Missing documentation during this heritage library upgrade called for thorough investigation and flexible considerations
The Somerville House had a vision for 21st century learning that their Seymour Library didn’t quite fit. A refurbishment of the library’s fifth level with the addition of two mezzanine levels would be required to accommodate more versatile learning.
We were enlisted to carry out acoustic, civil, electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, and structural engineering services. The heritage buildings did not have complete documentation meaning extensive investigations were required to confirm structural engineering considerations. To ensure the existing columns and footings could safely support additional loading, the floor was framed using steel beams and timber floor joists to reduce weight. Low ceiling heights meant that hydraulic services were below ceiling, and a new plant was installed on the rooftop to accommodate all new service requirements.
The upgrade was executed while the lower levels were still in operation and completed before the first school bell rang. The Seymour Library now supports Somerville’s vision with flexible learning areas, dedicated study spaces, meeting rooms, and an Academic Research Centre that will provide more opportunities for student exhibitions and collaboration.
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