Vice Chancellor Bill Rammell and representatives from the architects and constructors, mosescameronwilliams and Willmott Dixon, travelled up to the top of the nine-level building to add the final bolt to the roof of the development.
Due for completion in early 2016, the 7,400sqm site is the latest in a series of investments in facilities, with the £25m teaching and learning building at the University’s Bedford campus the most recent major project to be completed.
Surrounded by the newly-refurbished Business School and state-of-the-art student accommodation, the library is the jewel in the crown of the University’s ethos of combining a first-class, value-adding education with an uplifting student experience.
Akin to an all-in-one centre for learning, studying and socialising, the new building promises to join the Campus Centre and Postgraduate & CPD Centre in becoming the hub of the ever-evolving Luton campus.
In addition to its core premise as a library – almost half a million pounds has been spent building up the University’s book collection in preparation for the move – the building will house a range of other facilities.
Silent-study rooms, group-work areas and presentation-practice rooms join a ground floor café in creating a space truly geared to providing a motivational learning environment and enhancing the student experience.
Colin Moses, director at mosescameronwilliams architects, said: “The Development Framework we produced for the University of Bedfordshire in 2007 sets out the long term strategy for the estate, and focuses on delivering projects which directly improve the student experience. The construction of the new library is an exciting continuation of our successful relationship with both the University and the design team involved in the campus redevelopment.”
Ever since construction began in 2014, the sustainability of the new library has been high on the agenda, with a BREEAM excellent rating targeted.Heating and hot water needs will be met by a district heating system connected to the University’s other buildings. It will also be highly thermally efficient, keeping down energy consumption as well as CO2 emissions, while a rainwater harvesting system will also be present.