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Crowd sourcing platform targets green built environment innovation

The UK Green Building Council has unveiled an Innovation Portal intended to connect investors with designers of lower carbon products and services

A new built environment crowd-sourcing platform that connects investors with innovative projects that can help tackle sustainability challenges within the building services industry has been launched today by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

This Innovation Portal is intended to present new approaches to tackle climate change and resource use. These commitments have been made at a time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is demanding that stricter targets be introduced to limit climate change to a maximum level of 1.5 degrees Celsius globally.

The UK government has in response asked the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a body that provides feedback on Whitehall’s current environmental policy, to consider whether it should set a date for when ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions could be realised.

The new online portal will allow users to sign up and submit new solutions, whether in the form of design concepts or market ready products, to tackle concerns around the adaptability and environmental performance of existing buildings. It will also look at how to improve the energy efficiency of systems and materials used in buildings.

Other major challenges intended to be tackled through the platform include methods to modernise older buildings, as well as projects to reduce waste generated through the construction and refurbishment of a structure.

UKGBC said a hackathon event will be held in late November so that students, industry professionals and innovators can jointly devise new concepts that can be added to the portal.

Portal users will then be able to provide feedback after the hackathon to vote on the most promising proposals devised during the event. These will be profiled and presented to the building council’s members to garner interest in their projects.

UKCBC said in a statement, “The aim is for a number of innovations and innovators to be matched with built environment businesses and scaled-up.”

UKGBC business transformation head Alastair Mant said the launch of the portal reflected increased urgency for a more sustainable built environment.

“One of UKGBC’s core aims is to build the capacity of the industry to innovate and last year our Innovation Lab brought together over 50 organisations to tackle a single challenge.”

“But our members have asked us to think bigger and cast the net wider. The scale and ambition of the innovation our industry needs cannot happen behind closed doors. The Innovation Portal will democratise the conversations we’re having and throw open our challenges to the possibility of solutions being identified from an unlikely source, or from beyond our industry altogether.”

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