May 25, 2021
Awarded the contract by ISG, the project comprises the refurbishment of the existing building at 1 Regent Street, Cambridge to create a new headquarters for the Cambridge University Institute for Sustainable Leadership (CISL).
Known as the Entopia building, the refurbishment will see the premises transformed into an ultra-low carbon sustainability hub and will strive to be an international exemplar for sustainable office retrofits. It aims to achieve multiple sustainable building certifications, including BREEAM (Outstanding), the Passivhaus ‘Enerphit’ standard, and Well (Gold) certification.
Kershaw has been contracted to deliver the full Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) package for the project, which includes: VRF, Domestic Hot and Cold Water, Above Ground Drainage, Electric Heating Systems, Ventilation, PV, Fire Detection and Alarm, Essential Building Management Systems, General Lighting & Emergency Lighting, Structured Cabling Systems, Re-use of Existing Generator and Access Control.
The M&E elements of the development will play a crucial role in enabling the building to reach its sustainability credentials as the UK’s largest Passive House Standard retrofit project – setting new standards and delivering solutions that can be used to address society’s wider challenge of getting to net-zero.
For example, there will be a complex whole-building ventilation system with heat recovery provided from a single central unit, located in the basement. The system is designed in such a way that it will limit the overall volume flow rate required: air is supplied to office spaces, transferred through circulation spaces, and extracted from toilets, showers, cleaner’s cupboards and kitchen areas.
To minimise the amount of equipment required, as part of the project’s ‘circular economy’ design principles, much of the buildings electrical infrastructure will be re-used and the lighting is proposed as re-using fittings from another building, adapting them to suit the new scheme.
“This is a fantastic local project to be part of. It is set to be a model retrofit, in terms of sustainability and will demonstrate how existing office buildings can be made highly energy efficient in their redevelopment.”
The retrofit has been supported by a £6m donation from green technology company Envision Group and a £3m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is also funding the operation of a sustainability hub and small business and start-up accelerator for three years.
The building, which is due to be completed towards the end of 2021, will house CISL’s Cambridge-based staff and provide a virtual hub for its offices in Brussels and Cape Town, partner organisations in China, Australia and the UAE, its global corporate partners, alumni, fellows, associates, researchers and visiting academics.