Thursday, December 05, 2013

Acocks Green Library Repairs Update

I attended another of the regular progress meetings at the library on Tuesday and work is continuing well. Re-roofing is now complete on all three roof sections and the roof lights are installed on the two smaller roof sections. The weather has been generally quite kind, although it has caused some delays and the external work won't be complete until the 20th December.

You can see the difference in the two pictures. The old rooflights, dingy and sealed with flashband (a temporary water proofing measure at best) have been replaced with new, identical uPVC units, which are double glazed and designed to retain heat. Each of these units is assembled in the factory to check that they meet the bespoke size requirements, then taken to bits for powder coating before being delivered to site and reassembled again. The dodecahedronal units on the lower roof will be the most complicated of the lot (there are four or five different designs of roof light up there in total).

The library will be noticeably lighter once this work is done. Because this project has been managed under budget, we're also improving the ventilation by installing powered openers on selected windows to give a better flow of air in the warm months.
Roof fixed and skylights replaced

The photo below shows the water damage above one of the windows on the stairwell in the staff area. The surveyor reports back that this is not merely cosmetic - the lintel will need to be replaced. This will require significant internal and external structural scaffolding to support the roof while the work is completed and is more substantial than first thought.

Again, thanks to careful management of costs, we're able to get this work done. Originally, the roof above this wasn't planned to be replaced, although the condition was at least as poor as the main roof sections above the lending library itself.

Water damaged lintel
Once the externals are completed and after the Christmas break, the internal work - making good and repainting - has to be done. Some of this work could perhaps have been completed during normal closure days, but that would have meant further disruption, so we have decided to keep the library closed until the work is completed.

Unfortunately, this means that we aren't likely to get the library handed back until around the 17th January and it will take at least a week to ten days to return the library to a suitable condition to be opened to users (South Yardley took a fortnight, but that had been completely stripped for well over a year), so the aim is that we should be back in business by the end of January at the very latest.

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