Bulgarian Building Week - Bulgaria's construction sector is suffering from the crisis20. April 2013
The Bulgarian Building Week, known as BBW, is the leading professional trade fair for the entire Bulgarian construction sector and generally takes place every March in the capital Sofia. The twice a year held construction exhibition Stroyko is much more dedicated to end-users and home owners. The ongoing economic crisis in the whole Bulgarian construction branch is now reflecting on the BBW exhibition. The booths have become smaller; many of the otherwise-present companies are no longer actively exhibitors and send only their trade visitors to the event hoping to feel the mood among colleagues. But not only professionals are here. At the BBW you can see also numerous of end users, especially home builders and owners of the condominium apartments build by the typical large-panel system. In Bulgaria this flats are almost exclusively private.
During socialism times the government took advantage of the strong binding of the Bulgarian people to their own home, which they would like to pass on to children and grandchildren so nearly 100 percent of the flats in the LPS apartment houses build by the state was sold to private users thanks to cheap long term government loans. Now these old flats have to be rehabilitated without exception and as each apartment belongs to another family, it is difficult to reach an agreement to modernize an apartment block completely. Usually every single owner goes his individual way. Apartment owners with better financial conditions already start to replace the old and leaky wooden window frames with modern PVC or aluminum systems, isolate only their own facade walls or changing the water pipes only at they own floor. This is also the reason for the friendly speaking not aesthetic patchwork look seen on the large-panel system facades in Bulgarian cities.
To counteract the noticeable crisis, the organizers of the BBW put some more new segments in the exhibition program. Thanks to the almost symbolic entry fee of the equivalent of one euro, much more end consumers than trade visitors and industry representatives came to visit the construction technology show. The exhibition range has been extended towards geodesy, solar technology and interior design. According to the organizers a total of 227 exhibitors and co-exhibitors from 13 countries take part at this year’s BBW in Sofia. Official country participation was made by Greece, which construction companies are traditionally strongly represented on the Bulgarian market.
As a part of the program at the Energy Efficiency Congress the Bulgarian homes and houses were again focused by local authorities and construction experts. By 2020 the Balkan country intends to be 20 percent more effective in energy consumption: both in the industry and in the private sector. International forums such as the conference BuildinGreen 2013, held at BBW, give a significant push towards a new energy management and policy.
A novelty on the BBW 2013 was the first national competition between the best Bulgarian parquet layers, which was held during the fair and celebrate the best parquet masters. As part of the BBW for the second time in Sofia took place the international exhibition AQUA-THERM for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and environmental technology, which is part of Reed Exhibitions international program.