Julian Sulley, Director of Technical Services for the Faculty, provides an update on refurbishment work within 2 East and 4 East:
The new Gas Turbine Research Unit (GTRU) laboratory has recently been completed. We have installed 6” and 2” diameter pipework from a lab across the corridor and a supplementary CO2 gas supply via a newly installed BOC facility in the 6 East yard. To accommodate laser measuring equipment we have ensured the lab is able to provide a total blackout. Final commissioning of the facility is ongoing, as is the manufacture and construction of the latest research rig. This is estimated to take around a year.
As a consequence of the new GTRU lab, the technicians prep workshop has been moved to a new location. This required an urgent last minute revision to the planned conversion of the wind tunnel annex, which was subsequently extended to create a new workshop.
The now infamous toilet conversion to a shower block facility remains ongoing! What started out last June to be a simple update to add an additional shower cubicle and spruce up the toilet block has developed into a full blown major refurbishment. This has involved a complete redesign of the drainage provision and major foundation work. This also presented an opportunity to further remove asbestos from the foyer and adjoining areas.
During the asbestos removal work, it was discovered that an internal wall wasn’t properly bonded and, as such, had to be demolished and rebuilt together with fire intumescent painting of the supporting steelwork. This work is now well advanced and completion is expected shortly. New ceilings, improved lighting and general redecoration of the foyer and stairwell area are also planned as part of the refurbishment. Other corridors, stairwells and foyer areas on level 1 have been refurbished or are planned as part of an ongoing programme.
The former distance learning offices have now been converted into new laboratory space. They have all been refitted with Velstone topped bespoke fixed and portable benching. There has been substantial investment in equipping the new laboratories with dedicated equipment kits. This work was originally planned to be part of the ACER backfill project scheduled for this summer but the decision was taken to pull forward this element of the project. Again, this entailed a complete asbestos strip out, new heating, lighting power and data installations all within a very compressed timescale, all of which was achieved.
Next up: ACER backfill project scheduled for this summer. More information to follow.