Norwich school’s state-of-the-art building commended at international awards

A Norwich school's state-of-the-art building has been commended at an international awards ceremony recognising structural engineering excellence.

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

The Structural Awards, held annually by the Institution of Structural Engineers, recognise the work of the world's most talented structural designers –showcasing projects that lead the industry's development.

Cameron Phillips, the vice principal of the academy, said: 'We are absolutely delighted to be commended and to get international recognition. It's an inspirational, environmentally-friendly and sustainable building, and is a tool to aid learning.

'It's another positive milestone in our history.'

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

Professor Roger Plank, president of the Institution of Structural Engineers, said: 'Sustainable design needs to be brought into the mainstream by model projects that demonstrate repeatable green innovation that satisfies the architectural vision and the client's budget.

Most Read

'The Open Academy certainly does this by delivering a stunning building that expertly showcases timber modular construction. Praise is also due to the client for driving the sustainability agenda.'

Among the winning projects are some of the most stunning examples of engineering excellence of the past decade, including Dublin Airport Terminal Two in Ireland, Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre in Kazakhstan, Las Arenas Bullring in Spain and UK projects such as the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and London 2012 Velodrome.

Is your school celebrating a special achievement? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email