© Scott Brownrigg

CABI Headquarters – Cost ManagementWallingford

The unique CABI development provides office and residential space with a low impact design, and a strong emphasis on low-carbon design principles.

This new HQ building will replace the existing, which formed part of a wider mixed-use development. As a non-profit organisation centred around agricultural and environmental development, it was vital to CABI’s brief that passive design principles be fully integrated into the completed development. Also key to the project was that building itself have minimal visual impact on the surrounding environment.

Ridge worked closely with the client and design team to ensure that design choices were reflective of the client’s aspirations including:

  • Demolition of all existing buildings on site
  • Construction of an exemplar headquarters building allowing CABI to continue operating throughout the construction period
  • Construction of a new residential development to provide the enabling funding for the HQ building (once the new office is complete). Residential development comprises 91 new houses.


Working with planning consultants, Ridge gained outline planning permission for the £40million development and undertook commercial and contractual negotiations with a number of developers for them to take on the residential development. In tandem, Ridge took the client brief for the office and, as project managers, tendered through a design competition to appoint the architect, design team and quantity surveyor.

The masterplan has been designed in order that the residential development and the office work in synergy, not only in the spatial layout but also in the use of the site. The accommodation will provide a range of associated amenities such as a cafe, meeting rooms and a lecture theatre, which will be available to the local community out of office hours.

The unique form of the low-impact, 2-storey, 2,500sqm office is derived from passive solar design principles. The complete development will incorporate energy-saving measures above current Building Regulations standards.

Robust and easy to maintain in terms of fabric materials used, overall construction, services and grounds to provide longevity to the premises.

  • £8.5 million

    Project value

  • EPC A

    Energy rating

  • 2,500sqm

    Office space