The green future of construction - BUDMA 2024 trade fair [summary]


On 2nd February of this year, the capital of the Greater Poland Region saw the conclusion of the most important European trade fairs dedicated to the construction sector – the BUDMA International Construction and Architecture Fair and the accompanying INTERMASZ/INFRATEC Construction Machinery Fair as well as the KOMINKI Fair. These events proved that, despite not always favourable economic circumstances, the construction sector has abundant opportunities for development and innovation. There is growing attention being paid to sustainable construction and modern, environmentally friendly technologies.

Over 650 manufacturers and distributors from 25 countries presented their offers at this year's BUDMA, INTERMASZ/INFRATEC and KOMINKI Trade Fairs. Visitors included representatives of authorities, industry organisations and associations, honorary and industrial partners and the media. More than 25,000 professionals from 43 countries attended meetings with exhibitors, conferences, presentations and workshops. Technological innovations and first-of-a-kind solutions were abundant on the trade fair's stands. Examples of products that set trends in the construction industry were the winners of the MTP Group Gold Medal, which were honoured at the opening ceremony of the fair. A total of 20 products received awards. 13 exhibition stands were awarded in the Acanthus Aureus competition for their friendly design, manufacturing technology and unique space conducive to business talks.

Business meetings and talks with representatives of the industry

The offer and programme of the BUDMA International Construction and Architecture Fair are aimed at representatives of the construction industry ion the broad sense, including four main groups of customers: traders, architects, contractors and investors. The most represented group at this year's trade fair were the representatives of sales networks, who accounted for 40% of the total number of visitors. Contractors and professionals accounted for 38% of the total number of experts present at the fair. The remaining 22% of BUDMA 2024 visitors were investors and architects.



Professional visitors from Poland at BUDMA trade fair

As in previous years, the BUDMA trade fair was the location for business meetings among representatives of various Polish voivodships, with Greater Poland being the most represented at 22%, followed by Mazovia at 18%, Lower Silesia at 11%, Kuyavia-Pomerania at 9%, Pomerania at 7%, and Silesia at 6%. 



International business meeting zone at BUDMA trade fair

The significant number of foreign exhibitors, who this year represented 25 countries from all over the world, and trade visitors from 40 countries prove that BUDMA trade fair is a truly international event. The largest group of visitors came from the Baltic countries at 14%, followed by Germany at 12%, and the Czech Republic with 11% of all visitors. Visitors from Scandinavia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands were also noteworthy, comprising a total of 25%.



As part of a special Hosted Buyers programme, we hosted a group of buyers, contractors and investors at the BUDMA trade fair from the following countries: Azerbaijan, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Georgia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine and the USA. The Budma International Meeting Zone hosted 249 meetings attended by 3,600 people, including participants in the HB programme, exhibitors and trade visitors interested in making international contacts – verified through the mobile app.

Green construction and architecture

The 4 days of the trade fair were packed with conferences, lectures, debates and other side events discussing the prospects and main directions of the construction and architecture industry in the coming years. A key theme of the presentations and discussions was the idea of “the green future for construction” as an essential element of sustainable development. Optimal use of renewable energy, energy efficiency of buildings and environmentally friendly materials are key elements that are shaping a new era of conscious and ecological construction.

On the first day of the trade fair, the Polish Chamber of Building Industry, in cooperation with expert organisations, organised a series of panel discussions on comprehensive thermo-modernisation and ways in which the construction industry can support the “Clean Air” programme. The organisers and invited panellists highlighted the unique opportunity for Poland associated with the largest ever financial transfers for thermo-modernisation, but also reflected on the challenges and threats associated with the need to meet the requirements of climate agreements.

Integration and industrial cooperation for thermo-modernisation was also the subject of a press conference held by the Polish Windows and Doors Association, which summarised the Association's activities to date in promoting thermo-modernisation and good installation of joinery products. The importance of integrating the skills and knowledge of different trades was emphasised as the key to effective thermomodernisation.

