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General Information

a name and address
1 Type of library university [University Library]
2 Name of library / Name of mother institution Forum Library / University of Exeter
4 Phone / Fax / Email +44 (0) 1392 723873
5 Name of the director of the library CLARE POWNE
6 Contact person for enquiries Stephen Mossop
+44 (0) 1392 725670
b population served
7 Current readership, number of registered readers 23000
8 Number of full time students 15500
9 Number of part time students 3000
10 Number of staff in institution 1550
c the old/original building(s)
11 Total floor area 5270 sq. metres
12 Number of reader seats 450
13 Total capacity of shelving 21500 linear metres
14 …in open access storage 21000 linear metres
15 …in closed access stacks 500 linear metres
16 Number of library staff 68
17 Opening hours to the public 168 hrs per week; 362 days per year

The New Building

a architect(s)
18 Firm Wilkinsone Eyre
19 Project Architect Chris Wilkinson / Chris Donoghue
20 Type of project (Renovation & Extension)
b aims of the new building
21 Short description of the main objectives and purposes of the project The £48 million Forum Project originated in 2007 to provide an innovative, fully integrated, student-facing facility at the centre of the campus interlinking new learning spaces and the Main Library, catering and social facilities together with all key student services including employability, student support services, accommodation and finance.

In terms of the library, the project provides:
25% more shelving space
Dedicated, high quality, research-facing facilities for library users with research-orientated collections close by in the Research Commons (refurbished ‘Old Library’)
More than double the original seating provision during peak use seasons with over 75% of seats provided with mains power and hard-wired network sockets
A completely refurbished study environment conducive to the broad spectrum of user requirements
Double the original PC provision, numerous power sockets and pervasive wifi throughout
Additional automated entrance and exit

Key drivers for the library part of the project included:
Cramped accommodation: by 2002 the Main Library was 95% full and we had little room for expansion in other locations. The Main Library was built with 450 seats in 1982 to cater for 6000 students. The university‘s student population currently stands at around 17,000.
Inappropriate spaces: tired and worn décor, poor lighting and ventilation, DDA non-compliant areas, difficult access and layout arrangements, lack of IT provision and power sockets for users. The 1982 design pre-dated personal computing.
Dated facilities: Newer learning styles were poorly supported and many user complaints were received about mobile phones, general noise levels and lack of hot drink availability. There was also considerable pressure on limited multimedia facilities.
Confusing layout: collections were not in numerical Dewey shelf mark order, aisles did not logically flow into each other and uneven collection expansion between 1982 and 2002 had made way-finding a confused business.
c special features

DISABILITY-COMPLIANT: The Forum development fully supports user accessibility. It includes a number of lifts for those with mobility impairment, induction loops at service desks for those with hearing difficulties, approved visual signage as well as four dedicated, bookable accessible study rooms supported with appropriate IT facilities, accessible WCs on each floor and voice alarm systems.

BREEAM EXCELLENT RATING: The environmental impact of the Forum building was minimised through design and methodology. Construction materials have been re-used and recycled where possible and Green Guide ‘A’ rated materials incorporated at every opportunity.

Biodiversity on campus was monitored throughout the build and extensive measures taken to anticipate the effects of the development on the local ecology, wherever possible rare plants and trees were moved or carefully protected.

The building fabric and glazing used in the Forum has achieved a level of thermal performance 10% better than that required by building regulations. This will deliver a serious reduction in energy use and CO2 emissions.
The development provides over a hundred extra cycle spaces, plus showers and lockers, to promote cycling and walking to campus, and the new piazzas create a more pedestrian focus.

Recycling bins have been placed in strategic locations around the forum building to facilitate a sustainable waste strategy and a composter has been brought onto site to provide organic waste processing services for the whole campus with up to 3500 litres of organic waste to be converted into compost every week and used to keep the luscious grounds at the University looking their best.

Technical Information

24 Total gross floor area 6731 sq. metres
divided into
25 Open access services 4526 sq. metres
special rooms for (26-29)
26 Audiovisual 62 sq. metres
27 Computers 180 sq. metres
28 Special collections N/A (in separate site library)
29 Seminar room(s) 435 sq. metres
special activities (30-32)
30 Exhibition space N/A – included in Forum Complex
31 Lecture hall N/A – included in Forum Complex
32 Public refreshments 10 sq. metres
33 Administration and staff areas 664 sq. metres
34 Closed access stacks 464 sq. metres
35 Circulations areas (corridors, stairs, lifts), toilets, technical rooms, etc. 400 sq. metres
36 Further information 3 public levels, 0.5 staff area
37 Number of reader seats (total) 1160
divided into
38 Audiovisual 15
39 Computers 105
40 Seminar room(s) 400
41 Regular
b total potential capacity of shelving
42 Books and periodicals (total) 24000 linear metres
43 Open access stacks 16500 linear metres
44 Closed access stacks 8500 linear metres
45 Compact shelving see 44
46 Audiovisual materials 50 linear metres
47 Other
48 Number of staff required to operate the new library 63
c mechanical features
49 Ventilation/Air Conditioning 1982 building has air conditioning, 2012 extension has manual ventilation
50 Heating Earth tubes, groundsource water, gas boilers
51 Lighting Zumtobel
52 Acoustics None
53 Lifts, elevators, escalators 2 service lifts
54 Book transportation system manual trolleys
55 Theft detection 3M EM detection (main area), 2CQR RFID (short loan) – project on-going to convert building fully to RFID
56 Building management system Schroeder, local
57 Type of IT infrastructure CAT 6 network as part of campus network, 100 Mbs minimum
58 Other

Schedule Of The Building Process

59 Planning, preliminary brief 2007
60 Architectural competition Open
61 Period of project
62 Opening of the construction work April 2009
63 Conclusion of the construction May 2012
64 Furnishing and moving the collections Throughout, on completion of floor-by-floor refurbshments
65 Opening of the new building for public 5 May 2012 (by HM The Queen)

Costs (Including Taxes)

66 Site N/A
67 Building N/A
68 Furniture and equipment 182700 euro [£150,000]
69 Fees 4019100 euro [£3.3m]
70 Total 9230900 euro [£7.58m as part of wider £48 m Forum Project]
71 Operating costs
72 Funding (Type of commission and source of funding)

Publications & Awards

2013 RIBA National Awards
Winner of the Higher Education and Research Category at the 2013 World Architecture Festival
Highly Commended – SCONUL Library design awards 2013

Plans & Photos