Open Academy in Norwich is shortlisted for prestigious award

A Norwich school's state-of-the-art building has been shortlisted for a prestigious international award for structural engineering excellence.

The Open Academy, in Marryat Road, Heartsease, joins a number of other impressive projects from across the globe which are being recognised in The Institution of Structural Engineers' Structural Awards 2011. Other shortlisted projects include The Helix in Singapore, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in the United Arab Emirates and the London 2012 Velodrome.

The news comes at time when the Norwich academy's building is also on the shortlist for The Wood Awards, which recognise outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation in wood.

Cameron Phillips, the vice principal of the academy, said: 'We are delighted Open has been shortlisted. The idea that it has been shortlisted for a Structural Award is particularly pertinent because we specialise in engineering and the environment, and the building is very much designed to reflect our specialism and act as a teaching aid.'

He said the building was an inspirational space, a state-of-the-art eco-building, and it was great it had gained international recognition.

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The Structural Awards ceremony will take place on November 18 in London.

The �20m Open Academy development is the UK's largest solid timber panel building and is said to have a negative carbon footprint.

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For the project Sheppard Robson was the architect, Ramboll was the structural designer, and Kier Eastern was the main contractor.

The school is holding an environment day on Saturday, September 24 where members of the public are being offered the chance look around the building. The event is from 10am until 2pm.

Is your school celebrating a special achievement? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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