Open Academy, Norwich

CLIENT – Norfolk County Council
SECTOR – Education
LOCATION – Norwich
MAIN CONTRACTOR – Kier (Eastern)
PRODUCT USED – Bespoke Flatglass Rooflights

Roofglaze brings natural light to Norfolk’s Open Academy. Roofglaze has installed 39 of its Flatglass rooflights at Norwich’s innovative Open Academy as part of the £20m development by Kier Eastern for Norfolk County Council.

Completed in 2010, the 9,000m² Academy is a mixed 11–19 comprehensive community school, specialising in engineering and the environment. This is reflected in the highly-sustainable design of the building, which features a cross-laminated timber structural system that will play a part in achieving a minimal carbon footprint.

The installation comprises thirty-one 1.934m² rooflights; four measuring 1.266m² and two rectangular units measuring 3.260m x 1.266m. These provide natural light to the school’s Open Forum: an area designed to allow full school assemblies to take place, under its unique domed timber roof.

The glazing specification of the rooflights has been selected to meet a combination of practical, aesthetic and legislative demands, covering energy efficiency, solar control and resistance to breakage.


The double glazed units feature toughened cool-light ST150 solar control outer glass with bio clean (self cleaning) surfaces. The 18mm cavities are Argon filled with black spacer bar and the inner glazing elements are clear laminated glass with low E coating, complete with a 124mm sandblasted border.

A 60 metre reach tower crane was used to lift and lower the rooflights directly into position on the dome of the roof.

Senior Project Manager for Kier Eastern, Robert Olley, said: “The rooflight installation has gone extremely smoothly and well within the build schedule. Credit goes to the Roofglaze site team in particular, as this was a complex and challenging project. The end result is stunning.”

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