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General Information

a name and address
1 Type of library university [University]
2 Name of library / Name of mother institution The McClay Library / Queen’s University Belfast
3 Address College Park, Belfast, BT7 1LP
4 Phone / Fax / Email (phone +44 (0)2890976322, E-mail,
5 Name of the director of the library Mr John Gormley
6 Contact person for enquiries (Ms Elizabeth Traynor; Ms Karen Latimer)
b population served
7 Current readership, number of registered readers 38 000
8 Number of full time students 22 000
9 Number of part time students 6 000
10 Number of staff in institution 3 000
c the old/original building(s)
11 Total floor area 20 574
12 Number of reader seats 2 755
13 Total capacity of shelving 46 000 linear metres
14 …in open access storage 38 000 linear metres
15 …in closed access stacks 8 000 linear metres
16 Number of library staff 118
17 Opening hours to the public 70 hours per week, 330 days per year

The New Building

a architect(s)
18 Firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson Abbott, Boston, USA In association with RPP Architects, Belfast, Northern Ireland
19 Project Architect Sandy Howe for SBRA Alan Shields for RPP
20 Type of project
b aims of the new building
21 Short description of the main objectives and purposes of the project To provide a single Information Services building bringing together all of the services provided to users in the areas of Library, Computing, Media Services and Language Centre. To provide a world class, technology-rich, building in place of the increasingly inadequate space provided in the former Main and Science Libraries.
c special features
22 Site Central location on the main University campus
23 Architecture ”Bent bar” shape incorporating brick and sandstone exterior finishes with large areas of glass. Disabled access and energy efficient, sustainable design were essential requirements.

Technical Information

24 Total gross floor area 18 125 m² gross internal area
divided into
25 Open access services 8 736 m² (including, open plan computer areas, student lounge and the café)
special rooms for (26-29)
26 Audiovisual Two Language Labs - Area 178 m². Audio visual equipment (combination of plasma screens and data projects linked to dedicated pcs and associated equipment) has also been provided in group study rooms, lecture theatre, computer training room and meeting rooms.
27 Computers
28 Special collections Reading room - 239 m². Restricted access special collections store included in item 34 closed access stacks
29 Seminar room(s) 21 Group study rooms have been equipped with audio visual equipment. – 429 m².
special activities (30-32)
30 Exhibition space Small exhibition spaces on Ground and 1st floors
31 Lecture hall Seats 80-100. Area 95 m²
32 Public refreshments Franchised café on site
33 Administration and staff areas 2 487 m² (including staff areas associated with café)
34 Closed access stacks 504 m²
35 Circulations areas (corridors, stairs, lifts), toilets, technical rooms, etc. 4 906 m² (including plant rooms and stores)
36 Further information 4
37 Number of reader seats (total) 2 360
divided into
38 Audiovisual 10
39 Computers 500
40 Seminar room(s) 350
41 Regular 1500
b total potential capacity of shelving
42 Books and periodicals (total) 2 000 000 volumes
43 Open access stacks 1 500 000 volumes
44 Closed access stacks 500 000 volumes
45 Compact shelving 1,000,000 volumes (Included in 43 and 44)
46 Audiovisual materials 100 linear metres
47 Other N/A
48 Number of staff required to operate the new library 102
c mechanical features
49 Ventilation/Air Conditioning Combination of natural and mechanical displacement ventilation in open plan areas with chilled beam comfort cooling in three areas with high concentration of PCs.
50 Heating Heated using waste heat from data centre and ground source heat pumps with backup gas-fired boilers.
51 Lighting Fluorescent general lighting, compact fluorescent and metal halide feature lighting. Automatic controls in open plan areas.
52 Acoustics Extensive acoustic modeling carried out at design stage. Acoustic ceiling tiles and wall paneling installed where recommended by model. Carpet installed in open plan areas provided large areas of acoustic absorbent. Main circulation stair enclosed. Floors zoned in to quiet study and whisper zones which are clearly defined within the building. Group activities catered for in dedicated group study rooms. Mechanical and electrical plant design to meet specific acoustic standards.
53 Lifts, elevators, escalators Two 17 person passenger lifts and one 2000kG service lift.
54 Book transportation system None
55 Theft detection Book detection systems have been installed at the short loan area and the exit from the building (Trevor Lyttle could provide further information on these systems if required). The entrance and exit to the building are covered by CCTVs as is the external perimeter of the building. Access to the special collections store and reading room is restricted. The areas are alarmed and are covered by CCTVs.
56 Building management system Fully networked electronic building management system as manufactured by Trend Ltd
57 Type of IT infrastructure The McClay Library is on the University’s wired and wireless network and connected to JANET.
58 Other

Schedule Of The Building Process

59 Planning, preliminary brief Jan 2003 – April 2003.
60 Architectural competition May 2003 – November 2003
61 Period of project Dec 2003 – November 2005
62 Opening of the construction work 16th January 2006
63 Conclusion of the construction 3 Years and 17 weeks. Completed 15rh May 2009
64 Furnishing and moving the collections 22nd May 2009 – 10th July 2009
65 Opening of the new building for public 27th July 2009

Costs (Including Taxes)

66 Site N/A
67 Building £37,658,750
68 Furniture and equipment £4,306,750
69 Fees £4,347,500
70 Total £46,313,000
71 Operating costs
72 Funding (Type of commission and source of funding)

Publications & Awards

Read all about it
Tennyson, Michael. ‘Read all about it’. Perspective, 18(5), September/October 2009 pp 54-61
Rainwater harvesting at the seat of learning. Specify 23 December 2009 p 3

Plans & Photos