- 17 exemplary sustainable projects and a centrepiece installation selected to feature in Build Better Now, a virtual exhibition during COP26.
- Exhibition and events programme will showcase the urgent role that buildings and cities can play as a solution to the climate and ecological emergency.
- Built environment takes centre stage at COP26 with a dedicated day for advancing climate action on buildings and cities.
Following an international Open Call, 17 exemplary sustainable projects and a centrepiece installation have been selected to feature in Build Better Now, a virtual reality (VR) online exhibition demonstrating the opportunities for tackling the Climate Emergency and limiting the environmental impact of the buildings and cities we inhabit. Build Better Now will act as a global call for climate action and is supported by a coalition of over 100 partner organisations from the built environment industry.
The built environment has a central role to play in supporting the world’s transition to a net zero carbon economy. Globally, buildings consume over a third of energy produced, and are responsible for 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions.
In recognition of the importance of the built environment sector in tackling climate change, the UN’s Climate Conference COP26 will feature a dedicated Built Environment Day as part of its presidency programme. Climate change has never been higher on the global public agenda and Build Better Now has been curated to give the sector a strong voice within this internationally significant event.
Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at the UK Green Building Council:
“With COP26 in November, the world is ready to tackle climate change and the built environment has a crucial part to play. We know why we must accelerate climate action and Build Better Now shows how we can get there. Everyone on the planet has a stake in our buildings and cities. I invite everyone to take inspiration from Build Better Now as a global showcase of pioneering solutions to climate change and hope that it supports the industry to create more sustainable buildings, places and cities of the future.”
Alongside the exhibition, Build Better Now will host an events series comprising a programme of tours and talks, keynotes, panel discussions and other downloadable content, to educate and inspire the built environment industry and public to act now to identify and deliver climate solutions at scale.
Following the Open Call, which was launched in June 2021, a rigorous and transparent selection process was undertaken to find projects for the exhibition. A judging panel comprising industry leaders from across the world, with insight into the complexities of built environment sustainability issues on a regional and local level, selected projects that are making an immediate positive impact on the planet and people’s lives. These projects are both scalable and replicable – giving the potential to deliver far-reaching impacts. Exploring themes such as natural resource use, climate mitigation and adaptation and nature and biodiversity, Build Better Now will showcase some of the most innovative solutions from across the globe.
- Make Architects has designed a sustainability focused 360° installation that will act as a centrepiece within the exhibition. ‘The Fountain of Circular Recovery’ highlights opportunities for recovery, reuse and recycling in the built environment to establish a truly circular economy.
- Pioneering projects include a cultural centre in Sweden that will be one of the world’s tallest timber buildings; the largest Certified Passivhaus building in the Southern hemisphere in Australia; a 100-hectare innovation district in Italy digitally mapped and powered by 100% renewable energy sources; and the largest new build energy-positive office building in Norway, which supplies surplus renewable energy to neighbouring buildings as well as powering electric buses.
- Buildings constructed using natural local materials range from a UK university building utilising thatch and reed; a school in Indonesia built with bamboo and the first 3D-printed sustainable homes made entirely from raw clay – perfectly balancing ultra-modern construction techniques with historic, traditional materials.
- Projects protecting and enhancing nature include a government-led eco-tourism initiative to restore a national park in Rwanda and a high-tech rewilding project, restoring native forest and peatlands and reintroducing locally extinct species to 100 acres of land in the Scottish Highlands, which will form a template for similar nature regeneration globally.
- As well as government-funded research into retrofitting Scotland’s iconic but hard-to-heat tenement homes, the exhibition features a favela in Brazil and affordable sustainable housing solutions in the UK, New Zealand and Pakistan. Also included are an adaptable cross laminated timber bridge concept designed for a circular economy, as well as an initiative to develop a sustainable mass timber building market building in East Africa.
The COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion has been designed and developed by the Visualisation and VR team at AECOM in collaboration with exhibition designers Install Archive.
