Communication for Sustainable Development

Bradford to host Europe's largest sustainable business site

A new sustainable building development in Inspire Bradford Business Park is set to become Europe's largest construction of environmentally friendly office spaces after securing funding.

Work on the new £4m commercial property development will feature two buildings which use more than 2,500 traditional straw bale wall panels to form the prefabricated wall panels.

It will also be built according to the latest sustainable construction standards to achieve a BREEAM rating.

The carbon-negative building products manufacturer ModCell assembled the panels by utilising the thermal insulation qualities of straw to form wall panels that can be quickly and efficiently installed.

Operations and marketing director of Modcell, Finlay White said: "The buildings have the same lifespan as traditional buildings and running costs are drastically reduced. The market potential is huge."

The new buildings will house 14 serviced office and 14 managed workspaces and will be managed by the Newlands Community Association (NCA), an organisation that provides training and education for the local community.

Chief executive of the NCA, Tony Holdich, said in addition to the green credentials of the development that other advantage of using the prefabricated walls has been the speed of construction and cost savings over more traditional construction methods.

Mr Holdich said: "Because the panels are prefabricated and made off site by Modcell this speeds up the construction time significantly."

He added: "Once the installation of the panels is complete, we'll be one step closer to completion and, potential tenants and members of the local community will be able to see for themselves how impressive the business park is going to be."

Funding for the development comes from £1.019m of European Union investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme in Yorkshire and The Humber, £1m from the Communitybuilders Fund and £990,000 from Bradford Council's Local Enterprise Growth Initiative. NCA also secured a £1m mortgage from The Charity Bank for the business park.

Other sustainable features of the business park will include a ground-source heat pump and a rainwater catchment reservoir which will supply lavatories and water for plants within the building. Photovoltaic cells in the roof will also create energy whilst wooden fittings and carpets will be made from recycled material.

The project is expected to be completed by December of this year and there are plans to continue development in the remaining acre of the park.


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