Our projects

From disused clay pit to a world-famous attraction

Chosen for our ability to deliver the (near) impossible, we helped create one of the most ambitious gardens ever.

The Eden Project opened in 2001 to global acclaim – for its engineering, design and environmental credentials.

Part of the team that brought the attraction to life, we transformed what was a disused clay pit into the world’s largest indoor rainforest.

Creating Eden's enormous geodesic domes required meticulous planning, 230 miles of scaffolding and a team of abseilers. We made sure sustainability, environmental design and waste management were built in every step of the way.

Since then, we’ve expanded facilities, creating an education centre and contemporary office space.

A celebrated visitor destination, the Eden Project is now a key player in Cornwall’s economy, providing education and training across the region.

Summary

    • Client: Eden Project Ltd
    • Sector: Leisure
    • Value: £40m
    • Location: South West
    • Services: Pre-Construction, Construction Support
    • Completion date: 2006
  1. close up of biomes at Eden Project

    Record-breaking

    The scaffold used to construct the biomes was the biggest that had ever been built, with 230 miles of poles.

  2. visitors at Eden Project

    Attracting investment

    To bring the dream to life, we worked with project stakeholders and created a funding proposal. After brainstorming architectural and construction innovations, the biomes were proposed as a more cost-effective alternative to the original concepts.

  3. Future-proofed offices

    We constructed The Eden Institute offices space with recyclable materials and environmentally friendly products.

  4. Aerial of Eden Project land preparation

    Preparing the land

    Built on a disused clay pit, the site needed significant remodelling. After filling the quarry’s deeper parts, we moved and compacted 80,000m3 of fill to create the site’s dramatic crater profile.

  5. Dome construction at Eden Project

    Constructing the domes

    Eden’s biomes cover more than 2.2 hectares. Their sheer scale made them one of the project’s major construction challenges. To construct the domes, we used what was the largest birdcage scaffold in the world. And once up, abseilers scaled the sides to attach the inflatable panels.

The McAlpine guys were brilliant because they were working under lights just about 24/7 producing the most beautiful industrial choreography you’ve ever seen. It was like Tonka Toy heaven seeing up to 60 guys working in machines. It was like a fantastic dance as they rebuilt a 1.5million tonne hillside and put stabilisation in within something like six weeks. It was amazing!

Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder, Eden Project

Sustainability

As well as managing and segregating site waste, we worked to minimise our impact on the local environment, community and wildlife.

We reduced site pollution and impact on local roads through shared transport, batching site deliveries and routing of project traffic.

We sourced site contractors, equipment and materials from the surrounding area where possible.

We also developed a drainage system filtering water into a series of enormous tanks, which enables Eden to recycle 80% of its water.

Eden Project sustainability

Awards

  1. awards

    BCIA Awards

    Major Project of the Year (2001)

  2. awards icon - light green

    BCIA Awards

    Best of the Best Building Project (2001)

  3. awards

    Construction News: Quality in Construction Awards

    Project of the Decade (2007)