Project Description:

The Elizabeth Fry Building or the New Academic Building (NAB) is a neighbour of the Queen's Building.

The section takes advantage of the fall across the site with four lecture theatres and two seminar rooms arranged at lower ground floor level. Teaching spaces for short courses are at an upper level, the formal entry level, with two storeys of tutorial offices and common rooms above.

The double-banked upper floor corridors are relived by the slipped arrangement of the two common rooms over the main entrance. This dislocation connects the entrance hall visually to the upper floors and celebrates the two common rooms on the elevation. The section anticipates a connection to a future building via a covered walkway at the rear of the building.

The building structure acts as an energy store. This combined with low-pressure mechanical ventilation, heat recovery, and opening windows maximises ambient conditions. The airtight envelope is insulated, Windows are triple glazed giving minimal solar gain.

The new building forms part of a concentrated development of teaching and student accommodation at the western end of the campus.

The accommodation includes lecture theatres for undergraduate use at lower ground level; lecture rooms, seminar and tutorial spaces arranged for flexible use for external short courses and dining facilities, and kitchen at upper ground level. Offices, tutorial and administrative functions, common rooms, resource space and post-graduate rooms for the Faculty of Social Work are located on upper floors .

The materials, form and expression of the building continue themes of the adjacent Queen’s Building, with a base of stone-faced block-work and rendering to walls above. Windows are high performance metal clad timber and triple glazed.

The building fulfils the brief for a very low energy project. To achieve low energy comfort, ambient conditions are maximised by using the building structure as an energy store, combined with low pressure mechanical ventilation, heat recovery and opening windows. To assist low energy consumption, the building envelope is insulated and is airtight, with no thermal bridging, giving minimal solar gain.

The building has a minimal heat demand of 24kW (two domestic wall mounted boilers) and no mechanical cooling, serving a building of 3,000 sqm with a potential occupancy of 850 people.

"A fitting reponse to the University of East Anglia's well-publicised policy of procuring environmentally responsible represents a passive environmental response which can cope with a potential 1,300 simultaneous users in extremely varied accommodation."

The Architects' Journal

Posted 1st June 2012
By Southstudio

Client: University of East Anglia

Architect: John Miller + Partners

Contractor: Willmott Dixon

Professional Team:

  • Structural Engineer: FJ Samuely & Partners
  • Services Engineer: Fulcrum Consulting
  • Cost Consultant: Stockings & Clarke
  • Energy Advisor: David Olivier

Value: £3.5M

Status: Completed 1995


  • Building Services Energy Efficiency Probe Award 1999
  • Civic Trust Commendation 1997
  • Building Construction Industry Award 1996
  • RIBA Regional Award 1995

Photographer: Anthony Weller / View