Timeline: May 2022
Hardware: AR (Mobile or Tablet)
Services: Bespoke Development
The Department for Education (DfE) supported by Innovate UK has partnered with construction innovators to deliver GenZero – a research project to deliver a new ultra-low carbon building standard for schools.
Recent evidence has shown that the environment we work in can truly affect performance and well-being. This is specifically tied to green spaces that provide air quality and contact with nature and peers.
The GenZero classroom prototype is made of 20m3 of timber. Adding to its green agenda, the prototype can act as carbon storage during its life. Carbon capture or storage is a technological solution contributing to the reduction of CO2 emission from industrial operations, such as coal or gas. The reason for this can be narrowed down to its structural materials and construction processes reducing energy consumption and maximizing timber for its green properties.
As the GenZero project website tells us, the 16m3 of glulam and CLT used in this prototype was completely grown and manufactured in Scotland. The UK has great potential for timber manufacturing and processes to be implemented more sustainably in the construction industry, given that the UK sustainably manages forests covering 1.41 million hectares.
Most current school buildings do not provide a healthy and productive learning environment: there’s no encouragement to be in contact with nature, taking advantage of fresh good quality air and be inspired by the community spaces.
The innovative GenZero building offers a solution to this problem. The “commons” in the building are the social and civic centre of the school campus, with the added benefit of configurable teaching spaces. The architecture and design of this school maximises harmony with its surroundings while being sustainable and encouraging green construction to the pupils, who through the interaction with the building and their learning environment are constantly strengthening the connection to the landscape.
However, displaying it to showcase it in a creative way is not easy and that’s where we came in.
Innovative projects need more than standard promotional and learning solutions can provide to maximise their effect and showcase their value. That’s why we suggested an AR (Augmented Reality) tablet and mobile app to go along the GenZero physical timber model. By simply scanning the customised QR codes all around the model, the users and learners can use a tablet or their phone to be shown a 3D model that expands on what they are seeing in the physical world.
The project was also displayed and showcased at the National History Museum in London in May 2022, where visitors could try AR and interact with the GenZero model in real-life. This is truly one of the best use cases for augmented reality learning and interaction as it also offers the chance to interact with a physical element in the real world in a museum.
This video includes snippets of the GenZero AR app showcased at the National History Museum in London and shots from BE-ST, where the model is currently located.
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