The university's performing arts department is one of the fastest developing performing arts departments in the country. It was established in 2003, building upon the success of the long-standing drama department. Such was the success of this department, that over �7M has been invested in a study centre and theatre. The department utilise very large props in their shows, and these were being stored along corridors of the quieter parts of the university, which was not ideal, as well as being a health and safety issue. Therefore, as part of their redevelopment phase, storage was high on their agenda.
At the back of the university, and directly in front of one of the accommodation halls is an in-and-out driveway. This was the area proposed for the storage, the only issue was that it is in a conservation area, with lots of over-hanging trees. We could not cut any trees back, so lifting was going to be tricky, but our haulier was confident it would not be a problem. Initially the university required two 40ft containers to be linked together. However, the entrance and exit of the driveway was very tight, and our delivery vehicle would not have managed it. We explained that if they had four 20ft containers, they would achieve the same storage space. It would be in a slightly different layout, but most importantly, our vehicle would have no issues. The university were happy with this suggestion.
Six of the 20ft walls were removed for the containers to be linked and for the larger space to be created. The remaining walls, roof and cargo door ends were lined with 9mm plywood, and 50mm insulation was fitted. Each unit had a 5' single anti-corrosive light fitting, and two of them had 2KW wall mounted convector heaters with RCD distribution boards. To allow some natural light into the area, two weatherproof double-glazed windows were installed. Access to the area was by way of a double personnel door set.
The units were being placed in between the university and a main road which runs through beautiful conservation countryside. Therefore, they had to blend in with their surroundings and not look like big steel boxes. The university use anthracite grey and light brown timber throughout their buildings, so this was the theme decided upon for the units. The units were externally clad and the windows, doors and all exposed steel were painted grey to keep in with this theme. Because it is in a conservation area, an eco-friendly composite cladding was used due to it being more lightweight, easier to fix and not needing any maintenance. The only downside was that it wouldn't weather in the same way that timber cladding would, but the university were not bothered about this.
On the day of delivery, our fabrications team attended site to link the containers together and ensured they were weatherproof. The units got a lot of attention on the day, with everyone agreeing how great they looked, and commenting on much they blended in with their surroundings. The university, our haulier and Lion were very happy with the final result, it was truly a case of great teamwork!
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