IHBC on COP26: GBC-led ‘Open Call’ for COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion – entries close 02/08

A coalition of organisations is delivering a digital presence at COP26 in the form of a Built Environment Virtual Pavilion, with an open call launched for entries to two elements – exemplary projects for the exhibition and a sustainability focused installation – and with a closing date for entries of 2 August.

…key sustainability themes…

… explored by visitors through their laptops, phones and tablets, and in person…

The coalition for the Built Environment Virtual Pavilion writes:

The Virtual Pavilion will explore key sustainability themes through a digital exhibition of global projects and places….

This Open Call is seeking entries for two main elements of the virtual pavilion:

  • EXHIBITION: Built environment projects that offer solutions to the climate crisis. These projects will be virtually showcased in the exhibition through four broad sustainability themes: Climate Mitigation; Climate Adaption; Natural Resource Use; Nature and Biodiversity.
  • INSTALLATION: A design for an inspiring virtual installation that will act as the centrepiece of the Virtual Pavilion.

We ask those interested in submitting to the Open Call to read through both Open Call briefs – the Exhibition and the Installation – and decide where their submission best fits. For clarity, we expect individual entries to identify one or the other category (not both), and we do not require organisations to submit entries to both of these categories (submitting an entry to just one is acceptable).

Organisations can submit up to two projects to the Exhibition Open Call (to be uploaded in order of preference) and one entry to the Installation Open Call.

Contact details for any queries: OpenCall@ukgbc.org


We are looking for inspiring global projects, built or planned, that offer solutions to the climate crisis.

The aim of the exhibition is to educate and inspire a wide-ranging audience – from COP delegates and built environment professionals, to young people and the general public interested in mitigating climate change – and should therefore cater to different levels of prior knowledge of sustainability. The exhibition will be explored by visitors through their laptops, phones and tablets, and in person at COP using shared devices. Each exhibit will be accompanied by a range of media (e.g. storytelling, videos, digital models, photography)` …


We are looking for a sustainability focused installation that will intrigue and excite a global audience.

There is an urgent need to build an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future for people and the planet. The built environment has a crucial role to play to meet this challenge. We are looking for the best new or existing playful interventions, interactive spaces and abstract art pieces that demonstrate that ‘the built environment is both part of the problem and part of the solution to climate change.’

The chosen piece will be showcased as a centrepiece for the Built Environment Virtual Pavilion at COP26. The installation will be explored by visitors in virtual reality, so submissions should consider how you to decide how to do this creatively. You might want to focus on a single theme or a single message, or you may want to find ways to explore complex ideas in an accessible format.

Entrants will be judged on how well their work addresses sustainability in the Built Environment, specifically highlighting that the industry is both ‘part of the problem and part of the solution to climate change’. Judges will also be looking for projects that:

  • Are visually interesting, a centrepiece for the Pavilion
  • Appeal to a broad audience and are engaging
  • Are thought-provoking, captivating and leave an impression

The entrant(s) of the chosen installation will work with us and our technology partner to build your design into the Virtual Pavilion. Your work will need to be developed in a 3D format, but we welcome partially completed designs – they may be a wireframe with a mix of JPEG renders and hand-drawn sketches.

The chosen installation will be promoted as part of the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion communications campaign and encourage hundreds of partner organisations to help us celebrate your work…

Key dates

  • Open call launch: 29 June 2021
  • Deadline for submitting clarification questions: 15 July (responses to anonymised questions will be circulated to all who have registered their interest)
  • Deadline for entries: 2 August 2021, 23:59 BST
  • Judging: 9-20 August 2021
  • Final selection and commendations announced: late August 2021
  • Virtual pavilion takes place: 1 – 12 November 2021
  • Contact details if any queries: OpenCall@ukgbc.org

Download the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion Open Call and find out more about entry requirements and entry forms.

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