The London Aquatics Centre, one of the main venues of the 2012 Summer Olympics and the Summer Paralympics, was built with French group Serge Ferrari’s patented Précontraint technology. The group will be exhibiting at The Big 5 Image Credit: Supplied Picture

This year’s Big 5 exhibition is the biggest yet. Andy White, Event Director, says the international building and construction show is 5 per cent bigger than last year, and features 27 national pavilions.

We highlight a few of the ones you don’t want to miss.


As in previous years, the German attendance represents one of the largest national group participations. Some 130 German companies across the spectrum of construction products and technology will exhibit at the Saeed and Zabeel Halls. The former will have exhibitors with mostly heavy machinery and construction materials while the latter will have companies handling interior fit-out, decorative products, sanitary ware and air conditioning.

The German participation at the Big 5 is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and supported by the VDMA, the German construction equipment and building material machinery industry association.

Among the exhibitors, Contec brings its mobile shotblasters and floor grinders to the show, Mycon GMBH will present equipment and processes for the cleaning of heat exchangers, chillers, air-conditioning systems and cooling systems, and drainage specialist Kessel has a range of shower channels, lifting stations and new drainage systems. Other notable companies at the event are tower crane specialists Wolffkran, engineering software company Dlubal and timber consultants Anthon B. Nilsen.

United Kingdom

The UK pavilion, organised by the Construction Products Association in collaboration with UK Trade and Investment, will feature more than 40 companies from across the sector, many small and medium enterprises.

Laidlaw Interiors Group works as a one-stop shop for interior specification. It offers doorsets, architectural ironmongery, balustrade, glazing, access control and partitioning solutions.

This year sees the debut of Brett Martin, one of Europe’s best-established and largest manufacturers of plastic rooflight sheets, glazing materials and architectural rooflight systems. Brett Martin products are tried and tested globally in wide and varied applications. Its Marlon polycarbonate range of rooflighting and glazing sheets graces installations as far afield as the recently completed 32mm XX-wall heat-guard canopy of Cluj Arena in Romania, to covered walkways and hurricane shutters in the Far East.

For questions on duct work machinery, duct manufacturing factory set-ups and expansion projects, Firmac is the exhibitor to turn to. The company will be at the show after presenting its world-class sheet metal duct forming machinery in Jeddah and in Doha earlier this year.


A long list of specialist firms representing the many disciplines in France’s building industry will be available at its national pavilion. Organised by Ubifrance, the French Agency for International Business Development, 30 companies will present their latest innovation.

The many large-scale projects under way in the Emirates and in Qatar, in the midst of a boom on account of the World Cup that the country will be hosting in 2022, could potentially be attractive options for French building industry companies looking to develop business in the Gulf countries. As the tenth-ranking exporter worldwide, France makes two-thirds of its foreign sales in the European Union while the Middle East only accounts for 2 per cent of the sector’s export turnover.

Having set long-term environmental and energy savings objectives for the country, the Grenelle Roundtable on the Environment has given a shot in the arm to innovation, which together with quality and design, make up the strong points in France’s offerings.

The Serge Ferrari group, inventor of the patented Précontraint technology, is constantly creating more efficient solutions. Other innovations include the company’s Soltis solar protection screens, Stamisol façades for architects and the Batyline range of lightweight and flexible floor and wall solutions.

Groupe Atlantic is a French company that manufactures a large range of storage DHW tanks, from 10 to 3,000 litres capacity. The group’s water heater range is especially designed to meet the specification needs of the Gulf and to cope with the aggressive nature of water.


After a lack of interest from Swiss companies last year, Switzerland returns to The Big 5 this year with a larger contingent in two pavilions, located in the Zabeel and Shaikh Rashid Halls.

Ten companies will be part of the pavilion, which is organised by Osec, the country’s official foreign trade promotion agency. Among them is the Martigny Design Group, which will display a range of Swiss companies dedicated to design, including kitchen solutions. Other exhibitors will display parquet, pipe systems, stainless steel wire rope products and abrasives.