The Construction Industry’s Eyes are on The English Cities Fund’s “Trailblazing” Eden Project, says NABERS Director

Carlos Flores, director of NABERS, one of the key organisations establishing the new world standard for net-zero-target design and construction, says the North West developers behind one of Europe’s most advanced green building projects, have been incredibly forward-thinking in setting such high environmental targets, and is urging them to share what they learn with the design and construction community.

Carlos, the most senior officer at Australia-based NABERS, was speaking as part of a podcast discussion between himself and The English Cities Fund’s Leon Guyett and Emma Payne, who respectively lead on the delivery of Eden. The scheme will feature Europe’s biggest living wall – and a NABERS target of 5.5 stars.

Eden is a £36 million, 115,000 sq ft 12-storey office building in Salford, developed by The English Cities Fund – a strategic joint venture between national urban regeneration firm, Muse, Legal & General and Homes England. Eden is anticipated to complete in May 2023 and will be adorned with over 350,000 plants.

It is being built to the UK Green Building Council’s 2035-2050 standards and will be marketed to potential occupiers that are determined to underpin their green credentials.

It has been targeted that Eden will achieve a base build rating of 5.5 (out of a possible six) stars with ratings system, NABERS UK… which would make it a UK first! NABERS UK is a simple, reliable system for rating the energy efficiency of buildings.

Carlos told Leon and Emma in the podcast:

“We’re incredibly proud of the work that you’re doing, setting really high targets in sustainability is hard; it’s definitely harder than not doing so. I think the fact that you’re setting a target that no-one’s set before in the UK means you know it’s going to be a challenge.

” It’s inevitable when you’re taking the lead in such a quickly-evolving area, you’re going to come up against challenges and I think ECF is ideally placed to tackle those challenges head on. I think it’s incredibly forward-thinking; you’re blazing the trail for all the other buildings and players in the market to follow.

“Any lessons that you learn, positive, negative, things that were easy, things that were hard, that you do everything you can to share them, because that’s how we move ahead faster together. There’s going to be so many valuable lessons to come from this project.”

Leon Guyett said: “We were a little knocked sideways by Carlos’ comments, and it dawned on us during the podcast recording that there’s a lot of eyes on what we’re doing at Eden. Yes, we’ve come across challenges, but the team is so well researched and has so carefully planned that while we’ve experienced some challenges we’ve overcome them through sheer strength of experience, creativity and intellect.”

Added Emma: “It also became apparent that Carlos believes that once Eden is complete and operating, the UK will follow Australia in adopting NABERS as the go-to accreditation in sustainability.

“It was an incredibly enlightening session, covering everything from revenue and profitability elements of owning and leasing out a NABERS accredited building, through to how buildings designed and constructed to older standards can be progressively moved up the NABERS ratings through some surprisingly straightforward changes to both the material upgrades and operational processes.”


Listen to the series of podcasts

The importance of NABERS accreditation and why this is significant for Eden

Eden – A Trailblazing Landmark

Energy Use Audits

The Financial Benefits of Accreditation