BAU Munich — The world's leading trade fair for architecture, materials, systems

BAU Munich 2023 Highlights

Following a four-year break, BAU Munich, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems, was back with 190,000 visitors between April 17th to 22nd at the Messe München exhibition center. Despite the four-year enforced interlude, more companies than ever presented themselves in Munich with 2,260 exhibitors from 49 countries who were showcasing their products, innovations and market trends.

Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger also had quite a bit to say about the innovations and trends in the construction industry: “BAU Munich, The biggest construction and architecture trade fair is a successful platform for planners and construction workers. We especially need the innovations presented here, such as how we can harmonize climate protection and the respective challenges, affordable building and living for example. The fair represents progress, growth and competitiveness and sets the course for the future of building and town/city planning.”

For Felix Pakleppa, Managing Director of the Central Association of the German Construction Industry, after the long-forced break, BAU is sending the construction industry a trend-setting signal: “The greatest challenges and trends of the day are perfectly covered with the key topics of digital transformation, the future of living, resources and recycling, and modular construction. This year BAU therefore also offers a superb platform to present prospects for the future.”

Unfortunately, due to the size of the event, we were unable to visit all the halls and stands during our four days of attendance. This was mainly due to exhibitors’ willingness to discuss ‘at length’ our collective mission to educate and empower consumers and trade professionals alike to use better building products, practices, and systems, with many eager to lend a hand.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions in construction and manufacturing

The strong European focus to reduce C02 emissions in the building and construction sector was evident almost everywhere with some highlighting how manufacturers are changing manufacturing processes and product specifications to stay within C02 emission thresholds. One exhibitor even mentioned that one company had to shut down production in The Netherlands for 2 months because they had already exceeded their C02 emission allowance. It’s good to see that Europe is taking such a tough stance on Carbon Dioxide production, I wonder how the top five countries like China (10,668 million metric tons emitted in 2020), The United States (4,713 million metric tons), India (2,442 million metric tons), Russia (1,577 million metric tons) and Japan (1,577 million metric tons) are faring in comparison?

China is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide gas in the world, with 10,668 million metric tons emitted in 2020. The primary source of CO2 emissions in China is fossil fuels, most notably those that burn coal. About 55% of the total energy generated by China in 2021 came from coal alone, and because coal is rich in carbon, burning it in China’s power and industrial plants and boilers releases large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Innovative Building Systems at BAU Munich

The area of greatest interest for us this year was the halls dedicated to building systems and engineered/mass timber. This included systems incorporating timber, metal, and composite construction materials. Also, we noticed more focus on modular electrical systems that allow plug and play connections which can be incorporated easily into the offsite manufacturing process or retrofit on site.  Not only were these manufacturers thinking about building systems’ ease of construction but they were developing new sound absorbing and environmentally friendly and healthier insulating products. Hopefully we’ll see these products making their way out of Europe soon.

We’ll be releasing more detailed reports about our attendance at BAU in the next edition of our High-Performance building magazine. In the meantime, below is an official collection of five 90- seconds videos produced by the organisers of BAU.

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