Queen Mary University, UK - Constructor Group Archive Reference

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Queen Mary University, UK - Constructor Group Archive Reference

As part of the complete refurbishment to the ground floor of Queen Mary University of London’s existing library building in Mile End, Bruynzeel has installed its Compactus storage in three rooms providing the University with a new state-of-the-art archive system.

The new archive installation is a continuation of a long-standing relationship between Bruynzeel and the University that began in 1992 when Bruynzeel installed a large Compactus 820 mobile storage system for the library’s original archive. Knowing the quality and longevity of the Compactus range, Bruynzeel was approached by the library team to help them develop three areas for archive storage when the refurbishment was planned.

Part of a £4 million project includes a new reception area, café, and open study areas the three-archive areas have almost trebled the amount of archive storage available to the University. Created from an office, an existing archive and a storage room, the new archive has been designed to accommodate the existing archive material and provide for the University’s future archiving requirements.

Commenting on the installation Emma Bull, Director of Library Services said "The Bruynzeel storage units have enabled us to extend our archives storage capacity by making the most efficient use of the space available. The design of the units not only ensures materials are stored safely but that there is easy access for staff."

Bruynzeel installed its space saving Compactus manual storage systems, which is designed to provide high-density storage within a compact area, while maintaining 100% accessibility to every document. The system can be tailored to any room and fitted around any specific building constraints, such as pillars or intrusions into the room. The turn handle drive system allows for effortless access regardless of content or number of racks being moved at any one time.

“The library was built in the mid 80s and the original Bruynzeel compact shelving system installed has serviced its purpose well. However, the library was in need of major refurbishment to take the library service into the 21st century. It was natural to approach Bruynzeel, and the Sales Manager and technical staff provided excellent consultation and pre-sales technical advice, which included drawings and numerous options and cost iterations. This really helped us in pre-determining the exact requirement at the early design stage and was critical to the success of the projects”, says Van Nguygen, Project Manager at Queen Mary University of London.

As well as 1,100 linear metres of books, the archives can accommodate over 11,000 boxes, including 500 boxes of college records, historical items, reports, prospectuses, important correspondence, papers and photographs. The Compactus system was supplied with a special base designed to spread the shelving’s load.

With the archive completed, documents previously stored in the basement of the main building will be transferred to the library and correctly stored and catalogued for easy retrieval. The archive is now a much-improved environment where library staff can operate and access the archives more easily and safely.

The installation was carried out within a tight timescale and necessitated working around other trades within a very restricted area while at the same time keeping the other two floors of the library open to students for study. Regular meetings with the client and the main contractor meant that any issues were quickly identified and dealt with at an early stage.

“Due to budgetary constraints, we undertook a major value engineering exercise prior to procurement and construction. We looked at various other systems and suppliers and assessed the technical aspects and cost of various systems available on the market. Again, Bruynzeel rose to the challenge and we are now quietly assured that we have the right system for us, which is an advanced, robust system at a competitive price. The no hassle and ease of the installation was also a revelation and we look to the enjoyment of the new system for the next 30 years and more. I would definitely recommend Bruynzeel and look forward to working with them on future projects”, concluded Van Nguyen.

Bruynzeel’s Compactus range is designed to optimise the storage capacity of any given area. Consisting of double-sided shelving units mounted on mobile carriages which run on floor rails, it compresses the footprint of a storage area by having only one “floating” aisle instead of a series of fixed aisles. Bruynzeel offers individually designed systems for each customer, with Compactus shelving systems available in a range of colours and a variety of drive mechanisms.