During the panel discussion entitled “Wpływ recyklingu na ślad węglowy produktu i świadectwa energetyczne budynków” [Impact of recycling on product carbon footprint and building energy certificates], organised by the European PVC Profiles and related Building Products Association –
a partner of the OKNOREC recycling project, the issue of the EU directive that imposes the requirement to calculate the carbon footprint of construction projects was addressed. Another topic discussed was the positive impact of recycling dismantled construction products on the value of the carbon footprint.

As every year, the Construction Engineer's Days organised by the District Chamber of Civil Engineers of Greater Poland were very popular, with this year's theme: “Bezpieczeństwo w rewitalizowanych osiedlach z budynków wielkopłytowych” [Safety in revitalised housing estates made of large panel buildings].

An opportunity to understand the role of timber and prefabrication in shaping sustainable development was provided by a conference and exhibition at the Modern Prefabrication Centre, organised by Stowarzyszenie Energooszczędne Domy Gotowe. It combined an insightful look at prefabrication, highlighting its innovation and efficiency, with the advantages of using wood as an environmentally friendly construction material.

This year's 6th edition of the D&A Design and Architecture Forum focused on the role of water in architecture and urban planning. The theme of the Forum was “REVIVAL. To the sources of vitality”. The Forum programme included presentations and debates on water as a potential for riverside boulevards, lakes, rain gardens and streams hidden beneath the urban ground or as the basis for green and blue infrastructure. Special guests at this year's Forum were: Yuki Ikeguchi, Executive Vice President and Partner at Kengo Kuma and Associates, who shared her experience of leading architectural projects around the world, and Izabela Malachowska-Coqui, Partner at Berlin-based Coqui Malachowska Coqui Städtebau Landschaftsarchitektur, who presented the functions of urban water resources – rivers, lakes, rainfall – using the examples of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Warsaw and the city of Segen. Participants looked at good examples of designing for water in the city, large public investments in public space and private housing initiatives. A lively discussion with the audience focused on the real opportunities for water-inspired sustainable architecture and construction.

During the Forum, the Architectural Sketches competition “To the Sources of Vitality – or Water in Architecture” was judged, which aimed to showcase the workshop skills of university architecture students and secondary school students using traditional techniques.

The Forum participants also had the opportunity to meet the winners of the student architectural competition “FREE BOGDANKA”, which was aimed at students of architecture and landscape architecture faculties at universities. The theme of the competition was to prepare a concept for the development of the western green wedge of Poznań in the area between Lake Rusałka and Sołacki Park.

Challenges for the construction industry

The issue of spatial planning is still topical and gives rise to many legal dilemmas, which is why during BUDMA we once again had the opportunity to watch interesting presentations on the complexities of the reform of the spatial planning system as part of the 16th edition of the national “Urban Planner's Day” conference, this time under the motto “W labiryncie reformy” [In the labyrinth of reform], organised by the Society of Polish Town Planners (Poznań Branch).

On the second day of the Trade fair, the “Bezpieczeństwo na każdym poziomie” [Safety at all levels] conference, organised by the National Labour Inspectorate, discussed, among other things, the level of safety at work on Polish construction sites, identified the main causes of accidents at work at height and presented good practices, and appropriate protective devices, for workers against falls from height during the assembly, dismantling and use of scaffolding.

The 3rd Scientific and Technical Conference “Bezpieczeństwo pożarowe obiektów budowlanych” [Building Fire Safety], during which participants had the opportunity to learn about the subject of deviations from regulations and risk assessment in fire safety, was an important forum for exchanging experiences not only for architects, designers, constructors and contractors but also for companies dealing with fire safety, building experts or fire safety inspectors.

Science and business at BUDMA

This year's BUDMA Trade Fair presented a novelty from the world of science – the Science and Startups Zone, i.e. a place to inspire pro-ecological changes and innovative solutions in the construction industry. Thanks to the cooperation with the Polish Association of University Knowledge Transfer Companies and Polish Association of Centers for Technology Transfer (PACTT), the organisers of the Zone, it was possible to learn about innovations from 12 Polish universities in the field of green construction, and to discuss R&D activities and business development opportunities.

