Highlights from the 2016 AECB ADAPT Annual Conference

ASBP’s Debbie Mauger visited the 2016 AECB ADAPT Annual Conference, 15th-16th July at the UEA Enterprise Centre.

The ASBP team visited the Enterprise Centre last year during the construction phase and it was great to see the building, dubbed ‘the greenest in the UK’, fully finished.

The building is at the gateway to the Norwich Research Park at the University of East Anglia and was built to accommodate not only students but also to act as a hub for local businesses and start-ups. In addition, it needed to achieve BREEAM Outstanding and certified Passivhaus standards as well as having a low embodied energy through the use of locally sourced, natural building materials.

Image credit: Paul Bourgeois

Morgan Sindall were given this challenging task and assembled a project team that included BDP as engineers and ASBP Patron members Architype as architects, who have a proven record of designing educational building to meet Passivhaus standards using natural building products

The success of the building, to the extraordinary green aims of the Adapt Low Carbon Group, was enabled by appropriate funding but was only achieved by the innovative, enthusiastic collaboration of everyone involved in the build. There were many barriers to taking local materials and skills and using them in a different way. Timber, not previously used as structural elements became the framework of the building and thatch installed to form vertical cladding. The problems encountered by adapting local materials and traditional methods were overcome by the determined collaboration of the professionals and local skilled craftsmen and suppliers.

During the build process the project team developed the use of previously undeveloped local materials and skills. Adapt and Morgan Sindall continue to make freely available the knowledge and experience gained, for the benefit of a more sustainable built environment. The building itself continues to promote sustainability across academia, industry and the community and has a well deserved place as one of our exemplar projects.

The conference also included a visit to Fran Bradshaw’s strawbale thatched cottage, built in collaboration with ASBP members Straw Works, and design to Passivhaus principles using a range of local, natural products.

Image credit: Fran Bradshaw

For more photos and presentations from the event, visit www.aecb.net.