nordbau 2023 jcb
Photo: Holstenhallen Neumünster – NordBau – SixConcept

NordBau 2023: Changes and new beginnings – the exhibitors at the construction trade fair showed solutions for sustainable water management and provided support for decisions concerning one’s own property.

(Neumünster) The 68th NordBau came to an end on Sunday evening, September 10, 2023 after five intense days of sunshine and trade fair. The 676 exhibitors presented an impressive trade fair in scope and attractiveness on the fully booked Holstenhallen grounds: Starting in the outdoor area with an impressive variety of machines and construction equipment for road construction and civil engineering, the growing share of vehicles with battery and electric drive, manoeuvrable equipment for municipal use, versatile commercial vehicles for construction and trade and garden equipment. In the halls, too, exhibitors presented a wide range of products for building and living: Tools, workwear, tiles, bathroom equipment, kitchens, stoves, insulation materials, windows, doors, bricks and much more.

Construction and energy sector facing challenges
These are turbulent times that also mean uncertainty for property owners. How must construction or renovation be carried out to ensure that one’s own building is equipped for the future in terms of energy technology, and what expenditure is necessary to achieve this? Employees of construction and trade companies are also noticing that service partners are cutting back on capacities, products cannot be delivered, and so in some areas orders are missing and have to wait. Restraint was noticeable here and there. But for the 42,800 trade fair visitors, NordBau offered solutions, innovative products, and the opportunity for an overview of offers. The exhibitors were pleased about many good discussions, valuable contacts, and numerous business deals.

Inform, use solution approaches, get started
As Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Claus Ruhe Madsen, said at the opening of the trade fair, the current focus is on overcoming hurdles and getting started. A time of upheaval requires solutions, he said, and this applies to the management of water as well as to the implementation of the energy turnaround.

Sustainable and efficient water management
The partners of the special theme “Water… & build” in Hall 6 informed interested parties extensively and with great commitment about the challenges, risks, and solutions for sustainable water management. Numerous representatives from politics, associations and municipalities took the opportunity to get suggestions, tips, and contacts for upcoming infrastructure measures. Ongoing research and existing concepts showed how improved flood protection can be implemented, how heavy rainfall events can be encountered, how renaturation can contribute to climate protection, how water can be collected and released for plant irrigation when needed – to name just a few great examples. The opening already showed how Copenhagen functions as a sponge city – it can be a model for other cities.

Great demand for advice and products on energy and heating technology
The center of attention in Hall 7 was literally the advice stand on energy and heating technology from the consumer advice center and Haus & Grund Schleswig-Holstein. Numerous visitors took advantage of the opportunity for independent advice on how to make their own property fit for the future. Experts provided information on which heating system can be used where and how, which further conversion measures need to be carried out, and which subsidies can be used. In addition, visitors responded very well to the regular short presentations by the consultants in the plenum. After the theory, the practical aspect followed immediately – the big advantage: Around the entire hall 7 all well-known manufacturers of the heating and energy technology were represented with booths, at which visitors could inform themselves directly about suitable products and compare these.

Perspectives were revealed and used
At the trade fair a great deal of confidence and optimism could be felt – just as the Minister of Economic Affairs had conveyed at the opening – and the partners at the trade fair showed that there are a wide variety of solutions for many things that urgently need to be brought to the public’s attention: Moving from uncertainty and upheaval to new beginnings. “We all feel the increasing reluctance among our customers because many do not know: Where is it going? High interest rates, inflation, the war in Ukraine and uncertainties caused by specifications and regulations have led to less investment. This makes these platforms even more important to show confidence for our customers. After all, we had more than 10 years of upward drift. The current situation is in line with the economic cycle we all knew and could expect,” says Peter Oppermann of Oppermann & Fuss GmbH, represented with mobile screening and crushing plants in the NordBau open-air exhibition area.

The chance to plan the next step was also taken by around 1,000 schoolchildren on Thursday. They took part in Nordjob Bau – organized by the Institute for Talent Development and supported by numerous partners from industry and the skilled trades. At their booths, the young people informed themselves in personal discussions about training opportunities and career prospects.

Exchange and further training were also the focus of the 50 congresses and events attended by around 4,000 trade visitors, and also at the start-ups in Hall 4, where young companies took the opportunity to enter into dialogue with the classic construction industry.

Visitors were able to marvel at research projects and practical implementations in Hall 1. For example, the Materialprüfanstalt Schleswig-Holstein and the Forum Kreislaufwirtschaft showed how recycled building materials can already be used in construction and what is being researched. Students from the Lübeck University of Technology and other universities presented the Unity project, a residential accommodation for refugees, the first object of which is already being used in Ukraine. The research pavilion, also by students from the TH Lübeck, illustrated what is already possible in the concrete 3D printing process and what synergy effects good cooperation between research and industry can have – both sides benefit.

Outlook for 2024: BauCon Nord
NordBau has always been a platform for exchange, networking and the further development of ideas. A big idea is now becoming reality: next year, a two-day residential construction congress will be held for the first time as part of NordBau. “BauCon Nord” is a joint project of two renowned institutions of building science: the Lübeck University of Technology, with its dean Prof. Dr. Sebastian Fiedler, and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für zeitgemäßes Bauen (working group for contemporary building), headed by its managing director Prof. Dietmar Walberg. Preparations have already begun, and the fair is looking forward to the project, which will shed light on issues related to building construction, in order to move forward together.

The 69th NordBau will be held at the Holstenhallen Neumünster exhibition center from September 4 to 8, 2024.