The UK Green Building Council has today unveiled its Innovation Portal for the built environment.

The online platform is designed to provide an open forum to crowdsource solutions to some of the industry’s biggest challenges. It will also provide a platform to connect innovators with investors and match them with companies interested in progressing their innovation.

Challenges associated with climate change and resource use are currently high on the agenda for both businesses and policy makers. The portal’s launch comes in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5C report, and the Government’s request for advice from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on setting a date for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the UK.

Striving for a net zero carbon built environment before 2050 is at the heart of UKGBC’s mission. A workshop with UKGBC members last month defined four of the industry’s biggest challenges, which the initial phase of the portal will seek to address.


  • Deconstruction and adaptability: how can we make the most of buildings that already exist?
  • Reusing materials: how can we make the most of materials used in existing buildings?
  • Retrofit: how can we modernise outdated services with ease?
  • Resources and waste: how can we reduce waste associated with construction and refurbishment?

Anyone can sign-up to the portal to submit a solution. These can be anything from concept-stage innovations to market-ready products and services. Users are also invited to comment on solutions and suggest opportunities for further development.

At the end of November, UKGBC will host a 12-hour hackathon to bring industry professionals together with students and innovators to come up with new concepts. The best concepts will be added to the portal and the winning team will be awarded a cash prize.

After the hackathon, voting will open and portal users will be able to up-vote the best solutions. The highest voted solutions will then be profiled in a compendium and the innovators will be invited to present their solutions in front of UKGBC members. The aim is for a number of innovations and innovators to be matched with built environment businesses and scaled-up.

This first phase of the Innovation Portal will run until the end of 2018.

Alastair Mant, head of business transformation at UKGBC said:

We’re proud to unveil our Innovation Portal today in response to the growing urgency for the built environment to deliver a major part of the solution towards 1.5C.

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.

The Innovation Portal is powered by Crowdicity and has been made possible thanks to support from EIT Climate-KIC.