VolkerFitzpatrick wins £8.9m University of East London library contract

VolkerFitzpatrick has won its second contract with the University of East London, an £8.9m contract to design and build a new library facility on the university campus in Stratford.

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The new library will consist of 3,850m2 of floor area divided over three floors. The facility will provide silent and group study areas, collaborative working and video editing spaces, mobile shelving units with book storage for 130,000 volumes and a large social hub at ground floor level.

The structure will be constructed using high quality fair faced reinforced concrete and the external façade will comprise of brickwork with aluminium glazing creating striking features all around the new library.

A domed glass skylight at roof level will create a stunning central atrium providing a main focal point inside the building and allowing daylight to not only enhance the user experience, but provide natural light to an internal bamboo garden at floor level.

The library has been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent' and will include sustainable features such as photo voltaic panels, green roof areas and rainwater harvesting for WC flushing.

The design of the building also incorporates a number of measures to reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions including a highly insulated airtight building fabric, lighting controls, recessed windows and a highly efficient cooling, heating and ventilation system. The exposed concrete soffits will allow the materials thermal mass to naturally aid regulation of internal temperatures.

The live campus, adjacent secondary school and neighbouring residents will provide a number of logistical challenges for the project team, particularly with the demolition of an existing building on the plot at the start of the project.

VolkerFitzpatrick is working closely with the University to provide learning opportunities and work placements for foundation degree students. The site team are also getting actively involved with the local community; arranging incentive schemes with local businesses and organising school visits, which will take place throughout the build.

Andrew Stoney, VolkerFitzpatrick regional director, said: "We are delighted to continue our working relationship with the University of East London to build for them a high quality, sustainable, library of the future. With extensive experience in sustainable building, a proven track record of working in ‘live' university environments and closely with clients and their team to develop a partnership approach, we are truly prepared to deliver this project."