Library of Birmingham blog 3

By on 11/09/2009 in Blog

gamblesHead of Birmingham Libraries Service Brian Gambles with the latest in a series of blogs looking at the exciting £193million Library of Birmingham project.

A period of intense activity for the Design Team, as they work with us to produce the Stage D report for our comment, due later this month.

This will fix most - but not quite all - of the key internal design elements of the scheme, floor layouts, provision of mechanical and electrical services, location and nature of lifts, escalators and stairs, and so on.

All of this is needed before we embark on the next phases, which will include floor, ceiling and wall finishes, and the provision of enough closely costed detail to agree a final maximum price with the construction contractor, Carillion.

We have made two interesting visits this week, to Newcastle to view the new City Library, opened in June this year, and to London to present the scheme to CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and to study building management systems.

Our verdict on Newcastle was that it shows a lot of attention to detail which we must not miss, but of course the scale and scope of Birmingham and the services we offer means we can set our ambitions much higher.

This helped really to confirm our view that the best benchmarks for us to use are international, if we want - and we do want - to be seen as significant on an international level.

Activity this week too in the digital arena, not just the much publicised go-live of the new city website, but the initiation of our project to develop a library presence in a Virtual World.

More on this another time, but this could be really innovative and potentially another first for the project.

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