University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, has opened ‘The Enterprise Centre’ following its sustainable development.

Built with low-embodied carbon materials, the development is likely to reach a lifespan of 100 years.

It has been designed by the Adapt Low Carbon Group and set-up by UK-based construction group Morgan Sindall.

The development team also included architects and Passivhaus designers Architype, structural and building services engineers BDP, and Churchman Landscape Architects.

Being one of the first developments to target both BREEAM Outstanding and Passivhaus accreditation, the building feature an innovation lab, a 300-seat lecture theatre, flexible workspaces, and teaching and learning facilities.

It also has allotted spaces for business hatcheries and incubator units for small-to-medium enterprises and start-ups in the low carbon sector.

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Morgan Sindall area director Gavin Napper said: "The whole team has achieved industry-leading standards on this project and we’re incredibly proud of the collaborative, innovative, and resourceful approach, which they’ve taken from design inception to completion."

Architype director Ben Humphries 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.

"We have achieved a building that sets new benchmarks not only for the university but also the wider construction industry."

"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."

The building is equipped with locally sourced, prefabricated and vertically hung, straw thatch panel cassettes, which have been designed as an innovative sustainable envelope.

It also features the Corsican Pine stud work and supports creativity in the construction sector, for eastern parts of the country.

In addition to the University of East Anglia, the scheme is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Buildings Research Establishment, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP).

Image: The Enterprise Centre in Norfolk, UK. Photo: courtesy of Morgan Sindall.