Client: University of Cambridge / RG Carter
Location: Ely
Status: Complete

University Library Off Site Store

The Cambridge University Library is 600 years old, one of leading libraries of the world, and home to over 8 million books, journals and other items. As one of five “Legal Deposit Libraries‟ in the UK, it has a requirement to participate in ensuring a copy of every book published in the UK is stored.

All of this means that the library has an ever growing storage problem. This project provides their first purpose built storage facility for low-use, but unique, printed material. The facility is to provide sufficient capacity for the projected storage needs up to 2030 and the site allows for a further 25% expansion.

The building was designed to comply with BS PD 5454:2012 “Guide for the Storage and Exhibition of Archival Materials‟ with risk assessments concerning environmental conditions, fire protection and security developed jointly with the client to ensure all risks were addressed in the building design, or in the planned management procedures.

The Main Bookstore was designed as a Very Narrow Aisle High Bay Racking warehouse around the ‘Harvard’ Method of storage using: racking with books stored in trays, Manual retrieval using specialised electric forklift trucks and a Warehouse Management Computer System.

Project Scope:

  • 106,030 M Shelving
  • 50 Map Plan Chests
  • 5,000 m2 Footprint
  • 25% Expansion allowed
  • 2 hr Fire Resistance
  • Sprinklers throughout
  • +13°C to 20°C and 35-60% RH.
  • 1m3/hr @ 50Pa, Positively pressurised
  • Full Level 2 BIM project