The Entopia Building

The Entopia Building

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The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership drives transformation for people, nature and climate.

From the outset, the Entopia Building project set out to challenge the status quo in building design and delivery, showcasing in practical terms how delivering better buildings is possible through leadership, collaboration and innovation, and setting an exemplar for the industry as a whole. The building embodies CISL’s mission to develop leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy, and our activities there activate this through our Foresight, Education, Convening and Innovation activities.

The deep sustainable retrofit of Entopia is unique in achieving multiple sustainability standards through Passivhaus, BREEAM and Well. As part of an ambitious client brief, we set additional measures including the sourcing of bio-based materials, embodied carbon and ‘circularity’. With the incredible support of a determined project team, industry experts and innovators and our wider network, in 2022 we opened the doors to the Entopia Building.

Today, Entopia acts as CISL’s headquarters and houses the Canopy; a Cambridge community for entrepreneurs, startups, innovators and small businesses pioneering sustainability innovation.

To continue the building’s initial ambition, our vision is for Entopia to become a Living Lab, where innovators and academics can come together to pilot and test new interventions in the design, operation and use of lived spaces. Our goal is to provide a space that replicates what the buildings of tomorrow will look like, so that experimentation can meet the needs of future building design for people, nature and climate

The Entopia Living Lab will provide a collaborative open innovation platform to accelerate the adoption of solutions and innovations in the built environment through enhanced collaboration; demonstration and validation, with routes to real world impact via industry and policy engagement.

Experimentation will focus on new practices, processes and technology with the aim to deliver positive social, environmental and economic outcomes. We want to demonstrate the business case for sustainable retrofit as much as the social and environmental case.

The Living Lab will initially harness the exemplar retrofitted Entopia Building as a platform for:

  • Experimentation and validation pilots to test new interventions in the pathway towards a sustainable built environment.
  • Collaboration, learning and capacity building across disciplines and value chains.
  • Supporting the evidence base for ambitious retrofit practices, policies and technologies.
  • Informing new standards and protocols for open data sharing and collaboration.
  • External communication and engagement with policymakers, industry and professional bodies

Through the Living Lab, we aim to provide:

  • Access for industry to test and validate solutions in the real-world
  • Access for academics to contribute to the evidence base of solutions
  • Exposure and test bed for Innovators
  • A platform for funders and partners to work with innovators, industry and academia

Support the Living Lab

By supporting the Entopia Building’s Living Lab you will help CISL to play its part as an effective catalyst for positive change. You will enable us to support innovators and pioneers to collaborate in an independent academic setting to test new building practices that could unlock the step change we need for a sustainable transition.

We will recognise contributions in living lab materials, reports and case studies, as well as in the building itself. For larger donations, we can discuss the most appropriate ways to recognise your contribution and encourage you to get in touch directly.

For more information, please visit the website or email:

To discuss your philanthropic goals, please contact:

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Victoria Thompson

Head of Development — Technology

About CISL

We are an impact-led institute within the University of Cambridge that activates leadership globally to transform economies for people, nature and climate. Through our global network and hubs in Cambridge, Cape Town and Brussels, we work with leaders and innovators across business, finance and government to accelerate action for a sustainable future. Trusted since 1988 for our rigour and pioneering commitment to learning and collaboration, we create safe spaces to challenge and support those with the power to act.

This opportunity is part of

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brings together leaders from business, policy and academia to gain fresh perspectives and to collaborate across traditional boundaries, helping develop solutions to address complex social and environmental challenges.