The Enterprise Centre

Structural Designer

BDP

Client Name

University of East Anglia | ADAPT Low Carbon Group

Location

Norwich, UK

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: Morgan Sindall      

ARCHITECT: Architype Architects

KEY TEAM MEMBER: University of East Anglia

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This ground-breaking timber framed project showcases low-carbon sustainable building with a highly ecological specification, in a design that achieves Passivhaus and BREEAM Outstanding. The commitment to the sourcing of local trade and low-carbon materials makes the Enterprise Centre an exemplar for specification, structural integration as well as energy performance. The showcase exposed timber frame is just the surface of this building's material story, which is rich from the ground up with local, domestic and recycled materials, offering a unique and inspiring 21st century building.

Judge's comment:

The Enterprise Centre is a multi-purpose work-space in the Norwich Research Park in the University of East Anglia. The brief was for an innovative low-carbon sustainable building as an exemplar for future development. An essential part of the brief was to engage local suppliers for the building materials. The team specified locally sourced “Corsican Pine” from the near-by Thetford Forest. The primary structural system was kept simple to ensure local skills could be available, and training was undertaken where needed. The external cladding includes the use of thatched cassette panels, which adds to the sense of natural building material being used throughout. The polished concrete floor slab helps keep the building cool and used a third of the cement normally required by substituting blast furnace waste.

As a result of this focus on sustainability, the building has 25% less embodied carbon than conventional construction. Complying with Passivhaus certification, the building’s utility bills are expected to be reduced by up to 90%. This is money that can be spent on the students.