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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. The Entopia Building, a 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. 

The Sustainability Team are proud to have been closely involved in project development. Alex Reeve, our Sustainable Building Advisor, sees this as a very exciting pathfinder project for the University Estate, as we refine our strategy to eliminate fossil natural gas as a fuel for our many older buildings. It demonstrates that there is a way to transition to low carbon heating whilst conserving Cambridge’s outstanding built heritage. 

Through the project we have been able to demonstrate the viability of measures such as internal wall insulation and triple glazing which have significantly reduced the size of the air source heat pump installation and avoided the need to upgrade electrical substation capacity. This means the only significant external alterations are the glazing and a solar power photovoltaic array on the roof.

The investment in building fabric is expected to increase the long-term value of the building, with an Energy Performance Certificate of ‘E’ expected to become an ‘A’, lower utility bills, and lower plant maintenance costs.

See the CISL website for more information, together with updates as the project progresses.