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25 May 2011

Mott MacDonald appointed on £21 million University of Essex Library, UK

Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Patel Taylor as mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP) consultants for the construction of a new £21 million student centre and library extension for the University of Essex Colchester Campus, UK.

The project involves an extension to the University’s existing 1960s building, which is being developed to meet the demands of additional student numbers and the new ways in which students strive to learn. The library will cover six floors and will include a special collections archive for valuable manuscripts which will require a close control air conditioning system to maintain temperature and humidity. The project also includes the construction of a three-storey student services and integrated learning centre containing staff support offices, a student reading room and sound/media learning environments.

Mott MacDonald, as part of lead consultant Patel Taylor Architect’s team, will provide MEP design which includes heating, ventilation, cooling/air conditioning, drainage as well as hot and cold water services. The consultancy will also design lighting, power, fire alarms, security and access control systems.

Mott MacDonald will also provide acoustic and fire engineering for the project. The consultancy will advise the architect on specifications for internal sound control, including sound and media labs. As fire engineers Mott MacDonald will check regulation compliance, providing additional support and design services in relation to fire safety.

In addition, the consultancy will assess and advise on how to meet a BREEAM excellent target. An integrated design approach has been adopted which looks to maximise the benefits of the building structure and form to reduce energy use, running costs and capital spend.

Mott MacDonald’s project director Saud Muhsinovic said, “The building is being developed next to a lake and we are investigating the potential of using the lake water as a source of low energy cooling. Much of the building will be naturally ventilated with exposed thermal mass to cool without air-conditioning and we are developing a bespoke ventilation strategy for the library, which will require close design between mechanical and fire engineers. The University has made a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions significantly and will be looking for this building to contribute to that, possibly leading to a ‘carbon neutral’ building.”

The new facility is due for completion towards the middle of 2013.


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