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 Pavilion
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.
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.”
Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at the UK Green Building Council
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.
Some of the project showcased
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.
To enable maximum participation from around the world, Build Better Now at the Built Environment Virtual Pavilion at COP26 will be hosted online from 31st October to 12th November 2021, and will be free to access to all.