Old building gets a new interior
In April, a comprehensive renovation of the ‘B’ building on Campus Valla will begin. To manage this, some 360 people will need to move out for the almost two-year-long renovation.
Large sections of the ‘B’ building underwent a renovation that finished in 2001. After that, the ‘A’ corridor – the one closest to Corson – was to have been renovated, but for various reasons that never happened. Until now.
“We’ll look over the heating, cooling, and ventilation, as well as electricity and data connections,” says Tobias Lindberg, classroom planner in the Department of Classroom Management and project manager for the renovation. This is comprehensive work, which means the staff will have to move out for the duration.
The renovation will take place in four stages and begins in the northern section of the building. One stage covers the corridor between two entrances on two storeys. Around 90 people will be affected in each stage. Half of them will have to move to Terra building, where a storey has been standing empty since several previous moves, and half to other empty rooms in the ‘A’ corridor for the six months each stage will need to finish.
“It is a gigantic puzzle and one of the most time-consuming parts of the project,” Lindberg says.
The floor plan will not be changed during the renovation. The 1970s architecture with such things as exposed steel beams and aluminium detailing will be kept. But the surface layers, carpets, and fixtures will be replaced. Primarily, the renovation will deal with ventilation, heating, and cooling.
“The ventilation is not currently satisfactory,” Lindberg says. “The air comes in at one end of the corridor, and that’s OK there, but the further you go into the corridor, the worse the airflow becomes. After the renovation, it will also be possible to regulate the heat and cooling individually in each room within a given interval – something that is not possible today.”
However, the renovation will entail the furnishable area in the rooms becoming somewhat smaller, as the ventilation and electrical and data connections will be drawn through a new window sill channel that is 17 cm wider.
The ‘B’ building is the second-oldest building on Campus Valla and was built in 1972, over 40 years ago. It requires space to build in modern ventilation in such an old building.
“And that’s why we have to move the staff,” Lindberg says.
The renovation plans have been received with varying levels of enthusiasm in the ‘B’ building. Some people were said to have celebrated with cake, others don’t see the need at all – probably those who sit in the “good” end of the corridor. What everyone will be glad of, regardless of where they sit, is that the sound environment in the corridors and conference rooms will be reviewed, and reverberation times will be reduced thanks to sound absorbers and lower ceilings.
“It’s an important part in the context of creating a more open climate for collaboration, where the need to close doors to get a more pleasant sound environment won’t be a must,” Lindberg says.
General areas such as cafés and the library will not be affected. On the other hand, the stairwell will be closed off in stages, although they will not be locked in case of evacuations due to fire.
“But this could mean a detour to get in, depending on where you’re going during the renovation period,” Lindberg says.
The renovation of the ‘B’ building has been under way for a while and is not part of the “Campus LiU 2015” project. The cost is estimated at SEK 46 million, and the renovation is being carried out by Akademiska hus. Everything should be finished by March 2015.
Text and photo: Elisabet Wahrby
Last updated: 2013-02-25