Grand Designs Live, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, closed its doors on Sunday on the 13th edition of the show. Packed with over 400 carefully curated exhibitors spread across six key sections; Build, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Technology, Gardens and Interiors; the NEC was transformed into an inspiring hub for visitors interested in making home improvements on any scale. Hosted by Grand Designs guru Kevin McCloud, the five-day event offered the opportunity to explore and experience the latest trends and products as well as gather inspiration and advice for upcoming or planned developments.

The above video powered by Splento features Richard Morey, Managing Director of Media 10 who explains a return to the core values of the show from when it first started in 2005. Further elaborating upon the sustainability put forward in this latest show, Emma Priestland of Friends of the Earth talks about the decision of Grand Designs Live to completely do away with plastic water bottles on stands and provide a refillable water station in order to be more environmentally friendly.

New products, technologies and innovations could be found across all areas of the exhibition, from new brands on show to inventions set to revolutionise social issues across the UK, including returning favourite feature Kevin’s Green Heroes. The feature showcased the best eco-innovations for homebuilders, owners and design enthusiasts; this year including live demonstrations from three of his picks. Stunning design with a green edge formed the backbone of this handpicked list featuring lighting from Tala, recycled plastic materials from Lucentia Design and a biological, fully edible and recyclable packaging alternative from Scoby by Roza Janusz, to name but a few.

Grand Design’s Kevin McCloud commented; ‘Grand Designs Live has become one of the foremost showcases for green construction and design – a celebration of all things well-made and, of course, a great day out with lots of see, do and think about.

I’m pleased that we’ve been able to develop our collaboration with Friends of the Earth, a key sponsor of Grand Designs Live. We’ve been able to reduce single-use plastics at the show and raise the awareness of plastic waste through our debates and seminars. Thanks to Join the Pipe, a very cool organisation from the Netherlands, we’ve installed free water points for visitors to refill and quench their thirst. And in our packed theatre we’ve tackled energy conservation, air quality, clean drinking water for the planet and how to use our resources better. We’ve produced with our audience a ten-point list for plastic management and recycling and we’ve had an amazing time and some great fun doing it.

We’ve had amazing support from our exhibitors, many of whom are crafts-based companies and SMEs. Grand Designs Live is the coming together of like-minded souls to share their common enthusiasms and loves: exhibitors, visitors, speakers and sponsors alike.’

New brands and products at the show included award-winning entry door brand Pirnar, Independent bespoke garden room manufacturer, Cre8a, handcrafted firepits and home accessories from The Woodee, and Franke, who made their consumer show debut with an extensively updated portfolio, covering all stylish kitchen needs. Returning for their fourth consecutive year, Hyco, showcased their new to market modular Zen range of taps, while leading LED supplier, Tp24 Ltd offered free lighting plans to visitors alongside their extensive range of lighting options.

Highlighting one of the most controversial and hotly debated topics dominating the news currently, the increase in numbers of homeless people in the Birmingham area, visitors to the show saw a prototype for architect James Furzer’s ingeniously designed ‘Homeless Cabins’ and heard from a panel of industry experts on how best to tackle this ever-growing issue.

As panel member, construction expert, journalist & TV presenter Kunle Barker commented; ‘Homelessness is everyone’s problem, not just the problem of people who are homeless. While James’ Cabins are not intended as a solution to the issue of homelessness in the UK they should become a valuable part of a coherent and multifaceted strategy to solving this hugely important issue.’

James Furzer remarked of his experience at the show ‘Grand Designs Live is a fantastic platform to get my idea out there and start a discussion about the issue of homelessness in the UK.’

The Grand Theatre programme featured several of the Grand Designers from the most recent TV series as well as a variety of instructional and educational talks from industry experts including Piers Taylor and a masterclass in upcycling for interiors from Escape to the Chateau’s Angel Adoree and Dick Strawbridge, who also shared insights from their incredible journey of transforming an historic French chateau.

Grand Designs Live will return to London’s ExCeL from 4 – 12 May 2019 www.granddesignslive.com

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.