Virtual pavilion looks into the future of sustainable design

Virtual pavilion looks into the future of sustainable design

The built environment is responsible for consuming over a third of global energy and produces 40% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions. To highlight the impact of sustainable design for local and global contexts, the Visualization and VR team at AECOM, in collaboration with exhibition designers at Install Archive, have designed a virtual pavilion called Build Better Now for COP26. The pavilion can be accessed by the public from their phones or personal computers via the Build Better Now website.

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The immersive VR exhibition shows 17 green building proposals from around the globe, which provide innovative solutions to the rapidly changing climate and deteriorating ecology. The projects mentioned were selected from an international open call and selected on the basis of the complexity of environmentally friendly schemes and the positive impact they have on individuals and the surrounding environment. The goal of the initiative is to support the industry to continue building more sustainable spaces and cities across the globe.

Related: Biophilic Belgian Pavilion has futuristic sustainable design

Outdoor bamboo building in several levels with terraces

The pavilion interface includes domed exhibition spaces located in a lush forest connected by a central hub with walkways. At the center of the main dome is The Fountain of Circular Recovery, a 3D installation by Make Architects that includes a short video showing how a circular economy can be achieved by 2050.

Night view of dome-shaped 3D-printed clay house

The 17 projects that the pavilion offers include various aspects of environmentally friendly design. Some designs feature locally sourced materials, including the University of East Anglia’s business center, which uses thatched roofs and reeds, as well as a school made of bamboo in Indonesia. Some projects balance linguistic materials with modern construction methods such as TECLA, a 3D-printed house built of extruded raw clay in the Lombardy region of Italy.

Double storey apartment complex with a side staircase and colorful mural

While some projects are working on retrofitting existing spaces, such as the range of refurbished homes across the UK and an urban ecovillage favela in Brazil, others are providing innovative design solutions to suit their geographical contexts. These include cross-laminated wood (CLT) bridges that can be easily adapted to suit infrastructural requirements, a mass timber market building in Kenya, flat housing in Pakistan and holistically designed housing for vulnerable people in New Zealand.

Rendering of three-storey apartment blocks with wooden screens in a neighborhood with lush vegetation

The large-scale energy-efficient schemes offered by the pavilion include the largest Passivhaus-certified building in the southern hemisphere (located in Australia) and an innovation district in Italy that runs fully on renewable energy. Other projects in this high-performance category include a proposed cultural center in Sweden, which will be one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings, as well as the largest energy-positive commercial building in Norway, which supplies its surplus energy to surrounding buildings and power plants. electric buses for public transport.

A lush green hilly area.

In addition to the featured projects, Build Better Now hosts events, tours, keynotes, roundtable discussions and even includes downloadable content to further educate and inspire the public through exemplary green solutions. This interactive education initiative is a step in the right direction, as the built environment plays a key role in supporting the global shift to a carbon-free economy.

+ Build better now

Images courtesy of AECOM, PT Bambu, Iago Corazza, ZED PODS Limited, Context Architects, artist impression, Crookes and Jackson and Chris Coupland


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