Essex Business School unveils its new zero-carbon home at Knowledge Gateway in Colchester

Essex Business School.

Essex Business School. - Credit: Archant

Essex Business School has celebrated the official launch of its new landmark home, which is claimed to be the first zero-carbon business school building in the UK.

From left, University of Essex vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster, Open Data Institute chief

From left, University of Essex vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster, Open Data Institute chief executive Gavin Starks and the Dean of Essex Business School, Professor Geoff Wood, at the launch of the school's new zero-carbon building. - Credit: Archant

Business leaders and representatives from across the region attended the event and had the chance to tour the state-of-the-art £21million building which is part of the Knowledge Gateway, the University of Essex’s 43-acre research and business park on the edge of Colchester.

They were also able to discover new opportunities to work with the university in driving innovation to create new jobs, increase productivity in the public and private sector and generate growth.

Guest of honour at the launch was Gavin Starks, chief executive of the Open Data Institute, who congratulated everyone involved in the project for creating such a “fantastic space at such an important time”.

He also highlighted the massive economic potential of harnessing data, adding: “There are huge opportunities for UK business so I am really excited by the business school and looking forward to seeing the outputs, outcomes and impact of its work.”

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University vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “We know working collaboratively with businesses across the East of England is key to our success and, through investments like the new Essex Business School building on our Knowledge Gateway, we are really keen to play our full part in the region.”

The dean of Essex Business School, Professor Geoff Wood, said: “This beautiful new building is a centre of excellence for education and research in business.

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“Our new home creates a collaborative environment where students, staff and business partners can work together to solve global business challenges. The fantastic learning spaces we now have will also help our students develop the knowledge, skills and integrity to flourish in a global marketplace.

“The fact this new building is zero carbon shows how we don’t just talk sustainability and ethical business, we live it. The design reflects our commitment to responsible business practice in both our teaching and research.”

Essex Business School is one of the top 25 business schools in the country for the quality of its research, with two-thirds of its research rated as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. More than 1,700 students from more than 130 countries are studying at the school, including around 300 postgraduates.

The designs for the new building were created by BDP to reflect the shool’s ethos of sustainability in educating the business leaders of tomorrow and the construction project was overseen by Morgan Sindall.

A stunning winter garden with Eden Project-like domed roof is at the heart of the site creating its own micro-climate. More than one tonne of carbon is saved per day through the building’s energy efficient design and the use of low carbon technologies.

State-of-the-art facilities include a virtual Bloomberg trading floor and innovation booths for group-working plus dedicated working space for postgraduate and research students.

The new building is a flagship building on the Knowledge Gateway which is being developed to become the location of choice in the eastern region for knowledge-based enterprises in science, technology and the creative sector.

The Parkside Office Village, just across from the new building, is already providing a home to nearly 20 businesses with new phases under development due to the level of demand. A £10m Innovation Centre, accommodating up to 52 new start-up companies, has also just received planning approval.

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