Nearly 50 thousand visitors attended the recently concluded 38th CONSTRUMA homemaking exhibition. 600 exhibitors from 20 countries presented their novelties at the top domestic construction industry event at the HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center. Apart from the CONSTRUMA and HOMEDesign exhibitions, the event in 2019 featured the bi-annual HUNGAROTHERM as part of the assortment of exhibitions, allowing professional visitors to gain an even wider base of information on novelties. Participants of the professional events tied to the exhibition discussed the rapid growth of the industry alongside labour shortage-related issues.
Every year, Hungexpo places a great deal of emphasis on the professional advancement of construction industry experts. Accordingly, with the assistance of its professional partners, it features a number of conferences and workshops for CONSTRUMA visitors that deal with the latest trends, technological innovations and current professional issues. The first three days of the event were again devoted solely to the professionals.
Over the last two years, the Hungarian construction industry provided an outstanding performance with the sector’s output showing an overall increase of 56 percent – said Minister of State for Economic Strategy and Regulation László György of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (ITM), adding that for the period between 2018 and 2023, the construction industry’s stock of orders amount to HUF 25 thousand billion. In order to ensure the steady level of results, the State Secretariat prepared a construction economy strategy with the involvement of professional organisations – the National Federation of Hungarian Building Contractors (ÉVOSZ) and the National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers – which the government is set to discuss in the month of April, added the State Secretary. One of the key elements of the strategy is the tender for the technological modernization of the construction industry, through which the government provided grants of HUF 16 billion for expanding the capacities of small and mid-size enterprises. The call for bids is anticipated to continue through the month of April with an additional allocation of HUF 6 billion, added the State Secretary.
The forum taking place on the opening day of the exhibition, encompassing the entire construction industry, was hosted by ÉVOSZ, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry. At the conference entitled Opportunities of the Construction Economy, President of ÉVOSZ László Koji explained, amongst other things, that over a ten-year period, 150 thousand fewer new apartments were built than necessary and this shortcoming has to be rectified over the next 15 years while the construction industry also accommodates the newly arising needs. The greatest challenge is the lack of professionals and capacities compared to the number of orders. This was also confirmed by President of the Industrial Department of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zsolt Zsabka, who explained that currently, the greatest issue is not so much the quality, but rather the actual completion of the works. All in attendance agreed that over the next one to two years, the construction industry will show a growth of around 15 percent, in which the ratio of the currently dominant state, as well as industrial and private orders may change over time.
A Gathering of the Profession
As customary, the HUNGAROTHERM building engineering trade exhibition is the bi-annual member of the Construma assortment of exhibitions, which was now organised on the tenth occasion. This year, the event focused on ventilation technology and renewable energy. On this occasion, this branch of building engineering yielded the greatest number of exhibitors. There is a continuous need for skilled professionals, therefore the exhibition included a number of workshop lectures and practical training sessions – including, for example, solar panel installation demonstrations.
There was a great deal of interest in the ECO HOME and SMART CITY conference hosted at the HUNGAROTHERM exhibition, where lecturers presented feasible and completed projects in Hungary in the field of efficient energy use and control.
On the opening day of the CONSTRUMA assortment of exhibitions, State Secretary for Sustainability Balázs Weingartner of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (ITM) announced at the ECO CITY demo house that the convector-replacement scheme of the Otthon melege (Warmth of Home) program will be continued with an allocation of HUF 2 billion, allowing entrants to submit their tenders throughout the country from 20 May. The State Secretary emphasized that tenders can be submitted through the sub-scheme for the replacement of convectors as well as the modernization of complete heating systems.
Apart from the architect and engineer advanced training sessions, this year the greatest crowds were attracted by the conference featuring the novelties of the Frankfurt ISH trade fair (the world’s leading building engineering trade exhibition). The conference featuring the novelties and future trends presented at one of the most significant trade fairs of building services engineering in the world was attended by a great number of professionals from all points of the country.
The workshops hosted at the stands, presenting a particular technique or field of expertise, were highly popular features. One of the most frequented of these was the Wood Like event hosted at the HOMEDesign exhibition staged by the Furniture Association, where visitors were transformed into craftsmen in a well-equipped woodworking workshop for a few hours. For years, the goal of the Association has been to establish a series of events that mobilizes the entire wood industry. This included the Wood Like event, the Green Furniture exhibition as well as the Innowood demonstration. The Association again hosted its annual gathering and professional conference at the exhibition, entitled Sustainability and Green Solutions in the Wood Industry.
The professional conference tied to CONSTRUMA Garden was the GREEN CITY event, where international speakers presented the latest trends of garden design and landscaping. The conference also accommodated the award ceremony of the 9th Hungarian Landscaping Competition and Show which was held during the exhibition with the support of Agrármarketing Centrum.
The weekend was all about the general audience
As always, the last two days of the CONSTRUMA assortment of exhibitions was devoted to general audience events. Tens of thousands of visitors attended the stands of exhibitors, where they had a chance to survey and try a range of novelties in practice. Just as last year, it was obvious this year that visitors come to the exhibition fully prepared and purposely seek out free counselling which facilitates and aids construction work.
Visitors had a chance to encounter the latest works of young Hungarian designers at the HUNGARIAN DESIGN 2019 stands. The artists in question simultaneously represent the ethos of current trends while providing tangible products, which are often available for purchase.
The Green Furniture – Sustainable Domestic Furniture Manufacturing exhibition presented successful domestic brands and the furniture product of Hungarian designers who are devoted to sustainable development while building their brands, considering their ecological footprint in every step of the design process, including its impact on the community and environment, as well as the long-term consequences of their actions.
