A partnering of British green engineering and immersive story-telling talent has created a stand-out web-based augmented reality (AR) experience that delivers a vitally important message about how the UK can tackle climate change as a legacy of COP26.
Launched to a global audience at the pivotal COP26 climate change summit, ‘Welcome to Green Street’ is a pioneering production by Emmy-award winning Atlantic Productions and the Kensa Group – the UK’s only manufacturer of low carbon ground source heat pumps.
Using the real-life inner-city suburb of Green Street in Glasgow as a basis for the AR experience, virtual tour guide ‘Doug’ sets out how the current gas grid could be replaced with renewable infrastructure in an interactive fly-through, demystifying ground source technology and showcasing its benefits.
The need to decarbonise heat is one of the most pressing and troublesome concerns on the UK’s journey to net zero. The government is aiming to get 600,000 heat pumps installed every year by 2028. ‘Welcome to Green Street’ demonstrates Kensa’s pioneering solution to this challenge, bringing to life a greener future in which whole communities make the switch from gas boilers to ground source heat pumps.
To facilitate the widespread roll-out of the technology, Kensa is urging key stakeholders to focus efforts on street-by-street installations of networked heat pumps, rather than replacing gas boilers on a house-by-house basis.
Stephanie Gregory, Marketing Director at Kensa Group, said: “We want to create a shift in how people think about heat pumps and how they heat their homes. For the UK to achieve our carbon reduction commitments, all of us, across society, policy, industry and the economy must be connected to this united goal.
“COP26 was the perfect opportunity to launch the AR experience and put the decarbonisation of heat on the agenda. The summit was the catalyst for the decarbonisation discussion, and now everyone can experience what a transition from fossil fuels to renewable heating looks like in their communities, and that provides a lasting legacy.”
Kensa worked with the award-winning Atlantic Productions, part of Alchemy Immersive to create the innovative web-based AR experience. It was felt that with no app required, WebAR would increase engagement with delegates at COP26 and give Kensa the widest possible reach of all AR platforms, across both iOS and Android devices. The ground-breaking content was created in just eight weeks.
Anthony Geffen, Creative Director and CEO of Alchemy Immersive, said: “We have been delighted to bring our storytelling and the cutting-edge technology, to deliver this really important message about how heat pumps can reduce emissions and supply energy to a community.”
Kensa launched ‘Welcome to Green Street’ at COP26 at Glasgow, directing people to the experience via a QR code - it was viewed over 2,500 times. It formed an integral part of an exhibition stand in the summit’s Green Zone, also showcasing Kensa’s award-winning Shoebox heat pump – the only heating appliance on display at the summit.
During the Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day, Lord Callanan, Energy and Climate Change Minister visited Kensa’s stand and delved into the augmented reality experience. He remarked: “Businesses like Kensa will play a big part in developing the heat pump manufacturing industry in the UK, so it is fantastic to see their work showcased to a global audience.”