Firm Branches out at Cambridge University

The Journal (Newcastle, England), November 11, 2010 | Go to article overview

Firm Branches out at Cambridge University


ARCHITECTURE firm Sadler Brown has completed testing on the "solar trees" it has planted outside Cambridge University library.

The Newcastle firm was preparing the last of a six-phase pounds 40m extension to the library when it was challenged by planners to provide an extra dimension of sustainability to the project. As a result, 10% of the annual energy uptake of the archive store would need to be generated by a renewable means.

The request provided another challenge on the project to extend the historic library. A total of four reading rooms, improved IT facilities, an exhibition space and two archive storage spaces have been added over the last 15 years. The university library is one of six legal deposit libraries, holding at least one copy of every book published in the UK and Ireland.

Director Christine Howe said: "We needed to be innovative to create something that would work next to a Grade II-listed building. The archive store needs to be designed to specific environmental standards so keep the books at a suitable temperature, so cooling was required.

"We needed something that wasn't attached to the building, and went through a whole list of options."

Sadler Brown worked with photovoltaic expert EvoEnergy on the solution, which turned out to be four five-metre-high structures built with a steel trunk and 16 bespoke mono-crystalline panels fixed to the trunk with a silicone bond. …

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