One of the spectacular features of this year’s exhibition was the DESIGN –GENERATIONS stand, where two interiors of identical floor area presented interior design ideas for different target groups. The START UP interior created by the National Association of Interior Designers was made for a young couple settling in for an urban lifestyle, with the sensation of freedom, playfulness, a laidback attitude and a youthful, urban style as important considerations – which are to be achieved in a cost-effective manner. The LUX UP interior was a flat created for a middle-aged couple with an elegant, representative, lasting design. According to the intentions of the organizers, the two interiors provided visitors with a range of ideas.
The EcoCity demo house also had high attendance, where could receive practical answers on innovative solutions for near net-zero energy use.
An intrinsic element of the assortment of exhibitions was CONSTRUMA Garden, featuring landscaping devices and appliances, free garden design and ornamental plant care counselling, as well as serving as a source of new inspiration at the spectacular stands of the 9th Hungarian Landscaping Competition and Show, which were realized through the support of Agrármarketing Centrum.
The CONSTRUMA Homemaking exhibition bunch was successfully concluded at HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center. The dynamism of the Hungarian construction industry was clearly tangible at the exhibition: the representatives of the trade and the general audience filled the exhibition space covering 5 pavilions and 44 thousand square meters of gross exhibition space. Numerous conferences and professional competitions were staged during the exhibition, which was attended by 600 exhibitors from 14 countries. More than 46,000 professionals and visitors interested in building and decorating house or flat participate at the event.
An Expanding Industry
In 2017, the construction industry provided over one-fifth of the country’s GDP growth, moreover the sector grew by nearly 30 percent in comparison with the previous year – said the Ministry for National Economy's (NGM) Minister of State for Economic Development and Regulation István Lepsényi at the exhibition’s opening ceremony. He added that over 300 thousand people are employed in the construction industry and the sector’s performance may reach HUF 3000 billion in the current year.
The domestic apartment market also shows a trajectory of dynamic growth – according to the study presented during the újHÁZ Centrum Trend Report. Thanks to governmental measures, the mass construction of apartments by businesses commenced in 2016, whilst apartment turnover has approximated the pre-financial crisis levels in 2017. However, the rising costs of raw materials and labor shortage have a negative effect on the ensuing price competition. Numerous conferences and roundtable discussions dealt with the latter issue during CONSTRUMA’s first three professional days.
In Search of Professionals
HUNGEXPO is a dedicated supporter of Hungarian vocational training. On this occasion, in cooperation with the Budapest Complex Center of Vocational Training (BkSzC), it jointly hosted a three-day series of professional events at the exhibition entitled SZAKMALANDIA, which proved to be highly successful amongst young adults on the verge of choosing a career as well employers seeking skilled workers. 11 schools of the Center presented over 200 trades at the event. A great number of visitors also attended the Night of Trades event, hosted for the first occasion.
The event entitled From Wood to Furniture – the Wood Industry Day, hosted by the Association of Hungarian Furniture and Woodworking Industry, the BKSzC and the BKIK (Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry), also dealt with the industry’s labor issues. Companies with vested interests in the wood and furniture industry had a chance to present their job opportunities to young job seekers at personal meetings.
Additional novelties included the discussion entitled ‘Resource effectiveness in the construction industry’, hosted as part of the FISSAC 2020 project.
The CONSTRUMA Garden exhibition also featured the finals of the professional competition of young Hungarian gardeners (as the rehearsal for the Euroskills international competition). The competition was staged during the exhibition, amongst the visitors. 10 separate teams competed at the event, and the two finalists – Márton Pintér and Levente Papp – won the chance to compete in the finals of the Euroskills competition in September, which will be hosted on this occasion at the HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center.
The Home of the Future – Today
This year, new technologies and solutions, renewable energy, automation, so-called “smart homes” as well as everyday design were in the focal point of the region’s most significant construction industry and homemaking exhibition. Apart from the raw materials required for construction work and the high-quality interior design products, the exhibition also featured solutions for the utilization of renewable energy, as well as garden design and construction tools.
A great number of visitors again attended the 150 square-meter Home of the Future attraction. The goal of the shared project of the National Association of Interior Designers and HUNGEXPO was to show visitors that nowadays, smart solutions in apartments are not necessarily limited to luxury-category houses. Nevertheless, this provided experts with a great overview of the latest trends.
Design is No Longer a Luxury
One of the most successful segments of the general public days were the design exhibitors. For the hosts and partners of CONSTRUMA, design is not merely limited to futuristic visual elements, but also the presentation of livable spaces and user-friendly items and furniture. Apart from high-quality products, the HOMEDesign event focusing on the latest trends also featured attractions available nowhere else. At the Hungarian Design stand, visitors had a chance to get a glimpse into the furniture design trends through the works of young domestic designers, whilst Download Design provided an overview of the unique children’s furniture created over the years by the students of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. The so-called pop-up store was also thronged by visitors who even had a chance to purchase the furniture of their choice.
The so-called PUREDesign initiative also successfully debuted at the exhibition, providing exposure for young, talented designers who have already entered the market with their products. As the self-developed content of the exhibition, PUREDesign can be a key element of the HOMEDesign Autumn exhibition hosted by Hungexpo from 12 to 14 October. The event taking place in the fall – hosted with the strategic partner of the DESIGN WEEK BUDAPEST festival – and planned to span the course of three days will fill a gaping hole in the event calendar for the general public in the autumn season, whilst serving as another meeting point for the design trade. There was a great deal of interest at the recently concluded exhibition in the roundtable discussion on the HOMEDesign Autumn event, which was staged by HUNGEXPO and its exhibition partners. (HOMEDesign Autumn is one of HUNGEXPO’s three new autumn exhibitions alongside the HUNGAROMEDICA and Beauty&Style events.)
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