ZED PODS 'Hope Rise' selected for COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion


Build Better Now

COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion: 31 OCTOBER – 12 NOVEMBER

  • “Hope Rise” Modular Housing Scheme is among the 17 exemplary sustainable projects is the centrepiece installation selected to feature in Build Better Now, a virtual exhibition during COP26

  • Exhibition and events programme will showcase the urgent role that buildings and cities can play as a solution to the climate and ecological emergency.

  • Built environment takes centre stage at COP26 with a dedicated day for advancing climate action on buildings and cities.


Following an international Open Call, “Hope Rise” – a net-zero carbon social-housing scheme is among the 17 exemplary sustainable projects -OR- is the centrepiece installation selected to feature in Build Better Now, a virtual reality (VR) online exhibition demonstrating the opportunities for tackling the Climate Emergency and limiting the environmental impact of the buildings and cities we inhabit. Build Better Now will act as a global call for climate action and is supported by a coalition of over 100 partner organisations from the built environment industry.



The first of its kind in the UK, 'Hope Rise' is a pioneering net-zero carbon, socially focused development of 11 homes for vulnerable young people who are at risk of homelessness. The scheme provides affordable, energy-efficient and cheap to run homes, all of which exceed the statements set out in Bristol City Council’s Climate Emergency Aspirations. The development was erected on stilts above an existing public car park, retaining 100% of the original parking spaces. ZED PODS has worked closely with the Bristol City Council, The Bristol Housing Festival, YMCA – Bristol to bringing this award winning development to fruition.


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 as part of its presidency programme. Climate change has never been higher on the global public agenda and Build Better Now has been curated to give the sector a strong voice within this internationally significant event.


Following the Open Call, which was launched in June 2021, a rigorous and transparent selection process was undertaken to find projects for the exhibition. 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:With COP26 in November, the world is ready to tackle climate change and the built environment has a crucial part to play. We know why we must accelerate climate action and Build Better Now shows how we can get there. Everyone on the planet has a stake in our buildings and cities. 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.”
Tom Northway, Chairman of ZED PODS Limited said: "We are at the forefront of pushing zero carbon design in the social housing market. We are extremely honoured to showcase our award-winning, first of its kind zero carbon project at such a important world forum.
The time to take action on to tackling climate change is now and we have demonstrated its possible to eliminate operational carbon emissions in both a practical and affordable way.
By using our leading British designed and built modular homes we are building homes we need for the future, today. Feedback from residents praises the quality of the build and the super energy efficiency performance of the building.
This project also demonstrates how we can develop underutilised land and airspace, protecting greenfield sites and delivering homes that reduce transport miles and the need for car ownership. Its this forward thinking that is needed to make the changes required to deliver on the UK’s housing commitments.”

Alongside the exhibition, Build Better Now will host an events series comprising a programme of tours and talks, keynotes, panel discussions and other downloadable content, to educate and inspire the built environment industry and public to act now to identify and deliver climate solutions at scale.


The COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion has been designed and developed by the Visualisation and VR team at AECOM in collaboration with exhibition designers Install Archive.


Read more about the 'Hope Rise' project https://www.zedpods.com/bristol


Read more about the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion https://buildbetternow.co/


About Build Better Now at the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion

Build Better Now is a collaborative project co-owned by over 100 partner organisations from across the built environment sector, for which UKGBC is acting as a secretariat. This coalition has come together to ensure that the sector’s key role in addressing the climate and ecological emergencies is brought to the forefront — in the run-up to, during and far beyond COP26.


The Virtual Pavilion aims to showcase the relationship between the built environment and climate change, both as a part of the problem and the solution. It will comprise an exhibition of global exemplar projects and places, within a bespoke virtual reality (VR) space, as well as a major series of events and downloadable content – to include keynotes, panel discussions and more. This year for the first time, COP26 will feature a dedicated Built Environment Day.


To enable maximum participation from around the world, Build Better Now at the Built Environment Virtual Pavilion at COP26