Visqueen Gas Protection Systems supplied for prestigious Library of Birmingham project

Client:             Carillion
Location:       Library of Birmingham
Date:               June 2013
Sector:            Education

About the project:

One of the most prestigious projects that Visqueen Building Products supplied products to in 2013 was the Library of Birmingham in the city’s Centenary Square.

The library is situated in one of the city’s most important public open spaces in the heart of Birmingham city centre’s Westside.

The new library features many innovative design and construction techniques. It has two elevated outdoor garden terraces which offer an environment for visitors to unwind, socialize and learn, as well as bringing environmental benefits through offsetting carbon emissions and attracting wildlife and local ecology.

Key facts

  • Opened in September 2013
  • Overall building cost – £188.8 million
  • Main contractor – Carillion
  • Designer – internationally acclaimed Dutch architects, Mecanoo
  • Expected to attract around 3.5 million visitors annually

Project challenges:

The build site was contaminated with CO2 gas, which posed a key challenge for Carillion as a specialist gas protection system would be required to make the development safe for construction. As a leading technical authority in the provision of gas protection systems, Visqueen was called in to provide knowledge and expertise in specifying the correct gas and damp protection solutions for the site conditions.

Visqueen worked closely with site managers and personnel, providing consultative support throughout the project. This involved advising on the correct products and system accessories, supplying accurate CAD details and overseeing installation.

Chris Hayes, Technical Support Manager at Visqueen who worked with Carillion on site explains further:

“We supported the team from start to finish, ensuring that all gas and waterproofing products were installed in accordance with the latest building regulations, and we were able to provide technical sign off of the finished installation.”

Michael Heir, Masonry Advisor at Carillion Technical Services commented:

“The decision to use Visqueen Zedex High Bond DPC to waterproof the base of the cavity at Birmingham Library proved correct. Visqueen technical support at Birmingham Library was excellent.”


Gas Venting Systems

There were a number of Visqueen products used throughout the construction of the new library. Products that were supplied by Visqueen Building Products were:

For further information on the products used within this project, download the datasheets below: 

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Carillion and the Library of Birmingham were announced as winners of the Project of the Year award on 17 July 2014. Birmingham Library has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for Architecture. The winner will be announced on 16 October 2014.

Visqueen contact details

To discuss your project requirements, contact Visqueen for specification or technical advice, or send us your CAD details for review.

Call us on 0845 302 4758 /

Visqueen is the market leader in the manufacture and supply of structural waterproofing and gas protection systems. Visqueen offers the complete package – a proven, reliable range backed by a technical support service that goes unmatched in the market – everything you would expect from a reputable and ethical company.

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Notes for Editors

About the Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham is a major new cultural destination, rewriting the book for 21st century public libraries.

The Library of Birmingham is a showcase for the city’s internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. New facilities including state-of-the-art gallery space open up public access to the collections for the first time. It is also home to a BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive. Other facilities include a new flexible studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre and other informal performance spaces, a recording studio, and dedicated spaces for children and teenagers. By harnessing new technology, everyone from Birmingham to Beijing, Bangalore and beyond is able to access the Library of Birmingham’s world-class resources.

Described by its architect Francine Houben as a ‘people’s palace’, the Library of Birmingham is highly accessible and family-friendly. It delivers excellent services through collaboration between the library, The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, partners and communities. It provides a dynamic mix of events, activities and performance together with outstanding resources, exhibitions and access to expert help for learning, information and culture. As a centre of excellence for literacy, research, study, skills development, entrepreneurship, creative expression, health information and much more, the Library of Birmingham is changing people’s lives.

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