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Building to COP26 in Glasgow

As the city of Glasgow plays host to the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), our interdisciplinary design teams continue their efforts to influence global climate change and the sustainability agenda.


Principal Christoph Ackermann, architect associate Martin Jarvie and sustainability consultant Lucy Townsend will be delivering a workshop on sustainable building design at the 16th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY16) on Friday 29 October. With a focus on learning and education building refurbishment, they will present to more than 2,000 young sustainability thinkers, interested in learning about policy and issues related to climate change.  They will cover the wider context issues of carbon reduction in the built environment and provide guidance and information on careers in the industry. 

The interactive presentation and forum, held in the BDP designed University of Strathclyde Learning and Teaching Building, is part of a week-long programme of events which will be held in educational institutions across Glasgow from 28 October. COY16 is the largest and longest running youth event to date, gathering thousands of young changemakers from more than 140 countries.


It is the first event in a series of activities planned during COP26, several of which are taking place in landmark, sustainable buildings designed by BDP, including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Science Centre and the Technology and Innovation Centre at University of Strathclyde.

Additionally, COP26 delegates will be able to travel virtually to the University of East Anglia’s Enterprise Centre, on which we were engineers, lighting designer and BREEAM assessor, as it has been chosen as an exemplar of sustainable design for the UKGBC’s Build Better Now virtual pavilion.

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Head of sustainability Philip Gray, said: “COP26 is a vital moment in time and in all our futures as businesses and as global citizens. It is so important that we are involved in initiatives like this and that we showcase examples of best practice in sustainability.

“Tackling climate change is at the forefront of our minds and we apply this moral conscience to every project that we embark on. We have taken proactive steps to stay ahead of the conversation, offering industry insights from our sustainability experts across the globe and across our different disciplines. But the built environment is still responsible for a third of global emissions. And we know something significant has to change; the way we see and use buildings has to change. We need policy and governance to help us to move from conversation to action.

“Endless consumption and showpiece architecture isn’t the answer. We need to collaborate to improve our climate literacy and be brave enough to challenge businesses on their needs and how to fulfil them. Ultimately, we can only start to look to a brighter future if we makes these changes now. Time is no longer a luxury we have.” 

For more information on our sustainability initiatives and activity during COP26, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.