UEA Concrete Preservation

Constructing Excellence

The purpose of this refurbishment was to preserve and rejuvenate the 1960’s concrete at the UEA Campus. We provided forensic structural engineering services in the development of a fiveyear concrete preservation plan, waterproofing, drainage designs and detailed repair specifications. The work also included improvements to the safety of the high-level walkways to decrease the potential for falls from the relatively low balustrades. In 1962, Denys Lasdun was appointed by the University of East Anglia as their founding Architect and designed the core buildings including the Teaching Wall, the raised walkways, Central Square and the ‘ziggurats’ of the Norfolk and Suffolk Terraces, with exposed fair-faced concrete as the principal structural material. The terraces are of cross wall construction with many of the structural walls and external panels created from precast concrete panels formed on site. The teaching wall walkways are constructed from cast in-situ concrete. A big challenge was that the buildings were granted Grade 2/2* status, but in common with much of the concrete building stock in this country from the 1960’s the material has suffered from varying degrees of weathering and deterioration over the years. This could be seen with spalling to the concrete surfaces and rust staining from corroding reinforcement. Another major challenge was to understand their structural form so that adjustments could be made to the protective barriers around the walkways. We were commissioned by the UEA from 2011 to develop a five-year plan for the rejuvenation and preservation of the concrete.