Project description

The impressive new £5 million Library and IT Centreat Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge has recently been constructed by Kier Marriott. The main library reading rooms are situated on three floors with the IT Centre housed in a contiguous piled basement. The 1,150 sq metres library was designed by Edward Cullinan Architects to create a place of study that complements both the adjacent listed buildings and the peaceful landscape and surroundings. The building provides the main library reading rooms over three floors with a variety of study areas, incorporating both side and reflected lighting, for both short and long-term study. Environmentally, the building has been designed to exceed the latest building-regulation requirements for energy consumption and insulation levels.


Project requirements

To ensure a dry, habitable environment.


Sika solution

Sika® Watertight Concrete was specified to ensure that the basement conformed to grade 4 / BS8102:1990, giving a controlled environment capable of storing archives, sensitive materials and housing computer rooms. Incorporating the Sika® Watertight Concrete system gave structural engineers BCAL Consulting many benefits including simplified design. Lafarge Readymix supplied 600 cubic metres of watertight concrete to groundworkers, MJS Construction. The BBA certified Sika® Watertight Concrete system incorporates two state-of-the-art powerful Sika admixtures. These work firstly by reducing the water cement ratio, whilst producing a highly workable concrete to aid placement and compaction, and secondly, by blocking the remaining capillary pores. The system has a successful track record going back 50 years. Construction joints were sealed with 150 metres of the SikaSwell® jointing system, which consists of a joint sealing profile that expands on contact with water to seal any voids between adjoining concrete slabs and walls.