Durham University Bill Bryon Library

Durham University logo

Durham University Bill Bryon Library

Bill Bryson Library, Durham University

Location Durham, UK
Services Building services, civil, structural, fire and geotechnical engineering, sustainable design, BREEAM assessment, lighting design and transportation
Sector Education
Client Durham University
Architect _space
Imagery © Kristen McCluskie

Keith Anderson

T +44 (0)191 213 1515
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The redevelopment of the university’s main library was part of the major redevelopment of Durham University’s Stockton Road Campus. The project involved the demolition of the existing library’s east wing, to allow for the new extension, and partial refurbishment of the existing library. The project was split into three phases to allow the library to remain open, minimising disruption to students.

BIM software was utilised to improve collaboration and integration with _space. This technology was used throughout the design process to ensure coordinated architectural, structural and building services designs. The models were merged on a regular basis to check for coordination issues, including running clash detection analyses.

The site had a number of challenges, including: three mineshafts, relocation of two electricity substations, and major services and drainage diversions required. The chosen foundation solution was CFA piles taken down to rockhead at 10m depth, which avoided increased loading on the shaft walls. Ground beams bridged the mineshaft caps where pile locations were dictated by the shaft locations.

The South façade of the library is fully glazed, with full height precast concrete columns supporting a curved, cantilevered staircase rising through three upper floors. The curtain walling is triple glazed construction to minimise heat loss and shaded in summer via external louvres to control solar gains while also providing excellent daylight into the building.

To maximise ceiling heights in the open library areas services have been provided via suspended integrated service beams which incorporate heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and fire detection. This allowed the concrete soffits’ to be exposed to increase the thermal mass of the building and moderate the internal heating and cooling requirements.