Spandrel Panel awareness Spandrel Panel awareness

When winds are forecasted to reach gusts of over 50mph there will be a need to close some entrances on the Lasdun Teaching Wall.

The FAQs below have more information.

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

What are spandrel panels?

Spandrel panels are the large concrete panels that make up the façade of the Lasdun Teaching Wall.

They are part of the original 1960s design and were constructed and fitted over each of the four buildings (Arts, Chemistry, Science and Biology) that make up the Lasdun Teaching Wall.

What's the issue with the panels?

The Lasdun wall or teaching wall is a Grade II-listed building of national significance built in the 1960s. The teaching wall is now more than 50 years old and the UEA Vision and Plan has set out a £150 million programme over the next decade to upgrade it to ensure it an exemplar for the future.

With any building of age there are a range of risks that are carefully monitored and mitigated on an ongoing basis. One of the risks concerning the teaching wall is the spandrel panels on the building.

The spandrel panels have been in place for more than 50 years and structural engineers have advised the fixings behind the panels have been affected by weathering.

This issue is low risk and our campus refurbishment plan will address it in the longer-term but we have been advised there is an increased risk when wind speeds are gusting over 50 mph.

How is this likely to affect me?

Whenever wind speeds above 50mph are forecast, a plan will be implemented and measures taken to restrict access to the Lasdun Teaching Wall to protect staff, students and visitors from risk.  

As part of the plan, access to walkways, roadways and entrances adjacent and in close proximity to parts of the Lasdun Teaching Wall where spandrel panels are present will be restricted.  

In the event of high winds, the Lasdun Teaching Wall will remain open to staff and students but only via designated routes and entrances.​ Entry via all other doorways will be restricted for emergency use only. 

Due to its proximity to the Lasdun Teaching Wall, access to parts of Norfolk Road including the Chemistry arch will be restricted meaning no vehicle access beyond the Chancellor’s Drive bus turnaround. 

What can I do to help minimise my own disruption?

  1. Keep yourself and others safe by following the expert advice and advising others to do the same 

  1. Ensure you give yourself ample time to reach lectures, classes and work spaces, particularly if you are aware the plan has been activated 

  1. Follow any notifications issued and ensure safety messages are passed on to others, whether staff, students or visitors​ 

  1. Respect and do not ignore any instructions provided by the UEA Security team or other authority 

  1. Should you require a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) please contact Mark Farley via M.Farley@uea.ac.uk  

  2. Please note that in the event of high winds, cycle and motorcycle storage in close proximity or under the Lasdun Wall (including closed compounds) will be inaccessible. If notification of restrictred access is provided, please relocate your cycle/motorcycle to another location.

How long will the restrictions be in place?

This will be dependent on the weather forecast. We will use hourly forecasted wind speeds provided by WeatherQuest and restrictions will remain in place until these have died down.

How long will it take to find a solution?

A technical solution to the issue has been found to install further fixings to the spandrel panels on the Lasdun Wall. A trial programme of works to understand the impact of works on University business is currently underway to the north-facing elevation of the Arts building.

Following the trial programme, a full works programme will be developed to deliver this technical solution, which will ensure the safety of students, staff and visitors until a time when the long-term refurbishment plan for the Lasdun Wall will ultimately provide a permanent solution to the issue.