Library of Birmingham project gets ICE seal of approval

By on 27/05/2011 in News

The President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has viewed how the £188.8 million Library of Birmingham project is taking shape as part of a tour of the region.

Peter Hansford visited the scheme to see how contractors Carillion and project managers Capita Symonds are progressing with the construction.

Building work on the library began in 2010 and is due for completion in 2013.

Designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo the Library of Birmingham will comprise of 10 floors, nine above ground and one below ground, along with a 300 seat studio theatre, exhibition space and the city archives.

During the visit, Carillion's Senior Design Manager Peter Horton and Sustainability Manager Michael Winhall (both ICE members) explained how the project team is working to tackle the civil engineering challenges involved in such a scheme. 

Peter Hansford said: “The Library of Birmingham is one of the biggest and most ambitious civil engineering projects happening anywhere in Europe at the moment which means the eyes of the world are on those who are working to deliver it.

“This is far more than simply providing a library, it is an opportunity to make a statement about the ambitions of Birmingham as a city.

“Constructing a building of this magnitude in the city centre and maintaining services and accessibility for members of the public presents significant civil engineering challenges.

“I am delighted to see Capita Symonds and Carillion working so well alongside Birmingham City Council to deliver what I firmly believe, when complete, will be a project of international importance for the city.”

Councillor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: ““Over a year into the construction process for the Library of Birmingham, we are at a hugely exciting point in the project.

“The building is progressing at a truly phenomenal rate and taking shape right before people's eyes. The Library of Birmingham is the flagship project for the city council's Big City Plan, the most ambitious and far-reaching development project in the UK right now, and is delivering not just world-class architecture but also a highly sustainable building.

“The development of the Library of Birmingham is rewriting the book on public libraries in 21st century; spearheading what a library can and should be in the future and creating a major new cultural destination that will raise the city's profile across the country and around the world.”

In addition to visiting the Library of Birmingham, Peter Hansford met with Centro to hear about the plans for the extension of the Midland Metro in the city centre, and with members of ICE West Midlands' Leaders' Group to discuss the implications of low carbon targets for the region's civil engineers.

For further media information contact Mat Danks at DCPR on 07837515790 or email


Notes to editors

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was founded in 1818 to ensure professionalism in civil engineering. It represents 80,000 qualified and student civil engineers in the UK and across the globe. ICE has long worked with the government of the day to help it to achieve its objectives and has worked with industry to ensure construction and civil engineering remain major contributors to the UK economy and UK exports

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