This June, leaders from countries including the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan will congregate in Cornwall, a picturesque county in the southwest of England, to take part in the G-7 summit.
The small coastal resort of Carbis Bay will be the epicenter of the talks, with larger towns including St Ives and Falmouth set to play a supporting role.
While Cornwall is rightly famed for its natural beauty, fishing communities and pristine beaches, it’s also home to one of the most interesting developments in Britain: the Eden Project.
A popular tourist attraction located near the town of St Austell — around an hour’s drive from Carbis Bay — the Eden Project was officially opened in 2001.
The site is instantly recognizable thanks to its “Biomes,” which are bubble-like structures housing vast indoor gardens packed with plants from across the world.
Below, CNBC looks at some of the other design features and technologies which have helped the Eden Project stand out from the crowd and attract millions of visitors over the years.
In a bid to cut its energy consumption, the Eden Project — which is temporarily closed to visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic — makes use of a building management system, or BMS.
Its official site describes this as resembling “a giant TV remote” which enables “very tight control of our heating and electrical systems.”
The BMS monitors usage within the Biomes, offices and other buildings at the complex and ensures the site never uses more than it needs.
Energy efficiency and insulation
In addition to the BMS, a range of on-the-ground technologies are being deployed to boost the energy efficiency of the Eden Project.
These include the installation of LED lighting and use of high-efficiency boilers.
Buildings at the site have also been designed to make the most of natural light and ventilation, while an emphasis has also been placed on the use of “super insulation.”
Hexagonal cushions on the Biomes’ steel structure are used to capture air between two layers of a material called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, creating a “thermal blanket.”
Elsewhere, insulation comes in the form of recycled newspapers, while a green roof located on a building used by staff attracts wildlife and helps keep things cool during the summer and warm in winter months.
While the site has placed a great deal of focus on energy efficiency, it’s also embracing renewable energy technologies.
A 30 kilowatt (kW) solar power system has been installed on the rooftop of the Eden Project’s Core building — which is used for education purposes — while a 5 kW wind turbine is located near the site’s car park.
These technologies are supplemented by a deal with Good Energy, which supplies the Eden Project with 100% renewable energy.
Just last week, it was announced a consortium headed up by the Eden Project was one of nine picked to take part in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s “5G Testbeds and Trials Programme.”
Called Eden Universe, the Eden Project consortium will benefit from a grant of £1.6 million ($2.18 million), with a 5G network and 360-degree video technology set to be installed on-site.
Among other things, the tech will allow teams at the Eden Project to create and test a range of augmented and virtual reality programs and “experiences” for visitors.
In addition to the tech which has been integrated into the fabric of the Eden Project’s buildings, efforts are also being made to encourage the use of sustainable transport.
To this end, discounts are available for visitors who cycle, walk or use combined coach, bus and train tickets.
Staff at the Eden Project can also make use of an 18-strong fleet of zero-emission electric vehicles from French carmaker Renault.
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