We were challenged to design a low carbon headquarters for not-for-profit international organisation CABI. CABI apply scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. For the past 33 years they have been based in an old school building that required a high level of maintenance.
Our design provides a two-storey, low carbon office that integrates an experimental bio-diverse landscape with a new collaborative flexible working environment. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the building responds to its surroundings with a living roof, which will attract insects and birds and enhance biodiversity. Inside, it hosts up to 180 members of staff, who are provided with a range of amenities including a café restaurant, meeting rooms and conference room / auditorium.
We have ensured the design is highly energy efficient with detailed strategies for materials, orientation and structures. Natural ventilation was a key design factor, and was achieved by a perforated façade, which permits cool air into the building throughout day and night. A traffic light system alerts users when the building gets too hot or doesn’t have enough fresh air.