CBRE Instructed on Europe's Largest Straw Bale Community Development

Leeds, 5 November 2010 – The Building Consultancy team at CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) in Leeds has been instructed to project manage the construction of an innovative £4M eco-friendly Enterprise Centre in Bradford which will be the largest straw bale community development in Europe.

Newlands Community Association initially approached CBRE to advise on repair work to its existing facility, located within a 1950’s school building. The expert team advised that the most cost-effective solution would be to locate from the existing redundant premises to a new facility and subsequently the Association was awarded planning permission to develop a new community centre on a 3.5 acre brownfield site in the Eccleshill area of Bradford.

Funding for the scheme comprises £1.019 from the European Regional Development Fund, £1M from the Communitybuilders fund and £990,000 from Bradford Council’s Government-funded Local Enterprise Growth Initiative in addition to a £1M mortgage from the Charity Bank.

A full design and project team is currently being appointed by CBRE with work scheduled to start on site in January 2011 developing a 2 storey 15,000sq ft Enterprise Centre and an additional 15,370 sq ft building incorporating 14 units of managed workspace with flexible leases. Both buildings, which will be constructed from bales of straw, are scheduled to open towards the end of next year.

CBRE has already assisted the Association with developing plans for the new centre in terms of costings, architecture, sustainable construction and in securing funding and will now manage the entire progress from start to completion.

Nick Twigg, Associate Director of Building Consultancy at CBRE, said; “The Enterprise Centre is an incredibly exciting project and is intended to set the benchmark for sustainable community development in Europe. In addition to the straw bale construction, key features of the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated development will be ground source heat pumps, a canopy constructed from photovoltaic cells, recycled carpet floor coverings and gluelam beams to name a few. The project represents a major investment into an area of Bradford which is prime for regeneration and the result will be a fantastic new centre for the community to benefit from and also an exemplar ‘green’ development.”

Tony Holdich, Business Manager for Newlands Community Association, continues; “When we were advised by CBRE that our existing facility was unfit for use we wanted to really push the boundaries of design and build to create a centre of Excellence.

“Bradford is a truly transformational city and it is projects such as this that will ensure it achieves its long-term regeneration goals. We are delighted to have secured the funding to facilitate this groundbreaking development and are looking forward to seeing work progress on the new facility.”