AHDB green offices given go-ahead

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has been given the go-ahead to build a state-of-the-art, energy efficient office at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

The futuristic building, which the AHDB says will cost under £10m to construct, will include solar panels and a “living roof”, making it 64% more energy efficient than a conventional office.

Built with the help of a £4.7m grant from Advantage West Midlands, the single-storey, 38,000sq ft offices will house 250 staff and is expected to be completed next year.

The organisation had been based in temporary offices at the park, which is also home to the eco-friendly NFU headquarters, since it was launched in 2008.

John Bridge, AHDB chairman, said the building design reflected an organisation “in tune with the environment and its employees”.

“We need open plan offices to help us fully deliver the sharing of best practice and other operational efficiencies expected from the restructuring of the levy boards,” he said.

“Our staff are delighted at the prospect of only facing one more winter in our temporary offices, largely built as summer pavilions for the agricultural show season and not designed for year-round occupation.

“A real strength of the levy boards has always been in the expertise and quality of the staff. In my experience good working conditions helps to retain and motivate staff.”