TNG raises the roof for university library refurbishment

Engineering specialists from Southampton have helped to replace the roof and critical ventilation plant above a ‘Special Collections’ area of a library which houses irreplaceable historical manuscripts and archives.

The team from TNG Consulting Engineers were brought on board by the University of Southampton for the £1.5m Hartley Library project.

In order to replace the existing flat roof, all roof-top plant and electrical services had to be removed in phases. This allowed the University the opportunity to replace and rationalise the existing plant with new services and provide a new raised support system to ensure future roof maintenance can be carried out more easily and without the need for the removal of services.

TNG was the M&E engineering designer on this specialist refurbishment scheme located on the Highfield Campus in Southampton. The Special Collections area of Hartley Library houses historically significant and valuable artefacts, books, archives and photographs. This includes 6.5 million manuscript items and 50,000 printed books, such as the papers of the first Duke of Wellington and papers for the foundation of the states of India and Pakistan in the archive of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

The historically significant and valuable artefacts are stored in a climate controlled environment and the University requested minimal mechanical and electrical input in order to achieve this in line with the University’s sustainability drive.

The TNG team designed specialist air handling plant and systems to comply with ‘PD5454: Guide for the Storage and Exhibition of Archival Material’ and to consume the least amount of energy.

Russ Pitman, TNG’s Managing Director said, “We were delighted to be working with University of Southampton once again on this challenging and specialist project.

“The nature of the project meant that we were able to draw on our extensive experience of delivering sustainable solutions for unique environments, and of working in phases. It’s great to know that this project has future-proofed critical maintenance activities without disruption of the services,” added Russ.