The Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental Research, designed by RMJM for the Univeristy of East Anglia won the title of 'Low Energy Building of the Year' at the 2005 Sustainability Awards organised by Building Magazine.

The institute was designed to surpass the range of innovative low-energy facilities already on the University's campus, with an energy use of 90kW per m2 per annum. Its level of air tightness of 2.85 m3/hr per m2 is considerably lower than current requirements and equals the lowest figure for this type of building currently tested in the UK. This factor, combined with internally exposed thermal mass and high insulation levels allows a reduction in plant size and consequently a significant reduction in running costs over the long term. This combination of high standards in the construction has also been utilised within the recently completed School of Medicine, also by RMJM. This is located close to ZICER and forms part of the RMJM masterplan for the remaining land to the north of the site.

The photovoltaic array is the most visible symbol of the building's environmental credentials. Monocrystalline photovoltaic cells have been incorporated, and the proportions within the clear glazing module have been designed to minimise heat gain whilst allowing natural light to flood the space. Thermal modelling was used to incorporate natural ventilation into the design and thermal mass was added in the space at ceiling level to ensure that no additional cooling was required at the top floor exhibition level.

The rest of the building utilises the TermoDeck ventilation system providing users with fresh air and the benefits of cool internal surfaces.


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