Record-breaking sustainable office, Eden, has reached practical completion, creating a new gem on Salford’s skyline

14th February 2024


The £36M, 115,000sq ft 12-storey office building in New Bailey, Salford has been developed by The English Cities Fund (ECF) and boasts the highest NABERS UK Design Reviewed Target Rating for a new-build development in the UK to date and the largest living wall in Europe.

Eden is one of the UK’s most sustainable office buildings, designed using the UK Green Building Council’s 2030 – 2035 standards and with the capability to run on 100% renewable electricity.

Developed on a former derelict surface car park, Eden demonstrates the potential harnessed by ECF (a development company set up by urban regeneration specialist Muse, Homes England, the Government’s housing and regeneration agency and investors Legal & General) to transform urban areas and create exceptional new places.

Challenged by ECF to deliver the most sustainable, carbon-efficient building achievable within the budget and the constraints of the site, architects Make designed the 12-storey office development with an upfront embodied carbon rate of 664kg CO2/m2 as compared with over 1,000kgCO2/m2 for a typical office scheme. The design team is also aiming for the building to achieve a 5.5-star NABERS UK (National Australian Building Rating System) Energy Rating once the in-use data is available, with ‘green lease’ agreements in place to ensure that the tenants are also on board with the vision for the building.

Working closely with ECF and consultants Cundall, Make took a fabric-first approach to reduce carbon emissions by reducing and reusing materials wherever possible. The building has a 60:40 solid to glazing ratio and is insulated using Passivhaus principles. Air source heat pumps provide low-carbon heating, hot water and cooling, and the team avoided constructing a basement – a key move which considerably reduced embodied carbon emissions. To maintain the living wall, the design team came up with an irrigation system that uses rainwater harvested from the building’s roof.


Eden’s most noticeable design feature is its living facade, which covers over 36,000 sq ft of the building with 32 species of evergreen and perennial planting. Designed in collaboration with living wall specialists ANS, this major piece of green infrastructure – the largest living wall in Europe at the time of completion – makes a distinctive contribution to a community short on green spaces.

With over 350,000 plants, the green elevations make a dramatic and unusual addition to the urban realm, easily identifiable from a distance and within the boundaries of the New Bailey area itself. The living wall also removes air pollutants, lowers urban temperatures, and improves biodiversity in Salford.

Phil Marsden, Managing Director North West for Muse, comments: “Watching Eden emerge on Salford’s skyline over the last two years has been an incredible journey. What started as an ambition to build the UK’s most sustainable and environmentally considerate commercial building became so much more. We take our learnings from Eden onto our future projects where we strive to do even better. Everyone involved in Eden should be incredibly proud.”

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, adds: “With its pioneering sustainability credentials and incredible façade, Eden isn’t just a local legend, it is a national icon, that we are truly proud of. It’s a beacon of our city’s carbon neutrality commitments, it provides a blueprint for the future for the construction sector and is another bold testament to our city’s reputation for innovation. This unique building and the positive visual impact it has had on the city’s skyline is a reflection of the inspiration and drive we have in Salford to think differently and innovate to make Salford a cleaner, greener, healthier place to live and work.”

Eden is a key part of ECF’s £1bn regeneration of the Salford Central area of the city into a diverse mixed-use destination, complete with a bustling commercial district, alongside a vibrant community of homes and amenities, to provide something to suit everyone’s needs.

Danielle Gillespie, Director of Regeneration, Partnerships and Major Projects, Homes England, commented: “The completion of the Eden building by English Cities Fund is an important milestone in the transformational regeneration of Salford. This achievement will contribute further to the creation of vibrant new places, jobs, homes, and opportunities across the region. Eden has set new and ambitious standards for future buildings across the country, which will contribute to the quality and sustainability of the built landscape.”




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