Showcasing European Innovations in North America

The European Innovation Pavilion hosted by World of Walas at the Buildex 2018 conference and trade show was met with very positive reception. For two days, between February 14th and 15th, partners from Europe joined us to provide a unique experience for the North American urban development industry. As part of World of Walas’ work in providing access-to-innovations for smart and more sustainable cities, our pavilion was able to demonstrate diverse solutions that could be implemented together holistically. Following the themes of sustainable materials, sustainable design and the digitization of cities, we showcased partners with solutions in sustainable hardwood application, smart climate control for buildings, virtual reality for construction design and solar parkade.

In Western Canada, the momentum to meet new building requirements and certification standards in North America is growing with movements such as Passive House. There is a strong interest in bringing these innovations together in smart combinations to reach new levels of building efficiency and sustainability, ultimately meeting those standards.

World of Walas CEO, Gerben van Straaten, rounded up the activities with a final presentation on the unique values and principles of World of Walas. He inspired attendees with examples that led to our adoption and creation of innovations in solar and wind energy, hydrogen fuel cells, bio-algae heat generators and vertical farming. He also highlighted some of our work with the Earth Charter and Earth Charter cities. World of Walas realizes the importance of working together with organizations across Europe and Canada, across sectors and different organizations. We see opportunity in partnering and providing tangible solutions that can be highlighted globally to create a more sustainable and peaceful world.

These tangible solutions included our previous projects and inspired the crowd to rethink opportunities in the urban development industry for the retrofitting of old buildings, cradle-to-cradle material use and building smarter buildings around resource efficiency, productivity and community.

“Individual innovations can offer improvements to the financial, environmental and social impact of our projects. When the right innovations are brought together in smart combinations using proven business models, we can create wholistic solutions that offer exponential improvements to the overall project and surrounding area,” says van Straaten.

After the conference, we were happy to hear that our participating partners were happy with the outcome and the chance to connect with some of the 14,000 attendees for the conference and tradeshow. Each partner received their own display for their booth, a central reception for the pavilion, support in the process of attending the conference and photos of the event afterwards.

We would like to thank all of the attendees who visited the pavilion and our partners for joining us in this effort. We would like to give a special thanks to our generous supporters, Informa, Exhibau and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vancouver  for making this exhibit happen.

Walas has been invited to host another pavilion next year, and are happy to expand our offerings to include more European innovations and partners. For more information on this and other opportunities with the World of Walas, please email us at