The modern, eco-friendly library represents a significant investment in the future of all our students. The building, in the centre of the campus, is designed to be conducive to study and houses a wide range of learning resources and services. A computer controlled natural ventilation system and automatic lighting that responds to the light levels outside makes the library an environmentally friendly addition to the University. It is also home to the Engineering Design Centre (EDC) and Kaldi Café.
The library offers access to around 41,000 books, 1,250 print and electronic journals and a number of online databases. Study facilities include group study rooms and a silent study room. Sessions on using the library's resources are provided to all first year students. Refresher sessions are held for final year students to assist them with their dissertations. Staff on the enquiry desk can help you find information for your coursework or dissertations and show you how to use electronic journals, books and databases.
The building has many open access computers, a 24hr computer room and a wireless local area network to allow users to access the University Network.
Engineering Design Centre
Used by the engineering students, the Engineering Design Centre (EDC), situated on the ground floor, houses a number of classrooms and study rooms that provide access to powerful workstations running the latest computer aided design (CAD) software packages. The EDC was generously funded by JCB.
Certain areas of the building have received the generous support of sponsors. JCB funded the Engineering Design Centre. Harper Adams is proud of the links it shares with JCB, one of the best known names in British engineering, to boost the flow of engineering graduates into the industry.
The Parker Bequest funded the exhibition hall area (Mr Parker was an Oxfordshire landowner who left a generous bequest to the University). The Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust funded two rooms - an IT training room and a group study room on the first floor of the building. The higher Education Funding Council for England provided nearly £3/4 million in grant assistance towards the project. We are grateful to them all.
Artwork in the Exhibition Hall has been borrowed from New College Telford. Photographs of rural scenes on the first floor of the building were taken by John Bentley, a Senior Lecturer at the University and a keen photographer.
Construction and Environmental Features
Construction of the building started on 23rd September 2002 and was completed on 23rd September 2003. The building is 2,600 square meters in area. Mechanical ventilation systems have been kept to a minimum by the use of a natural ventilation system. The system is remote controlled, and in response to remote sensing of CO2 and temperature within the building, and the temperature and wind speed outside, the windows and roof vents open automatically to provide fresh air. The first floor vents can be seen above the wooden louvres at roof level. The ground floor is vented via two glassed chimneys on the first floor.
A large amount of concrete remains exposed on the ground floor ceiling of the building to act as a thermal mass. This stores heat in the winter, which is gradually released to compliment the mechanical heating system. In the summer, the ventilation windows open to allow cooler night air to be 'stored' in the concrete and released during the daytime. To reduce electricity use the lighting is operated by passive infra-red detectors that respond to movement to switch on and off automatically. The lighting also responds to light levels outside the building. If it is bright outside, the system will dim internal lights to reduce power use.
The toilets are connected to a rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in a large underground tank. When rainwater is available, it is pumped to the lavatory system. In dry periods, the system is bypassed and the normal water supply is used.
Whilst the ground floor of the building is of typical construction, the first floor has a wooden frame. Greenoak Construction, shortlisted in 2002 for the Stirling prize, were the contractors responsible for the unique softwood frame. The large slits down the side of the columns are deliberate, allowing for natural expansion and contraction in the wood.