Set up in 2002 by Paul Bright to give advice, guidance and training in the understanding and skills needed to build sustainably, The Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust (CBST) ran training courses in all aspects of sustainable building and energy management. Their events, newsletters and training activities have contributed to the development of the green building sector over the past decade and they are now a recognised leader within Cornwall.
Working extensively in partnership with Cornwall Council, Cornwall College, The Eden Project and a wide range of SMEs in Cornwall and the South West, their operations have expanded to include EU project work. 2015 marked a further broadening of their activities, with the opening of The Green Build Hub - a unique research facility in Cornwall branded as a ‘Living Laboratory’.
Located at the Eden Project visitor attraction site in Cornwall and powered by on-site renewable energy systems, the hub was part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The quadrant-shaped, two-storey, highly insulated timber-framed building features natural thermal insulation, a floor slab with 50% less cement than traditional builds - using Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag waste; glulam roof beams and triple-glazed windows, all helping it to achieve a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating. The design and construction adopted a closed-loop, cradle-to-cradle approach, with fully recyclable and reusable materials being used throughout.
The Green Build Hub will demonstrate and monitor the performance of innovative sustainable construction techniques and materials in a real building setting. It will be open to the public, offering unique awareness-raising opportunities and operating as a training hub for the industry. Its use of innovative materials will be monitored and used for research.
As the building also seeks to explore the latest in working practices, Kinnarps has donated two Series P height-adjustable desks for the office space. Technology and Training Manager, Colin Russell says, “We wanted to make every detail of the building an exemplar, from construction to use. Partnering with Kinnarps makes perfect sense as they combine the latest in workplace furniture design with market-leading sustainable credentials. There is a great synergy between their thinking and ours.”
Developed design was by architect Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole, structural engineer CDeC and services engineer Hoare Lea. Following a two-stage tender, local contractor Gilbert & Goode was appointed Main Contractor and Principle Contractor under NEC3 design and build partnering contract.
The office space on the first floor was specifically designed to incorporate desks that encouraged movement and standing to work, with high level windows looking out to the atrium space and beyond across The Eden Project.
Caron Johnson, who is Vice-Chair of the CBST, concludes, “We are very proud of the achievements so far and look forward to using the hub as an example to local, national and international visitors. Being able to demonstrate that we also follow an inclusive design principle, with the introduction of Kinnarps sit-stand desks, is the icing on the cake.”