Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library Open to Students
The new build Noreen & Kenneth Murray Library on the University of Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings Campus on the city’s southside opened at the start of the 2012/13 academic term. The 1,950 sqm, 4 storey building provides enhanced teaching and study environments for the College of Science and Engineering and acts as a social hub on the campus.
The project has been designed in response to thorough client and end user consultation and the supportive environments created enshrine the new pedagogic methods being applied by the University, of intellectual engagement, connectedness to the wider world, recognition of difference and strong sense of community. Initial user feedback has been very positive.
The landmark building provides an array of teaching and learning environments with the backdrop of the Campus Green and views to the city centre. The design features a two-storey ‘Podium Hub’ on the lower levels with a cafe, soft study and meeting areas for discussion and debate. On the higher levels there are a series of quieter and acoustically separated study spaces. There also exists an opportunity for an outdoor study environment on a second floor roof terrace area overlooking the Campus Green.
The building is highly energy efficient, achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent’. It has been constructed with almost twice the amount of insulation as required by the current building standards, uses recycled newspaper and timber insulation and has external walls of a “breathing”, moisture diffusive construction. The building benefits from free heating using surplus hot water from the adjacent campus Combined Heat and Power facility, features natural, cross ventilation, with stairwells acting as ventilation stacks. The building layout provides a high level of daylighting to all library spaces but incorporates timber louvres and blinds to control glare. The use of timber extends to the external façade, where Scottish sourced European Larch forms the cladding. A green roof of sedum moss increases biodiversity in the area and dramatically slows rainwater run-off.