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World first sustainable office retrofit

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has announced the start of works on its new visionary headquarters. This world first for a retrofitted sustainable office building will set new standards for low energy use, carbon emissions and impact on natural resources as well as user experience and wellbeing measured against multiple benchmarks.

As part of a collaborative team approach, we are providing building services engineering, sustainability and interior design services for the new headquarters, named The Entopia Building. The retrofitted 1930s telephone exchange at 1 Regent Street, Cambridge will be transformed over the next 10 months into an ultra-low carbon sustainability hub, and new home for CISL as it scales up business, government and academic leadership, collaboration and innovation to accelerate the inclusive global transition.

Principal, James Hepburn said: “The Entopia Building is set to be the most significant project of its type in the country – proving that the most sustainable building is one that already exists. The measures we are incorporating go far beyond standard sustainable buildings and the integrated and collaborative approach to design, operation and management from all stakeholders will undoubtedly result in a truly efficient, world class facility.


We continue to explore environmentally progressive ways of designing buildings using natural, low carbon materials and engineering the most efficient building services. This project is an exemplar for the evolution of sustainable building refurbishment approaches in the UK, and we are very proud to be part of a fantastic team bringing it to life.”

Dame Polly Courtice, Founder Director, CISL said: “CISL’s new HQ at The Entopia Building will exemplify and enable our mission to support and inspire the leadership and innovation we need to transition to sustainable economy. Our aim is to create a highly collaborative and sustainable workspace to bring together Cambridge’s academic and innovation communities with our network of companies and sustainability leaders to accelerate solutions to global sustainability challenges.”

The Entopia Building aims to be an international exemplar for sustainable office retrofits, demonstrating how an existing office building can be made highly energy efficient in its redevelopment and use, whilst supporting the enhanced wellbeing of staff and visitors. The building will also provide a base for the Institute’s digital learning programmes which reach more than 4,000 executives each year through remote learning. High tech video conferencing facilities and collaborative digital platforms will enable its network of 16,000 alumni, fellows and associates to collaborate and engage with its work remotely.

Entopia-Building-Credit Soren Kristensen.jpg

Photo by Soren Kristensen

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