Build 2019 – Engineering the next-generation supply chain

Philippe Hardt from EDIN (European Building Materials Distribution & Industry Network) tells us about the Build Conference featuring two days of high-level networking, exchange and insight on the future of builders merchanting and construction in advance of the Global DIY Summit.

Join movers and shakers, thought leaders and industry captains from 25+ countries Build brings together senior executives and key decision makers from leading building materials distributors, builders merchant chains, buying groups, manufacturers and retailers.

The conference will feature keynote speakers and panel discussions by top executives from world-leading companies, such as the CEO of Grafton Merchanting ROI, Selco (the UK’s fastest growing builders merchant), Skanska (a world leading project development group and construction company), Wienerberger (world’s largest manufacturer of bricks and roofing tiles), IBM and many more. On the fringes of the conference there will be plenty of room for delegates to network and exchange in an exclusive and inspiring setting at the breathtaking Convention Centre Dublin.

Day One: The new role of builders merchants.

The merchanting industry is currently undergoing considerable change. The major building merchants are becoming larger by acquisition and merger, the smaller merchants are seeking niche areas, and the medium-size firms are under serious threat from acquisition by the larger merchanting firms. The trend towards consolidation in the sector, driven by the need to reduce costs, has meant that the large merchanting firms now control the lion’s share of the building materials market sales.

With the advance of the digital marketplace, new concepts and formats rising, the critical aspect will be the ability to make customers’ lives easier and more convenient. That is not an easy task by any means, but those who are going to excel at it will be the future leaders. Therefore, the first day of Build will be all about best-practice on handling the future of merchanting and what that means for manufacturers and other stakeholders in the supply chain.

At Build some of the foremost thought leaders on merchanting are going to share their perspective, such as Patrick Atkinson, CEO of Grafton Merchanting ROI. Grafton is Ireland’s largest merchant and No. 3 in the UK. Then, Howard Luft, CEO of Selco is going to introduce the audience to the UK’s fastest growing builders merchant chain.

Day Two: The rise of the Digital Marketplace – Entering the age of BIM

Shifting powers fuelled by digitalisation and increasing market transparency create new opportunities for market challengers that leverage the potential of Industry 4.0 and data-driven business models.

The manufacturers that will lead into the future are going to be the ones that understand the importance of leveraging their data beyond mere product information management (PIM) using structured, standardised and interoperable data. This will be key to unlocking the vast potential of the digital construction marketplace.

European Standards are opening the floodgates for smaller, national manufacturers to enter the European playing field by eliminating some of the hurdles to enter foreign markets. Furthermore, Build is going to explore the impact of sustainable building and nearly zero energy buildings (nZEBs) during one entire session on day two.

EU countries have to draw up national plans to increase the number of nZEB and the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy by the end of 2020 and all new public buildings must be nearly zero-energy as of 2018.

For more information on the programme, visit the Build website:

Live Q&A: Share your thoughts in real-time

Build aims to be a pioneer in creating an engaging setting that allows all the delegates to participate in the discussions. We have developed an event app that allows you to interact with speakers and audience members by sharing your thoughts, comments and questions during the conference in real-time. All delegates can “upvote” the posted comments and those that resonate most with the audience will be directly responded to on stage after the keynotes and panel discussions.

Build also provides sponsorship opportunities to interested parties. Sponsorships include dedicated meeting tables and one-on-one meetings with merchants, buying groups and other delegates, VIP seating/table, roll-up/advertising placement, permanent logo visibility (stage area, presentation master template) and the possibility to show a short company video during networking breaks.

For sponsorship opportunities contact or call +352 671 281993.

Build 2019 takes place 4th to 5th June at the Convention Centre, Dublin.

Special offer for HAI members

HAI members benefit from exclusive discounted ticket prices:

The two-day conference package costs EUR 390 (regular tickets cost EUR 790) and includes access to all keynotes and panel discussions, lunch, coffee breaks and a gala dinner with live music (Three-course menu and drinks included). Two-day conference passes can be purchased by registering on the website: and using the HAI discount code HAIMEMBER2019 or by contacting