New CABI Headquarters Wins SECBE Project of the Year

02 July 2021

Ridge is thrilled to announce that the New Headquarters for CABI has won Constructing Excellence SECBE Project of the Year Award, under £10m. It also achieved 4th place in the People's Choice Award.

Ridge provided Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Planning Consultancy and Quality Monitoring services, working alongside architects Scott Brownrigg to bring to life the low carbon headquarters.

This unique development provided CABI with an exemplar £9.5million new headquarters building set in the Chilterns (AONB). CABI is a not-for-profit international organisation that improves people’s lives by addressing problems in agriculture and the environment around the world, so it was vital that passive design principles were fully integrated with minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

This high-profile, landmark development is an outstanding local project providing office space for 180 staff with low impact/low-carbon design principles, successfully integrated into a bio-diverse landscape, with a living roof, attracting insects and birds, promoting, and enhancing biodiversity.

It was essential for CABI’s goals to achieve the lowest environmental impacts for the 2-storey, 2,500m² HQ. The design was therefore driven with low environmental impact at the forefront. Key consideration for the project was reducing the energy consumption, low running costs and minimal maintenance. This drove every aspect of the design from the orientation of the building, to minimise solar gain whilst maximising natural light, and the internal ventilation strategies which promote healthy fresh air, user control whilst minimising energy use. The scheme’s ‘passive design’ strategy takes a ‘fabric first’ approach, the careful orientation and ground hugging building uses a form of self-shading, and the evaporative cooling effects of the living-roof to reduce the requirements for artificial cooling and heating.

CABI HQ was delivered on time, within budget and exceeded quality expectation.

“On behalf of my EMT colleagues and CABI staff worldwide let me thank all our professional advisers, partners and suppliers for helping us achieve this exciting milestone in CABI’s history. We now have an office that we can be proud of fitting for an international organisation, visited by guests from around the world. It is truly in keeping with our mission and values to protect the environment and biodiversity whilst also being an impressive local landmark that will put us on the map more visibly in the community”. Former CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls

Key facts:

  • Delivered a cost neutral project for CABI by developing the surrounding land to fund the new headquarters building.
  • Delivered this high-profile, landmark building to budget and on programme (despite COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Delivery of an exemplar outstanding local project with a unique ‘wave’ form adjacent to an AONB and achieving the quality aspirations defined by the client.