Project description

This project provides 4,000m2 of high quality facilities including laboratory and office space, a business centre and formal and informal meeting rooms across four floors. It also includes a restaurant and café, a breakout area and exhibition and circulation space, which will provide a platform to enable the business community to interact with researchers on the Norwich Research Park (NRP).

An important milestone in the development of the Research Park, the Centrum building provides the focal point for business and research to come together. It will provide additional commercial laboratory and office accommodation for more established companies wishing to locate to Norwich Research Park, and space to expand for companies already situated there.

Responsible business



We engaged with a number of stakeholders and third parties during delivery, including:
  • Students from University of East Anglia (UEA) Engineering School – who visited for a site tour
  • Scientists from UEA to examine soil and biodiversity issues
  • Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service – the live building site provided an ideal opportunity to act out an emergency training scenario


Protecting the environment

Working next to fields of research crops posed a challenge for the team. To prevent contamination by dust from the car park and works, the team constructed a large ‘bund’ wall, covering it in wild flowers which helped raise biodiversity habitat on the site.

During the project we held a ‘Green Shoots of Development’ event that highlighted the sustainable aspects of the Centrum Building, including the ground source heat pump.

The site featured bird and bat boxes, wormeries and a refuge for reptiles, insects and amphibians.

Minimising our carbon footprint

We saved CO2 and money and reduced disruption by carrying out soil stabilisation to lay foundations, rather than importing fill / muck away process.

By saving over 1,000 vehicle movements, in turn we saved 93t of CO2, £200,000 and three weeks against the programme.


In excess of £11 million was spent on the subcontractor packages for the project. The seven major trades (curtain walling, frame, Mechanical & Electrical, floors, partitions, groundworks and material supplies) were all let to local specialists, and out of 62 subcontract package orders, 54 were placed locally – this equates to 87 per cent of our outward spend channelled into the local economy.

Using the ‘Local Multiplier 3’ method of assessing local economic impact, it has been calculated that every £1 of the gross project’s income generated an additional £1.33. Therefore, the total local income generated from the project is £18,962,624.04.


Situated on a live research park, the team worked closely with our customer to design our logistics plan around the park’s activity. This included a dedicated gateman who recorded mileage for each visitor and directed all deliveries and visitors to site. The team asked deliveries to call ahead before approach, and a special one-way system through the park and onto the site was a key aspect of ensuring the preventation of any traffic congestion.

The concrete frame was poured in-situ, with the columns an exposed feature of the finished building. This meant that the quality of the frame needed to be of the highest calibre. Specialist shuttering systems, concrete mixes and pouring systems were used to ensure the finish was perfect - something testified by other customers visiting the site.


“This is an important milestone in the development of the Research Park and the Centrum building will be the focal point for business and research to come together.”

Alan Giles, Project Director
Norwich Research Park


Considerate Constructors Scheme score 44/50

BREEAM Excellent rating