Coulson Building Group, providing a comprehensive range of building services since 1884.

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The entrance to the Cambridgeshire archives

Cambridgeshire Archives, Ely

Working in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council, County Archives and Atkins, Coulson Building Group were appointed to design and remodel the existing Ely strikes bowling alley to create a new County Archive facility and registration office.

The building was suitable for conversion to a records repository because the building was already constructed in two halves. One half contains facilities that lend themselves to public and staff use – containing windows, water pipes, IT ducting and other utilities - and the other half, (which was used for bowling lanes) has a level concrete floor, no windows, good usable height, and no water pipes or other ducting. The overall site has excellent public access and proximity to Ely railway station.

The main part of the works involved a new internal concrete structure formed within the existing shell to provide a four hour fire proof compartment and to raise the storage area 1 metre higher than the original floor level to protect from possible floods. A complex mechanical and electrical installation along with a new sprinkler system and tank was included. Another part of the project was to form new office space and a registrar area with external decking. The car park was extended and upgraded with a barrier access system to allow secure access for the member of public.

Construction was completed on time ready for the Archives team to install the storage racking System and then to move all the archive information to open up for the public in December 2019.

Open workspace within the archives
Some of the air handling ductwork within the roofspace
Main archive room with runners for the rolling storage
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Key Facts:

Client:Cambridgeshire County Council

Lead consultant: Atkins

Value: £3,470,000

Form of contract:NEC Option A

Procurement method:Framework