Student success doesn’t need a new building, it needs the right refurbishments
The Cameron Smail Library, a listed building, was designed by Sir Basil Spence Architects and built in 1974. The design is based on large open-plan floor plates with a central core for books and perimeter study spaces. The building construction is generally comprised of an in-situ reinforced concrete frame supported on-pad foundations.
We were involved in early feasibility options for transitioning the existing library building into a modern, flexible, and comfortable environment. This included looking at options for a new-build facility, extensions to the existing facility, and refurbishment of the existing building. Detailed design of the chosen refurbishment option included assessment of the existing floors to support compact and movable shelving.
Heriot-Watt University’s chosen solution involves refurbishment of the existing building internally throughout. External works consist of the replacement of all windows and an improved entrance area. The construction works were carried out over five phases, with the library remaining live—and open 24/7—throughout the duration of the works. Full strip out and replacement of mechanical and electrical services is included, however central plant equipment will be retained and reused.
The scheme will update the existing facilities and enhance the student experience of a key building within the campus. The refurbishment will provide a very comfortable study space to support the students’ academic success and growth.
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