Building our future at the Green Build Hub.

Eden provide site, ERDF gives green light.

This summer marks the realisation of a long held ambition for the Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust (CSBT). Construction starts on the landmark £1.4 million Green Build Hub (GBH) building thanks to an investment of £1.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme.

GBH will be a ‘living laboratory’ where eco-building products will be installed, tested and monitored to produce objective and comprehensive performance data in a real building setting. The building will serve as a distinctive training centre, and encourage inward investment by companies such as specialist green suppliers by enabling them to showcase and test innovative products within the building.

“The Green Build Hub (GBH) has been a long awaited concept. UK and Europe continue to engage with new ways of using sustainable building technology in construction and we want to position Cornwall as a hub of knowledge for sustainable innovations in building techniques,” said Paul Bright CEO of CSBT.

The two-storey BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ building will sit in a prominent position adjacent to the ‘Pineapple’ car park at The Eden Project. The innovation starts before the building is even up and running. The Trust is looking at ways to record the building development process to be used as current and future study materials. An example of this is the incorporation of Building Information Modelling, which uses 3D visualisation to map the build process, “This kind of information is unique and should help those looking to study green building methods for future projects,” confirmed Paul Bright CEO of CSBT.

New techniques used in its construction, will make it stand out. Phil Crossley CEnv MRICS, Senior Associate Director at Ward Williams Associates explains: “The concertina front of the property has been designed as a series of glazed sections between low impact structural insulated panels; these panels will showcase and test new renewable materials in modular walls, such as straw bales. Most excitingly over the life of the building these will be interchangeable as new and better performing structural elements come onto the market.”

CSBT has appointed Ward Williams Associates to lead their consultant team, whilst the design and build contract has been awarded to a team lead by local contractors Gilbert & Goode, including St Ives based architects Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole. Rachael Gaunt, Director at PBWC said: “PBWC are committed to working with clients interested in ground-breaking building techniques, so the Green Build Hub is a fascinating and varied project which will help PBWC to be at the leading edge of green innovation.”

The GBH location renders it fully accessible to conducted tours enabling the general public as well as businesses to interact with the building. Even the roof will be accessible for wheel chairs users, so everyone will be able to inspect green roofing experiments and renewable energy installations. Embedded into the landscape with complementary planting, the site will boast features such as high-speed charging for electric vehicles, which The Trust hopes to use to run electric mini bus tours to the building in the future.

Julian German, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture & member of the Convergence LMC highlights that: “This is an important build for the Clay Country, which is a priority area for the ERDF Convergence Programme. I hope the building will stimulate and support SMEs in the green build and renewable sectors nationally to engage with the innovation going on at the site. Coupled with the opportunity for new high level skills to be taught on site, this can only be a benefit to the wider area.”

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