New RIBA Film for Schools on Climate Change and the Built Environment – ‘Building for the Future’

RIBA - University of Bristol
Designs for new University of Bristol building by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today released a new film and suite of curriculum-linked learning resources for teachers to use for free with their Key Stage 3 to 4 students (aged 13-16), exploring climate change and the built environment. The film is presented by award-winning poet and BBC Radio Presenter Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape.

The film examines the role that the built environment plays in climate change, teaching us that around 40% of global carbon emissions come from buildings and construction. Through exposure to information and inspiring sustainable designs, the film empowers young people to think critically and creatively about how we can tackle the climate crisis through design and innovation.

The Lead Teacher of Design at Portland Place School said: “I liked RIBA’s Building the Future film because it had an excellent range of experts who explain things simply and had great case studies, which again are well explained!”

Students at Denefield School, Berkshire, said: “I learned that encouraging people to walk and cycle is really important, so the location of developments is really important!”

“I learned that reducing carbon emissions is really important in both construction and demolition!”

The film: 

  • Clearly explains a range of key terms and concepts including: what is the built environment? What role does the built environment play in climate change? and what is the importance of good design?
  • Introduces young people to a range of career specialisms within the built environment including Architect, Conservation Architect, Sustainability Lead and Planner. 
  • Shows a range of innovative and real-life case studies of sustainable design – a new sustainable campus designed for Bristol University; the transformation of disused social housing in Glasgow into comfortable, energy-efficient homes through retrofitting and sustainable design on a masterplan scale of 23,000 new homes with the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.
  • Is structured so that teachers can either present the film in its entirety or explore it in sections with their students.  

The film and links to teaching resources can be accessed here.  

The film is part of the RIBA National Schools Programme.

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