Safety changes get the go ahead for Grade II listed UEA ziggurats

The Ziggurat buildings at the UEA.University of East Anglia.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The iconic Grade II listed Ziggurat buildings at the UEA - Credit: Archant

The beautiful, brutalist UEA ziggurats have become a true Norwich landmark. 

And now plans have been approved for changes to the famous campus buildings to improve safety and improve energy efficiency. 

The changes required special permission because the 1960s-built structure are Grade II* listed.  

Planning papers for the application noted the first buildings on the UEA campus are 50 years old and are "inevitably in need of repair and maintenance". 

General view of the UEA

A series of high walkways link student accommodation and teaching blocks and other facilities at the UEA. - Credit: Archant

Among the changes will be safety railings on overhead walkways, raising the height of the of existing concrete parapets on its raised footpaths, installing rail and replacing existing safety lighting.

This is designed in response to “recent health and safety incidents on campus”.

A man was hospitalised with serious injuries after he fell from a building on the campus in March this year.

And the university students' union called for additional safety measures including railings to be put in place on raised walkways after a student suffered serious leg injuries in 2015 after falling 15ft following a night out at the campus LCR venue.

Norwich City Council gave the plans the green light earlier this month.

Asher Minns, executive director at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, believes the work is a positive move.

Asher Minns, executive director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Asher Minns, executive director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research - Credit: UEA 

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He said: "The most important aspect for me is energy saving and efficiency to make them fit for the present.

"They were built in the 1960s and have become out of date from a climate point of view. It is being retrofitted to what leading universities should be doing around climate change."

Mr Minns has been involved with conversations among university colleagues as to how carbon dioxide saving is required on campus. 

The UEA said the latest planned measures were part of an on-going extensive programme of improvements to improve the guarding across the 'Lasdun Wall' and Ziggurat walkways. 

UEA Ziggurat building walkways

Work is planned to improve safety on UEA Ziggurat building walkways - Credit: Flickr/Kaysgeog

A spokeswoman for the UEA said: “The plan to raise the ziggurat parapets is part of a rolling programme to maintain the concrete buildings and walkways on campus and keep them in line with modern standards, while also maintaining their integrity as Grade II* listed.

"Along with the safety rails along the same section of the walkway, this forms part of our ongoing work to ensure that the campus remains safe and sustainable for our whole community."