Irish company behind Britain's "greenest building"

Irish company behind Britain's "greenest building"

AN Irish company is helping to build what has been billed as Britain’s “greenest building”.

Cork-based Cygnum is the firm behind the timber frame being used in the construction of the new £9million Norfolk Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia.

The innovative building will be supported by the frame supplied by Cygnum, which used timber sourced from nearby Thetford Forest for the 4,600 square metre structure.

Unusually, the timber was sent from England to Cygnum’s workshop in Macroom, Co. Cork, to be cut into workable material before being sent back to Britain.

Thetford Forest timber is not generally used in construction, adding to the character of the building.

An artist's impression of the finished building An artist's impression of the finished Norfolk Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia

“To use it for such a high quality structural application is quite an achievement,” said John Desmond, managing director at Cygnum. “It’s a perfect fit for a project which in terms of sustainability and the ethos of the building is probably the most exciting building we’ve worked ion in our history.”

The use of Cygnum's timber has been lauded as one of the main reasons that the building is 'green' - with the use of such sustainably sourced products helping the project reach its overall annual target energy demand.

With the frame now in place, work is being done on the building's exterior.

Aside from its unique frame, the building's walls will be made of wheaten straw thatch.

Cygnum - which is a client of Enterprise Ireland in Britain - have also installed an exposed solid wood portal frame to support the building and form timber features in the finished structure.

With the work from the Irish side of things now completed, the building is set to be finished in May.