Universities often have learning spaces that were built decades ago, resulting in a very old-school look and feel about them.
This was the case with the University of Derby, who collaborated with Domino Commercial Interiors to thoroughly refurbish three of its banked lecture theatres and adjoining corridor circulation areas. This project involved the design and installation of new seating as well as modern Mechanical and Electrical systems for ventilation, heating and cooling.
The coronavirus pandemic further accelerated the need for modern communications equipment, especially within learning facilities due to staff and students having to work and study from home.
As part of the brief, the University of Derby required a digital comms system that would allow students and other universities worldwide to watch lectures delivered from its campus. Connectivity is often a central element of our design process, ensuring that technology is fully integrated into the wider plan. In this instance, the audio-visual installation was particularly complex and required close liaison between Domino Commercial Interiors, ProAV and the University’s IT department. The project also included a full strip-out and remodelling of the lecture theatres with provision of new furniture, LED lighting installed within new MF feature ceilings, feature edge lighting to step treads, stainless steel balustrading, and bespoke joinery designed to improve acoustic management.
One of the main challenges was the requirement for a diligent approach to health and safety, as the University was to be occupied by staff and students during our work programme. Having work and studies taking place concurrently with our works meant that Domino needed to minimise noise and disruption around the site, including the segregation and planning of logistics and deliveries. This was particularly challenging as one lecture theatre was located away from the other two, on a separate part of the campus. The timeframe was also affected, as in order to fully avoid exam schedules, works were to be completed in a relatively short period.
The experience of our Site Manager in planning the works, and then managing the comprehensive programme through twice-daily task breakdown checks with each discipline on site, meant that Domino adhered to the relatively constrained work period and were able to complete the project on time. Domino did this by managing two teams delivering simultaneously, with carefully planned overlap of trades between the two sites in order to efficiently manage and maintain progress.
Our daily pre-work meetings with the delivery teams reinforced the importance of working with minimal disruption to the nearby staff and students, and our team’s approach was commended by client staff as being respectful, collaborative, and caring with regards to the ongoing teaching and studies. The newly refurbished lecture theatres now look and act the part, as they support the University’s main aim to provide students with a top-class international experience to help them develop their skills and ensure they succeed in their careers.
Talk to us!
We are always happy to share how we have achieved results for our partners/clients on past projects and help you to achieve your goals for new space.