Interactive zones for construction professionals 

As part of the interactive meeting at the 7th edition of MONTERIADA, organised by the Polish Windows and Doors Association, installers, joinery distributors and end users had the opportunity to see live what good installation of joinery products, including windows, exterior doors and garage doors, looks like in practice. At the same time, the event's “green stand” also featured advice points, including a stand of the “Clean Air” programme, where visitors could find out how to obtain funding from the “Clean Air” programme to thermally upgrade their homes and replace heat sources. The partners of this year's MONTERIAD were leading companies in the construction industry: Aluplast, Fakro, Glasslift, Hörmann Polska, Klimas Wkręt-met, LAHTI PRO, Soudal Polska Stalprodukt Zamość, TYTAN Professional.

The BUDMA Trade Fair once again saw the fierce competition for the title of the best team in Poland at the 11th Polish Championships of Young Roofers, organised by the Polish Roofers' Association. Young students, for whom the competition was a qualification for the 29th World Championship of Young Roofers in Innsbruck, competed for the honourable title of the best in the roofing trade.

The youth competition also included the “Złota Kielnia” construction tournament, which has been organised by Ogólnopolskie Stowarzyszenie Edukacji Budowlanej for more than 50 years now. The tournament was attended by 36 of the best students from building schools all over Poland, who had the opportunity to test their practical skills in six categories: dry building, painter and decorator, sanitary system fitter, bricklayer and plasterer, roofer and flooring contractor. In addition to valuable prizes, the finalists of the tournament are entitled to exemption from a written examination to confirm their professional qualifications.

Like last year, this year's Budma Trade Fair also featured live shows and demonstrations, as well as competitions for mini crane operators as part of the Mini Crane Operator Challenge, organised under the auspices of the Champions League of Machine Operators portal and THE TOOLS quarterly. The zone's partners were: ABUK, HOEFLON, DŹWIGNIEMY.TO and IMS24.

In addition to the competitions, every visitor had the opportunity to see professional demonstrations of construction and finishing works by professionals and do-it-yourselfers, as well as to take advantage of advice and training sessions conducted by organisations cooperating with BUDMA. As part of the Grupa Prace Wykończeniowe's test zone, contractors, traders and practitioners had the opportunity to test products and tools from global brands under the guidance of specialists who provided valuable advice and tips.

Interactive presentations combined with the opportunity to test construction equipment and materials also took place in the training and hands-on area of Stowarzyszenie Branży Wykończeniowej, which specialises in training and demonstrations on the processing and installation of mega-format ceramic cladding using professional construction tools.

Fire zone during BUDMA

Once again during BUDMA we were able to discover the latest trends in fireplace design, including in a special zone – FIRE ZONE, organised in cooperation with the magazine Świat Kominków and its Partners. During the four days, we could see many fiery proposals and fireplace inspirations for interiors and gardens, as well as systems combining fireplaces with other heating systems: heat pumps and photovoltaic system. The “GREEN ZONE”, a place with hybrid appliances, is a novelty in the Fire Zone. The tiled stove connected to the photovoltaic system attracted the most interest in the Zone – this was the first time such a combination had been presented at a trade fair in Poland. 

INTERMASZ Construction Machinery Fair

Today's construction machines offer ease of use, safety for the operator and lower operating costs, thanks to the latest technology in the field of construction machinery and technologies used in infrastructure construction. It was precisely these machines that we had the opportunity to see and compare at the INTERMASZ and INFRATEC trade fairs. Manufacturers of health and safety equipment, which is essential on any construction site, formwork and scaffolding, manipulators, jacks and mobile cranes also presented their wide range of products.

The next meeting of the construction industry will take place from 12 to 15 February 2025 (Wednesday - Saturday). This time BUDMA will be accompanied by the WinDoor-Tech 2025 Trade Fair of machines, tools and components for the production of windows, doors, gates and facades. 


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