University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Special Collections  University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Special Collections  University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Special Collections  University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Special Collections  University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Special Collections

University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Special Collections

Project: University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Special Collections 
Site location: University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds
Sector: Higher Education
Scope: Refurbishment, re-modelling, steelwork, mechanical and electrical works
Completion date: December 2021
Key Points: Occupied, constrained site, re-modelling, refurbishment, mechanical & electrical, structural steel, bespoke joinery, glazed partitions, finishes.
The University of Leeds required a refurbishment of their Special Collections area within the prestigious Brotherton Library along with additional space being afforded with the construction of a new mezzanine floor within an existing atrium. Once complete, the new space would provide meeting, teaching and reading rooms in addition to a high specification, architecturally designed space for the University to showcase and display their coveted collection of rare and historical works of literature.
As adjacent buildings remained occupied by students and university staff, noise and general disturbances were required to be kept to a minimum. Additionally, segregation of the work areas from other campus users was of paramount importance.
With the campus being a live site, the site compound allocated to FSH was small and located in an area which gave rise to interaction between construction personnel, traffic and university personnel. All deliveries to site were made on a ‘just-in-time’ basis and timed to avoid peak hours on adjacent roads and prior to the students arriving on the campus.
Segregation of the working area was afforded the highest priority by both the Client and FSH. Successful segregation was achieved by containing the working environment with appropriate signage and physical barriers, with considered pedestrian routes and traffic management plans.
Communication played a major role in ensuring the segregation methods were successful, regular co-ordination meetings were held between the Client and FSH to discuss and review the upcoming planned works and locations, which was then conveyed to other building users by the Client.
This contract was undertaken throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, within a live University campus. Covid-19 measures had to be implemented across the site, which broadly consisted of Covid-19 specific RAMS, protocols for maximum occupancy within welfare units, temperature testing and health questions for all personnel prior to being granted admission to site, appropriate planning and locations of sanitizing stations and rigorous policing by our Project Manager of the wearing of face coverings, social distancing and implementation of one-way systems within the building. FSH programmed the works in more of a sequential manner, in order to minimize the level of personnel on site at any one time, than a traditional program. This resulted in safer management of the adopted Covid-19 measures and still delivered the project on time.
The building was fully stripped out, back to the existing shell. FSH provided the University with two new teaching spaces contained within a newly constructed structural steel mezzanine floor.
The remaining areas of the project received extensive M&E works, including new emergency and general lighting, small power, data, CCTV, domestic water services, sanitaryware, welfare provisions, HVAC installation, fire and intruder alarm works, additions and adjustments to the BMS system, access control works and disabled refuge areas.
Following the M&E installation, the internal refurbishment works consisted of new MF and suspended ceilings, kitchen and IPS toilet installations, crafted bespoke cabinetry and desking, glazed walling and glazed partitions, bespoke timber cladding, folding partitions, decorations and floor finishes.
All the foregoing installations came complete with O&M Manuals and Client training where applicable.
FSH worked closely and collaborated with the Architect, Client and specialist subcontractors and craftsmen to provide a beautifully finished, high specification space for the future users of the building to enjoy for decades to come
The exceptionally high standard of finish to the space was achieved by the professional manufacture and installation of outstanding products and materials.
Design changes were made by the Client throughout the course of the programme. To ensure that the Client would be ultimately satisfied with the finished space, FSH provided invaluable design input and multiple design choices, along with full costings, programmes associated with each option and any requisite maintenance requirements in order for the Client to make a well informed decision on the final aesthetics of the new space.
Acoustic, full height glazed partitions providing meeting rooms containing contrasting, yet complimentary, bespoke cabinetry and brass detailing.
Reading areas were provided for the library, complete with a display art wall for showcasing the Universities rare and valuable documents.

Silent study areas were also introduced into the space with further acoustic glazed partitions and climate control being contained within the ceiling space. 

Despite significant supply chain issues, caused by the pandemic, FSH were able to successfully and nimbly re-programme the project, meet the Practical Completion date and provide the Client with an exceptional addition to their portfolio.


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