University of Birmingham library

University of Birmingham library

The University of Birmingham’s new £45 million library forms a significant part of the university’s wider development of its Edgbaston campus, providing state-of-the-art facilities for students, staff and researchers and a cultural hub for the whole city.

16,000m2 of floor space has been constructed over six levels, with a series of light wells installed throughout the building. The building has been constructed with a view to reducing the university’s energy use by around 50 per cent and to achieve its 20 per cent C02 reduction by 2020. A high level of glazing has been put in place, maximising views both in and out and achieving optimum day-lighting to quiet perimeter study areas. Glass louvres have been installed to provide solar shading. For the cladding, aluminium and zinc have been used.

In addition to a variety of learning spaces and an impressive 40 miles of shelving, the library also boasts a ground floor café and exhibition/events space to showcase research. Also available are media rooms and video editing booths, encouraging students to make more of the university’s world-class collections and resources.

Currie & Brown provided quantity surveying services, with an emphasis on cost management and cost control.

The project started on site in 2012 and was completed in September 2016 in time for the new academic year.

Our role

Under the provisions of the university quantity surveying framework, Currie & Brown was appointed to provide cost consultancy and risk management services for pre- and post-contract services.

Using robust cost planning techniques, large-scale benchmarking and our experience of similar library projects, we were able to support the development of the design from the early stages. Within budgetary constraints, we were also able to achieve the highest quality of design and materials selection.

The University of Birmingham’s new library was the first project of the university’s capital programme to incorporate BIM level 2. Using our BIM measurement software, we were able to ‘live link’ our cost estimates to the BIM model. The intelligence of BIM allows all cost information to be linked to the model to remain consistent with the design throughout the project phases and enables changes to be readily accommodated in quantities, measurements and cost. This allows clients to explore several different scenarios and eliminates the risk of unbudgeted changes to projects.

‘‘Currie & Brown worked as quantity surveyors on the project to construct the new main library on our Edgbaston campus. The team were a pleasure to work with and their approach was always professional. Their contribution helped make the project a success. They maintained the project within budget whilst sustaining the quality of the library facilities and maintaining the integrity of the design and its purpose within the University. I have no hesitation in recommending their services in the future’. Stephen Ashton, Senior Project Manager, University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham library