The Enterprise Centre, Norwich
Innovation & Sustainability category
The Enterprise Centre at The University of East Anglia, dubbed by the press as the UK's greenest building, has been designed and delivered to achieve the Passivhaus standard and a BREEAM outstanding rating. The new university building aims to encourage new sustainable businesses from graduates who emerge from its academic research programme and those involved in activities within the wider Norwich Research Park.
The Enterprise Centre provides space for business support workshops, networking activities, open plan offices, incubation and hatchery space (research and development activities) for new graduate start-up companies and other businesses in the Knowledge Economy. The building also provides a base for business support through the University’s Low Carbon MBA and associated graduate development and entrepreneurship programmes operated by the Norwich Business School.
The concept comprises a new building and landscape that is an exemplar of low embodied energy and carbon construction technologies, through the use of natural and bio-renewable materials sourced through local supply chains. The Enterprise Centre is a recognised centre of excellence at a European level, providing world-class facilities through its sustainable design and use of materials.
The building is timber framed with external lime render and supports a Norfolk reed thatched roof. The timber used came from trees felled during the widening of the A11 road through Thetford. Designed for inspiration by revealing the beauty of its natural construction materials, the building also features innovative lighting and thoughtful configuration of breakout spaces.
Essential to creating a sense of wellbeing within its spaces was the specification for volatile organic compound (VOC) performance plaster or paint. British Gypsum products meet the specification standard and 5000m2 of Gyproc Soundbloc ACTIVAir boards were fitted. The boards also had a better recycled board content which aided in the architects meeting the Passivhaus standard.
Client: The University of East Anglia / Main Contractor: Morgan Sindall Group PLC / Architect: Architype
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