In October 2012 TBE members gathered in Brussels for the annual TBE Congress meetings, which also presented an occasion to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the association. Around 100 members attended the technical, political and social meetings, which resulted in a very successful three-day event.
The works started on Tuesday 9 October with our combined masonry and roof tile product group meeting, where experts from national associations and companies had the opportunity to discuss the latest initiatives on standardisation, legislation and other technical issues. Members of the Life Cycle Working Group then had the opportunity to discuss the latest developments concerning Product Category Rules (PCRs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).
The evening programme started with a cocktail at the Hotel Sofitel which was opened with a speech by Mr Caramelli, the President of the European Ceramic Technology Suppliers association (ECTS). The first day closed with an informal dinner accompanied by traditional Belgian beers at the premises of the theatre Arrière Scene.
On Wednesday 10 October members of the TBE Executive Committee met in the morning to discuss administrative matters, including accounts, budget and the official nomination of Adolfo Aiello as new TBE Secretary General. The General Assembly followed afterwards, with the official presentation of the TBE 60th anniversary brochure and reports from all the TBE Working Groups. The members had also the opportunity to watch the video developed by ECTS “Ceramics, modern life, modern buildings”, which was particularly appreciated. The meeting closed with presentations on the latest technology developments by the golden sponsors Handle and Sacmi.
More than 100 participants attended the stakeholder workshop on affordable energy efficient housing which was organised by TBE in the afternoon of the same day at the European Parliament. This workshop, which was also selected as a side-event of the European Week on Regions and Cities, was hosted by Mr Karl-Heinz Florenz, German Member of the European Parliament. Ms Claire Roumet, Secretary General of CECODHAS (the European Federation of social, cooperative and public housing) chaired a high level panel of speakers, which included Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij (Vice-President of the European Parliament Urban intergroup), Mr Scheuch (TBE President), Mr Hodson (European Commission, DG Energy), Mr Paparella (European Commission, DG Enterprise) and Mr Duffy (Ecorys). The event stressed the importance of a consistent policy framework and better access to EU financial instruments in order to promote investments in new energy efficient buildings and the renovation of the existing building stock.
The gala dinner was held at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science, amongst the world’s largest dinosaur collection. The evening started with the speech by Mr Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, who received a copy of the TBE brochure “Residential construction works: a win-win situation”. TBE members had the opportunity to meet with several special guests, including Mr Harbour and Mr Rübig from the European Parliament. The dinner was accompanied by the Belgian band Superjazz.
On Thursday 11 October TBE Members enjoyed an architectural visit through the art nouveau and art deco buildings in Brussels.