Record BAU: Over 250,000 visitors

BAU, the World´s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems, has broken through the 250,000-visitor barrier for the first time in its 50-year history. The six days of this fair—in which all the exhibition space has long been fully booked—attracted 251,200 visitors: that´s over 16,000 more than in 2013. The number of visitors from Germany rose of course, but most of the increase in overall numbers is due to visitors from outside Germany. Around 72,000 people came from abroad—that´s 20 percent more than last time. In its role as an "architects´ trade event", BAU once again consolidated its reputation. Around 65,000 of the total number of visitors were from architectural and planning offices, which is another increase on the figures for 2013.

The exhibitors, although familiar with good figures from past events, were impressed by the ongoing streams of visitors attending this time. Many reported double-digit percentage rises in the number of leads they had.

The further rise in the international spectrum at BAU is reflected not only in the figures but also in the feedback from many exhibitors: The CEO of Dorma, Thomas Wagner, reported: "The response was in every way overwhelming. Almost 50 percent of the visitors to our stand came from abroad. Already by the end of day four, we had gathered just on ten percent more leads than we had during the event in 2013. For us BAU was an out and out success."

One of the big attractions at BAU, as in previous years, is the sheer number of star architects that take part. For example, on Wednesday in Forum C2: Giving talks there, one after the other, were Wolf D. Prix (COOP Himmelbau, Vienna), Kenneth A. Lewis (Skidmore, Owings and Merill LLP, New York) Christoph Ingenhoven (ingenhoven architects, Düsseldorf) and Alfredo Brillembourg (Urban-Think-Tank, Zürich). Top speakers, free, authentic and close-up, right in the middle of the fair—only BAU delivers that. Even for the true greats in architecture BAU, the "architects´ fair", is an unmissable event. Another indication of how important BAU is to architects and engineers is the Day of Engineering which for the first time surpassed 1,000 registrations. Heinrich Schroeter, President of the Bavarian Chamber of Civil Engineers: "BAU might traditionally have its eyes more on the architects, but there are many civil engineers here too."

If BAU can be said to have excelled itself in terms of its big-name exhibitors and stand presentations, then it can quite rightly claim the same for the supporting program to the fair. The three forums at the show were again an absolute hit with the trade audience. Located in the middle of the halls (C2, C4 and B0), visitors could quickly and easily "drop in", and catch up–free of charge–on key themes in the sector, explained by independent experts from architecture, industry and research. "Urban Life 2030", "Building Information Modeling" (BIM) and "High-rises" were some of the special features in Forum C2. The spectrum of subjects in Forum A4 was wide and diverse, ranging from timber construction and flexible materials to the future in R&M and strategies to cope with climate change. In Forum B0 the emphasis was on practical solutions for renovating and modernizing buildings, and this was also the location for the Property Industry Day and the Universities Day.

The key themes at BAU 2015 (Intelligent Urbanization – Energy- and Resourceefficiency – Buildings and Users) were not only reflected at the booths of the exhibitors, they were also explored and illustrated in a number of special shows—from a range of perspectives. In putting on this program, BAU worked with renowned partners: With the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance, the German Sustainable Building Council, ift Rosenheim and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontotechnik ® (GGT).

There was no single major theme this time at BAU. The emphasis was on product and system solutions to increase energy- and resource-efficiency, materials and technologies that reduced the pressure on the environment and resources, and, in the area of IT, on the top theme of "Building Information Modeling" (BIM). Aside from the technical and functional themes, attention focused above all on how to design the cities of the future for living and working. Comfort in the home was also a theme.

One highlight at BAU was once again the Long Night of Architecture. A good 30, 000 people flocked on Friday evening to the 50 architectural highlights in Munich that were on the program; all were keen to experience these buildings in their night-time flair.

BAU was also again the platform for the presentation of many awards, among them the Bauwelt Award 1:1 First House, the WAN Product of the Year Award, the AIT Innovations Award, the BAKA Award for Product Innovations, the "Built on IT—Building jobs with a future" Award, the "Building Suppliers' Oscars" and the "Bavarian Engineering Prize". The highlight was certainly the announcement of the winners of the Archi-World Academy, a competition organized jointly by BAU and the architectural portal Archi-World. The twelve winners, who were selected from over 1, 400 entrants from all over the world, can look forward to a six-month internship in the practice of a top international architect. Delighted with their prizes, the winners posed side by side with their future employers.

The next BAU takes place from January 16—21, 2017 at Messe München.

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