University of Leicester – The David Wilson Library

A £32 million project to refurbish, remodel and extend a 15,500 m² existing University library.

Included the refurbishment of a Grade II listed building, the total refurbishment of the existing library, including façade replacement, and a new-build extension almost doubling the size of the library.

Faithful+Gould was appointed as principal consultant; a single point of contact for the University. We formed a team of all the necessary technical consultants to support this role and provided project management and commercial services in-house. Full collaboration with the University’s Project Implementation Team comprising faculty representatives, the estates department and Pro Vice-Chancellor in order to understand the University’s vision.  Two–stage procurement approach brought the contractor into the team at an early stage of development, allowing involvement in the design process of key work packages.

The challenges were to ensure that the library was fully accessible by students and staff throughout the course of the building contract; this included minimising disruption created by forming large atria through the existing structures, and relocating almost 40 kilometres of books! And, to build a state-of-the-art library with a BREEAM Excellent rating at a reasonable cost.

Outcome:

  • A bright, airy, low energy, state-of-the-art library that remained in use throughout the construction phase, now accommodating twice the daily student usage it did prior to commencement.
  • A BREEAM Excellent rating and, based upon early assessment, an A-rated Energy Performance Certificate.
  • The library was honoured for its architectural excellence in the 2008 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East Midlands Awards for Architecture.
  • The library was named 'Building of the Year' at the ProCon Leicesters hire Awards 2008.