Contractor: Kier Construction

Project Value: £1,000,000

Architect: Patel Taylor

Stone: Ancaster Limestone

Completed: 2015


The iconic Albert Sloman Library at the University of Essex has provided library services to students for almost fifty years. As the University underwent expansion plans, a significant extension to the library building was needed, expanding the Library by 30%. The extension will enable the University to house a collection of 1.4 million books and will provide additional study space for our students.

Further to this, it was decided that a new three-storey Student Centre was also needed with an open-access 24-hour Learning Hub providing a technology-rich study space for creative and group working, new IT facilities including touchdown access, an IT helpdesk and a new state-of-the-art media centre for the Students’ Union (just to name a few!).

PMJ Masonry were tasked with using Ancaster Limestone in repetitive piers and walling to create an external envelope for the Silberrad Student Centre. One of the hurdles to overcome with this project was minimising disruption to the students whilst they were working in the nearby vicinity. Therefore, measures were put in place to comply with this request from the client of which some are listed below:

An acoustic screen has been installed between the building site and the Library to act as a sound barrier.

Specialist equipment was bought to reduce noise on-site, with all staff briefed on the importance of minimising noise.

An acoustic partition has been installed in the Library reading room, providing screening for 200 workstations.

The access route for contractors to get to the site was designed and revised to minimise disruption to students in our campus accommodation.

Levels of building work will be reduced during revision and exam periods in May-June 2014.

Building work will cease during Graduation in July 2014.