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London's EDGE centre will promote sustainable products in eco-focused construction showroom

Words:
Stephen Cousins

Stringent criteria will enable the Eco Design Green Environment centre to include non-accredited products from smaller suppliers

The EDGE centre is located close to Baker Street tube and will display materials and products at the forefront of the sustainable design.
The EDGE centre is located close to Baker Street tube and will display materials and products at the forefront of the sustainable design.

Resin cements, biogel adhesives, ‘living’ walls and recycled plastic panels are among sustainable products on display at a first-of-its-kind environmentally-focused design and construction showroom in London.

The 2,400ft2 EDGE (Eco Design Green Environment) centre in Marylebone will function as an environmental hub where environmentally-minded materials suppliers and specifiers, including architects, construction companies and interior designers, can connect to explore cutting edge ideas and solutions. 

Industry partners in the project include the RIBA, the British Institute of Interior Design, Architects! Climate Action Network, the Green Register of Construction Professionals and the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products.

The hub will operate on an appointment-only basis, showcasing materials and products from both established and small independent brands, with a preference for those accredited for sustainability by third-party organisations such as BREEAM, LEED, UL and C2C.

‘We are aware that accreditation can be expensive and time-consuming, particularly for smaller independent brands that we are keen to work with,’ said Felix Beck, architect and EDGE partner. ‘Therefore, when considering a brand that does not yet have accreditation, EDGE bases its selection on the following criteria: Does it source its raw materials based on provenance; ensure its order only the amount of materials that it requires, to avoid waste; minimise energy use during its operations to minimise emissions; reuse its resources and waste products as much as possible; and use closed-loop production methods?’

Vetted brands purchase space in the showroom to promote their products, but through an ‘adaptable’ business model EDGE aims to accommodate businesses of different sizes, needs and budgets. ‘Our main aim is to make this a truly useful, forward thinking arena for all,’ said Beck.

Established brands must be accredited for sustainability by third-party organisations such as BREEAM, LEED, UL and C2C.
Established brands must be accredited for sustainability by third-party organisations such as BREEAM, LEED, UL and C2C.

The initial line up of products on display includes biogel gel-adhesives from Kerakoll; recycled or renewably sourced furniture and homeware from Mater;  living walls, panels and art from Mobilane, and panels made from recycled plastics by Smile Plastics. Other highlighted materials and methods include ventilation, wastewater recycling, passive house systems and biophilic design, plus a range of building construction and internal fit out solutions.

A mixture of CPD sessions, product launches and design-led reviews and talks will be organised to educate architects on technical aspects and help them make more informed decisions. Industry bodies are being invited to run talks on pertinent subjects in environmental build and design. 

According to Beck, architects typically struggle to find understandable and accurate product information to meet client requirements, as well as source samples of larger and more awkward materials, such as structural items.

‘EDGE assists with this, providing accurate information and samples of both large and awkward materials as well as smaller supplier samples,’ he concluded.

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