07 - 09 March 2023 | ExCeL, London

07 - 09 March 2023
ExCeL, London

Hub joins the global debate at COP summit in Glasgow

A COP26 review by Dave Philp

05 November 2021

COP26 is well underway and the Hub team are on the ground in Glasgow discussing sustainable legacies and the positive impact we can help make for a low-carbon built environment.

This week, our Impact Director, Dave Philp, attended a special event hosted by our friend and partners Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s (CSIC).  It was a particularly special day for the centre as they became a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)’s International Centre of Excellence On High-Performing buildings at an official ceremony.  We heard from Michael Matheson (pictured left, with David), Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, and were officially welcomed by Olga Algayerova, executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

Key messages included:

  • The urgent need to deal with the existential threat of climate change whilst maintaining and advancing modern infrastructure that will support societal needs both now and in the future.
  • We need a built environment model with political visibility that is resilient with global alignment towards equitable and low carbon goals.
  • Every day we delay the accelerate to zero mission it gets harder and #cop26 reinforces the need for a mix of political leadership that address relationships between the built environment and our society and ecosystems.

It was also nice to see the Hub work and that of our partners being showcased, especially Gen Zero, a major government-backed project which exists to create a new generation of secondary schools. The project is funded by Innovate UK and the Department for Education. The project seeks to create school buildings with the aim of making them net zero.

This research-driven design concept places nature at the heart of the education environment; building zero-carbon schools designed to promote the wellbeing of children, young people and all who use it. By putting the preservation and cultivation of the natural environment at the forefront of the design it will allow school users to interact with nature and seek the benefits of doing so in a way that that’s proven to aid in health and well being.

Also, the kit of parts building strategy means simple, standardised spaces that aren’t defined by furniture and fittings, allowing for different curriculum models with little need for change. The prototype on show is configured using a pre-defined kit of parts, proven to demonstrate greater whole-life value, lower carbon and energy use, better safety and quality – all of which improves the overall performance of building which was in concert with the UN goals of high performing buildings.

COP is a timely reminder of the role of infrastructure and industry to win the battle on carbon and global emissions. At the hub, we are confident that through collaboration and uptake of our key themes of value, digital, assurance and manufacture we can make a positive impact on our built environment and our plan

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