Europe’s Largest Living Wall Takes Shape as Salford’s Eden, New Bailey Work Continues
A new 12-storey office development on track to become one of the UK’s most energy efficient buildings, will also be home to Europe’s largest living wall, with 355,000 plants, insect hotels and bird nesting boxes.
The groundbreaking Eden, New Bailey building is a 115,000 sq ft office block currently under construction in Salford, being developed by The English Cities Fund. A joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England, Eden is designed to be net zero carbon in operation, and is currently targeting a NABERS UK (an essential ratings body for net zero carbon aims) rating of 5.5 stars, which would make it one of the most energy efficient buildings in the UK.
Part of the larger New Bailey redevelopment and located on a tightly constrained corner plot next to a multistorey car park, Eden’s ground floor will also include space for a new community of retail and leisure businesses that will service the organisations setting up camp inside Eden’s offices.
Set within a thriving business district in Salford , every element of Eden’s design has been created to ensure it is one of the UK’s most green, environmentally friendly and sustainable office buildings, and an example to our industry as we all strive to be net zero.
Due for completion this year, we have been appointed on the project as both Structural and Civil Engineers by the project’s main contractor, B+K, to take the design forward to construction. Our role has involved value engineering with B+K to bring down the cost and embodied carbon of the building. This included load reduction and structural engineering refinement, which has produced savings on the frame and the foundations, with a 27% reduction in the tonnage of the steel frame and a 33% reduction in the diameter of the pile foundations.
As construction continues, there will be a regular carbon assessment to ensure the scheme not only eliminates waste but also reduces embodied carbon and uses sustainable materials whenever possible. That means using recycled steel for reinforcement and cement replacements for part of the substructure and superstructure.
Both a talking point and key feature, Eden’s beautiful living wall will completely cover the building, covering a surface area of approximately 4,000m2. Welcoming 32 plant species, insect hotels and bird nesting boxes, the all-year-round wall will increase bio-diversity, help mitigate air pollution and be completely self-sufficient thanks to its access to regular sunlight and rainwater. It will also improve the thermal performance of the building.
From co-working spaces, a roof terrace to step away from the busy working day, to yoga studios and cosy coffee shops, the Eden experience will provide its community with a environment that firmly prioritises health and wellness.
A gateway to New Bailey and another chapter in its story, Eden embodies so many of our own values here at Civic Engineers. Climate sensitivity and its protection shapes everything we do and our work supporting the teams bringing Eden to life inspires us to continue to play our own role in building inspirational places and spaces for our communities.