment and renovation, there was an increase in number, more than half of them coming from all over Spain, a fact linked to the incentive and aid plans for the renovation of buildings, facilities and other urban complexes, both in terms of energy efficiency, as well as construction systems and materials for the improvement of well-being and lower energy consumption. Microelectronics and electronics in general, and especially industrial applications, were also of great interest to more than 25% of visitors to MATELEC and MATELEC INDUSTRY.
The major challenges facing the sector
The renewed and dynamic programme of conferences, grouped together in the new space, The Miss Conference, was established as a forum for sharing knowledge among all the sector's agents in relation to the decarbonisation of construction and technological innovation. Moreover, 30% of the professionals who attended ePower&Building expressed their interest in participating in the conferences organised by the sectoral associations within the framework of The Miss Conference, on innovation, technology, efficiency, sustainability, institutional support and progress in social and labour equity. The community will also be able to interact in the LiveConnect environment to continue doing business over the coming months.
The experts participating in The Miss Conference called for the inclusion of women in the construction sector, as the number of women in the sector currently represents barely 10% of the workforce. They stated that European funds are a way to improve energy efficiency and promote refurbishment. And they pointed out that the public sector has a driving effect on the digitisation of construction, an activity that accounts for 5% of Spanish GDP, employs more than 1.3 million people and is made up of 136,129 companies, most of which are SMEs. They also stated that materials manufacturers are key to the decarbonisation of construction. Furthermore, they highlighted the sustainability efforts of the construction sector and warned about the uncertainty of future prices and costs.
ePower&Building hosted the MATELEC-AFME Awards for Innovation and Energy Efficiency. The winner in the Electrical Installation category was the Simon 270 product by SIMON, while the winner in the Industry category was DIRIS B-10L by SOCOMEC IBERICA.
In addition, MATELEC hosted the fourth KNX Home Automation Installations Competition and the first KNX AWARDS. In the KNX Home Automation Installations category, the winners were IKNX Ingeniería, Ikidom and Araba Domotic; and Home Futura, ICM Ingeniería and Indótica received Honourable Mention. Andoni Asurmendi and Michael Sartor received special recognition for their contribution to the home automation sector in Spain.
VETECO hosted the fourteenth VETECO ASEFAVE Awards ceremony, in recognition of the best lightweight façades, windows and solar protection, while the sector's employers' association, the Spanish Association of Lightweight Façade and Window Manufacturers, paid tribute to the support provided by 12 companies that have been members of the association for 25 years.
In the category of Best Lightweight Façade, the Panel of Judges awarded prizes to the former Provincial Health Department building in La Coruña, designed by the architects Manuel Vázquez and Iglesias Veiga; the manufacturer Stacbond, from Padrón, La Coruña, and the companies GR Cametal and Alumetal, from Sariaa (Lugo). They also awarded an Honourable Mention to the Growth Building (Madrid), by the architect Antonio Ruiz Barbarín; the manufacturer Martifer Construcciones Metálicas de España, S.A. (Las Rozas, Madrid), and the company Metra, from Valencia.
In the Best Window section, the winner was Berbés UVigo, in the Galician city of Vigo, the work of Abalo Alonso Arquitectos (Elizabeth Abalo and Gonzalo Alonso), and the manufacturer Carpintería Avican (from Infiesto, Asturias). There was also an Honourable Mention for LaScalA, by the architects Marina del Mármol and Mauro Bravo (Estudio MarmolBravo), Miguel Herráiz and Daniel Bergman (Estudio MADhel), and the manufacturer Technal.
The winner in the Best Solar Protection category was the Gran Vía 32 building in Gerona, by the Camps Felip Arquitectura SLP studio and the manufacturer Cosentino. An Honourable Mention was also awarded to the School of Art of Valladolid, the work of Primitivo, Ara and Noa González Cabrera, of González Arquitectos SLP; and to the manufacturer Estructuras Metálicas Román e Hijos, S.L. from the town of Cantaracillo in Salamanca.
Main new developments
CONSTRUTEC was once again a European benchmark for the construction materials, techniques and solutions sector. The trade fair placed special emphasis on decarbonisation, sustainability, industrialisation and digitisation. MATELEC showcased the latest products from the leading manufacturers of electrical and telecommunications equipment, and also represented a commitment to sustainability, innovation and technology. The event featured "The Installer's World", a section devoted to the installations sector, where the national phase of the Young Installers Competition was held. In addition, MATELEC had a KNX Zone. The Association of Electrical Material,
Manufacturers, AFME, also played an active role at MATELEC. The Spanish Association of Lighting Manufacturers, ANFALUM, also had a prominent presence at the fair. Meanwhile, MATELEC INDUSTRY showcased all the technological solutions for Industry and Smart Factory.
The International Trade Fair for Stone Architecture, ARCHISTONE, presented the sector's key products and discussed its main challenges. While BIMEXPO showed the latest developments related to BIM and organised an extensive programme of activities and conferences focused on this field.
The 17th International Window, Façade and Solar Protection Trade Fair, VETECO 2022, placed special emphasis on sustainability, efficient refurbishment, energy efficiency, environmental commitment and industrialisation design. Once again promoted by the Spanish Association of Lightweight Façade and Window Manufacturers, ASEFAVE, it again hosted the monographic sections of VETECO GLASS and VETECO SOLAR.
The Organising Committee of each of the ePower&Building trade fairs will meet shortly to discuss the results and define the strategy for the 2024 event, as well as a series of activities and projects that will take place over the course of time until culminating in the leading event in the construction and building sector in Madrid, and the most important in Southern Europe.