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Open Innovation Hub partnership will support built environment innovation

BRE will create an Open Innovation Hub at our Watford campus, part-funded by a £2.2m Getting Building Fund investment from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Due to open in spring 2022, the Innovation Hub will provide 30,000 sq. ft. of new commercial space to house innovative businesses specialising in the built environment. The scheme will involve the sustainable refurbishment of two existing buildings on BRE’s Garston campus, which is part of Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter (IQ) – the county’s enterprise zone.

A variety of spaces and leasing options will be provided for new tenants, ranging from co-working rooms to open plan and cellular offices for rent. This will demonstrate a consistent and cost-effective approach to providing flexible, healthy, and low carbon workspaces that are more sustainable than current stock. BRE will assess the quality and performance of the scheme using its own internationally recognised sustainability tools and methodologies like BREEAM.

BRE Chief Executive Gillian Charlesworth said: “The Open Innovation Hub is an incredibly important project as we look to make a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and contend with outdated housing stock and office space that currently has far too high a carbon footprint. Looking at how to reduce this and contribute to the innovation of the construction sector is something that BRE is uniquely placed to advise on and we are proud to help facilitate Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter’s ambition of creating a better, greener future”.

Richard Whitehead, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP’s Enterprise Zone Board, said: “The Open Innovation Hub will play a key role in strengthening Hertfordshire’s existing smart construction capabilities. It will provide ideal conditions for small business growth, giving tenant companies access to BRE’s unrivalled built environment expertise and vital opportunities to collaborate.”