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  • University of Derby

Flooded by natural light, the vast and airy Atrium is a 17,000 sq metre learning hub at the heart of Derby University. The focal point for students and teaching staff alike, it’s a great place for formal study, lively debate or simply relaxing with friends.
It’s equally alive outside of term time, when its 700-seat capacity makes it an ideal venue for conferences and corporate events. All of which means there is never a hope of closing it whilst work is carried out. However, we came up with a clever answer – carrying out this contract while the university was open, but working at night. In this way we were able to avoid disruption to the academic calendar, and minimise any inconvenience and Health & Safety risks.
The project included the preparation and painting of the great web of exposed steelwork that vaults over the communal area of the Atrium. This posed its own particular set of problems, which we overcame with an innovative approach using mobile towers to give access to the ancillary steel trusses. Then, our workforce could safely use their specialist skills to quickly complete the required task - leaving the Atrium looking forward to a bright future at the centre of learning.
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