The refurbishment of Seymour Library at Somerville House, Brisbane was initiated to transform the existing infrastructure into a flexible space that would establish the reputed school as an education leader.

Designed by ThomsonAdsett and constructed by Badge Constructions, the new $4.8 million library redevelopment project came with a brief to revive, invigorate and expand the existing infrastructure to support a 21st century learning environment.

“The brief was to more effectively accommodate enrolment growth and create additional flexible learning areas. We’ve designed dedicated study spaces, meeting rooms and an Academic Research Centre, which will provide the opportunity for increased student exhibitions and collaboration,” Chad Brown, architect and group director of education at ThomsonAdsett said.

Consisting of timber joists systems, the design included two mezzanine levels, which increased the existing library space by 537 square metres. A range of timber and glass fixtures was incorporated into the new internal design to complement the existing structure.

The design team saw great opportunities with both the height and volume of the existing building. They also needed to ensure the Building Code of Australia Class 9B passive fire rating classifications were met for multi-storey buildings of a public nature.

Building refurbishments are subject to many dynamic challenges; some of these challenges include fire rating the new areas and finding solutions to join new fittings to existing materials without exceeding budget expectations.

Following extensive research and fire testing, Promat Australia worked with Michael Greenwood of Walker Bai Engineers to create a cost-efficient new floor system designed for the lightweight floor requirements of this construction. The SYSTEMPANEL floor system was used over approximately 800 square metres, complying with fire and acoustic requirements, and achieving a Fire Resistance Level (FRL) of 120/120/120.

The SYSTEMPANEL floor system was a cost-effective, lightweight material permitting easy installation – an ideal outcome for the builders compared to the cost and complexity of pumping concrete slabs into the multi-level structure.

Promat was also able to assist with firestopping of penetrations and joint sealing. PROMATECT 100 provided a single layer system for walls, ceilings and steel protection. The unique design of PROMATECT 100 allows for the following performance enhancements:

  • Superior insulation properties when exposed to fire
  • Excellent workability – easy to use and cut
  • Smooth and flat surface design
  • Cost efficient, allowing time saving on labour costs

The construction was completed in December 2017.