Students Staff

14 January 2016

First zero-carbon business school building in UK launched by open data pioneer

Essex Business School 2016

The Chief Executive of the Open Data Institute Gavin Starks helped launch the new landmark home of Essex Business School - the first zero-carbon business school building in the UK.

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

They also discovered the new opportunities to work with the University to drive innovation to create new jobs, increase productivity in the public and private sector, and generate growth.

Mr Starks congratulated everyone involved in the project for creating such a "fantastic space at such an important time" and highlighted the massive economic potential of harnessing data. He said: "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 data impacts of its work."

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."

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

“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 are studying at the Business School from more than 130 countries – including around 300 postgraduates.

The designs for the new building were created by BDP to reflect the Business School’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.

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

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