Work completes on the UEA Enterprise Centre


Dennis Gilbert, Enterprise Centre Photography

The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia is open for business following the completion of work on the highly innovative building, setting a new benchmark for sustainability.

The building forms a new gateway to the University and has achieved record-breaking sustainability credentials as one of the first buildings to target both BREEAM Outstanding and Passivhaus accreditation, as well as its exemplary use of low embodied carbon materials, designed to achieve a 100-year performance life span.

The design showcases innovation at every opportunity thanks to the support and enthusiasm of clients Adapt Low Carbon Group and the University of East Anglia who championed the highly collaborative process with contractors Morgan Sindall as the Single Point Deliverer.

Completed in June, the building features an innovation lab, a 300-seat lecture theatre, flexible workspaces, teaching and learning facilities, as well as business hatcheries and incubator units for SMEs and start-ups in the low carbon sector. By placing academic and commercial users side by side, the centre’s purpose is to foster innovation, stimulate smarter ways of working, promote industry standards and create new supply chains.

The building features a number of ‘world-firsts’; key among these is the use of prefabricated and vertically hung straw thatch panel cassettes, which have been used to clad the building. The straw was sourced locally, to fill timber cassette modules off-site in barns across Norfolk. The prefabricated thatch cassette panels were erected onto the façade of the building, creating a striking, and highly innovative sustainable envelope.

Ben Humphries, Director of Architype and the Client Supervisor on the project said; “With a deep-rooted history and passion for genuinely sustainable design, we have been delighted to be involved in this collaborative, ground-breaking Passivhaus project. Visionary in its brief, we have responded with a design that has pushed at the boundaries of traditional approaches, and with the commitment and dedication of the site team, believe we have achieved a building that sets new benchmarks not only for the university but also the wider construction industry. With an on-going soft landings programme and three years of post-occupancy evaluation to come, we look forward to optimising the building performance for Adapt and the University.”

For more information on the project, visit our web page.