University’s entrepreneur hub wins national award - bringing total to 20 in two years

The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia is the UK's greenest commercial building.

The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia is the UK's greenest commercial building. - Credit: Archant

A building at the University of East Anglia has been presented with a national award celebrating its good looks, sustainability and community contribution.

The Enterprise Centre at UEA was one of just 45 projects to win a Civic Trust award last Friday, bringing its total number of awards to 20 in two years.

The Civic Trust is the only organisation that considers aesthetics, sustainability, inclusive design and the positive contribution its makes to the community.

The Enterprise Centre was praised for being 'an exceptional building from its conception to its overall and detailed design that makes a major contribution to the UEA campus whilst adding to its history of ground-breaking buildings.

'The building wears its low-carbon credentials confidently but in a relaxed way that delights from its subdued displays of natural materials such as hemp, reed-board and nettle fabric to its highly innovative use of sprayed paper sound-absorbent linings.'

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The Enterprise Centre is a hub for entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses that are committed to creating a low carbon future and is one of the region's most successful green business centres.

Prof John French, CEO of the Adapt Group, who run the Enterprise Centre, said: 'We are delighted to see this recognition for outstanding architecture and design at UEA.

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'This building had a very demanding environmental specification, targeting both BREEAM Outstanding and Passivhaus certification as well as local materials and bio-renewables, and it is now recognised as one of the lowest-energy buildings ever created. The award is also a tribute to the excellent work of our architects Architype and BDP and our main contractor, Morgan Sindall, who rose to the challenge and worked very collaboratively to deliver this outstanding building.'

A centre for innovative start-up businesses, the building has a 300-seat lecture theatre, flexible working spaces and incubator areas for small and medium-sized enterprises in the low carbon sector.

The project was launched with lofty ambitions to become of the UK's greenest buildings and has achieved accreditation for its sustainability and heat retention from BREEAM and Passivhaus.

The Enterprise Centre's other accolades include a Guardian Sustainable Business Award and Best of the Best from the British Council for Offices.

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