This question is inspired by this one, which was about representations that can be realised homologically by an action on a graph (i.e., a 1-dimensional complex).

Many interesting integral representations of groups arise from a group acting on a simplicial complex that is homotopy equivalent to a wedge of spheres, by applying homology. A classical example is the action of groups of Lie type on spherical buildings. On homology this gives an integral form of the Steinberg representation.

One may ask if there exists a complex of lower dimension than the Tits building that realises the (integral) Steinberg representation in this way. I expect that the answer is No, but how to prove it?

More generally, given an integral $G$-representation that can be realised as the homology of a spherical complex with an action of $G$, is there an effective lower bound on the dimension of such a complex? One obvious lower bound is given by the minimal length of a resolution by permutation representations. Is this something that has been studied?