Full List of Projects
The projects selected for Build Better Now at the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion are:
- The Fountain of Circular Recovery (central installation) by Make Architects
- Bridges of Laminated Timber (BoLT), Amsterdam, Netherlands, by Arup, Schaffitzel, Heijmans
- The 5 Systems Programme: Nga Kāinga Anamata, Auckland, New Zealand, by Kainga Ora, Context Architects, Resilio Studio, Robert Bird Group, Holmes Fires, Aurecon, Ortus International, BRANZ
- Heart of School, Green School Bali, Bali, Indonesia, by John Hardy, PT Bambu, Heru Wijayanto, Joerg Stamm, Gadjah Mada University
- Hope Rise, Bristol, England, by ZED PODS Ltd, Bristol City Council, Avie Consulting Ltd, Vale Consulting Ltd, Below Ground Ltd
- Favela da Paz, São Paulo, Brazil, by Favela da Paz Institute
- Pioneering a Mass Timber Market in East Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, by BuildX Studio, Gatsby Africa, AKT II, Arup, Timberliving SA, X-LAM, Autodesk Foundation, DOEN Foundation
- Milan Innovation District, Milan, Italy, by Lendlease, Arexpo, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, E.ON, Carlo Ratti, Mario Cucinella Architects, Piuarch, Beema, LAND, MAD Architects, Obr, Arup, Deerns, Milan Ingegneria, J+S, Italian Department of Justice, PlusValue
- Modulus Homes, Karachi, Pakistan, by ModulusTech, Reall Limited, Open Door Design Studio, Trellis Housing Finance Limited, ConnectHear, Spaces PK
- Monash Woodside Building for Technology and Design, Melbourne, Australia, by Grimshaw, Aurecon, ASPECT Studios, BSGM, Minesco, Root Projects, Six Ideas, Bollinger Grohman
- The Natural Capital Laboratory, Scotland, by AECOM, University of Cumbria, Lifescape Project, NatureMetrics
- NCH2050 Homes, Nottingham, England, by Melius Homes, Nottingham City Council, Focus Consultants, Studio Partington, Energiesprong UK, Nottingham Trent University, Lincoln University
- 107 Niddrie Road, Glasgow, Scotland, by John Gilbert Architects, NBM Construction Cost Consultants, Design Engineering Workshop, Graham Drummond, WARM, CCG Construction, Glasgow University, University of Strathclyde
- Powerhouse Brattørkaia, Trondheim, Norway, by ENTRA ASA, Snøhetta, AsplanViak, ZERO, Skanska Norway
- Sara Cultural Centre, Skellefteå, Sweden, by Skellefteå Municipality, HENT AS, White Arkitekter, Florian Kosche, TK Botnia, WSP, Incoord, Martinssons AB, Derome
- Singita Volcanoes National Park, Ruhengeri, Rwanda, by Rwandan Development Board, Singita, Milton Group LLC, GAPP Architects SA, FBW Architects and Engineers Rwanda, TRPalmer, ASA Rwanda, Seyani Brothers, Grumeti construction TZ, Milton Group LLC, Bioregional UK, Earth Systems Africa, GAPP Architects SA, Ecolution Consulting SA
- TECLA, Massa Lombarda, Italy, by Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA), World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP), School of Sustainability Bologna (SOS)
- University of East Anglia Enterprise Centre, Norwich, England, by Architype, BDP, Morgan Sindall, Churchman Thornhill Finch)
Download Images of the projects here
International Judging Panel
The international judging panel for the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion included:
- Dr. Anna Braune, Head of Research and Development, German Sustainable Building Council
- Chris Brown, Executive Chair, igloo Regeneration
- Tor Burrows, Executive Director – Sustainability & Innovation, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
- Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation, Green Building Council of Australia
- Elizabeth Wangeci Chege, Vice Chair of World Green Building Council: Africa Regional Network
- Christina Cheong, Green Buildings Lead, Global Green Growth Institute
- Hastings Chikoko, Managing Director of Regions and Mayoral Engagement & Regional Director for Africa, C40
- Felipe Faria, CEO, Green Building Council Brazil
- Jane Findlay, President of the Landscape Institute and Director of Fira
- Sunand Prasad, Principal, Penoyre & Prasad
- Sue Riddlestone OBE, CEO and Co-Founder, Bioregional
- Diba Salam, Founder and Creative Director, Studio DS London
- Amanda Sturgeon, Regenerative Design Lead, Mott MacDonald
- Peter Templeton, is President and CEO of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
- Wei Yang, President, Royal Town Planning Institute