The Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental Research (ZICER) was officially opened in 2003 by the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the Rt Hon Charles Clarke, MP, in the presence of special guest Dr Paul Zuckerman.
ZICER is the first physical symbol of recognition commemorating Lord Solly Zuckerman, the Government's first Chief Scientific Adviser and one of the founding fathers of the School. Covering five floors, it houses open plan office accommodation for researchers as well as novel exhibition and seminar space on the top floor. Its core aim is to foster interdisciplinary research between the natural and social sciences.
ZICER houses a number of collaborating, cutting-edge international research centres, namely the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change and CSERGE, as well as faculty, research scientists and postdoctoral researchers from right across the School. One floor of the building houses a Virtual Reality theatre which is the centrepiece of the Social Science for the Environment, Virtual Reality and Experimental Laboratories (SSEVREL). SSEVREL also includes an Experimental Laboratory and facilities for holding and monitoring focus group discussions.
The building is also showcases some of the most innovative environmentally friendly building design in the world. The roof is covered with photovoltaic panels, which generate 33 kilowatt of electricity in peak conditions. This is fed into the building, reducing the demand on the grid. The building is naturally cooled by air which is circulated at night through the building's hollow Termodeck floors. Improved insulation, triple glazed windows, energy efficient lighting, as well as better sealing and more efficient air handling result in even lower energy standards than the current leader in the industry, UEA's Elizabeth Fry building, constructed in 1995.
ZICER won the ‘Low Energy Building of the Year' award in the Building Magazine's 2005 sustainability competition. It has also been short listed for the Times Higher Education Supplement's ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development' award in the Higher 2006 awards.