Global inspiration at COP26


Enterprise Centre

The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia is among 17 exemplary sustainable projects selected to feature in Build Better Now, the COP26 Built Environment virtual pavilion.

The exhibition will showcase the urgent role that buildings and cities can play as a solution to the climate and ecological emergency, and includes projects from the UK and around the world.

The virtual reality online exhibition will act as a global call for climate action and is supported by a coalition of over 100 partner organisations from the built environment, chaired by the UK Green Building Council.

The innovative Enterprise Centre, a Passivhaus and BREEAM Outstanding low embodied carbon building made from timber, local thatch and reclaimed materials, was completed in 2015 and is one of only a handful of buildings to achieve an energy certificate DEC A rating for the sixth year in a row. Extensive post occupancy monitoring has shown that it is the best performing building on campus, with excellent air quality, natural materials and daylight and links to nature creating an inspiring place to work. Winning more than 30 awards, and currently shortlisted for an Open City Stewardship award, the centre continues to attract global interest for its materiality, progressive approach to embodied carbon and rigorous post occupancy evaluation.

Ben Humphries, director, commented:

“The Enterprise Centre shows what’s possible to achieve in the built environment when every aspect of ecological design, from energy and carbon impact, to local natural materials, to landscape, to health and wellbeing is embraced. Being featured in the pavilion alongside other global exemplars will hopefully show that there are already tried and tested solutions to cutting carbon – we don’t need to wait to take action on climate change.”

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 on 11 November.

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.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at the UK Green Building Council said:

“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.”

Sign up for the exhibition and events programme at Build Better Now.

Image: BDP – M&E, Structural and Acoustic engineers on The Enterprise Centre