Archives

Case Studies

North Tyneside Council Workshops and Storage Areas

North Tyneside Council had a large operational base at the Harvey Combe Industrial Estate in Killingworth and during 2019 plans were revealed for the interior to be refurbished to include the reinstatement of the original reception, installation of a new lift in reception to improve building access and installation of a new mezzanine floor within the main workshops and storage area to accommodate different areas of council operations.

Layouts & designs for workshops and storage area were drawn up by North Tyneside Council staff in consultation with a local architect and Historic England (due to the building having a Grade 2 listing). A tendering process was begun in Autumn 2020 to find a turnkey solution supplier to carry out the works.

The contract, for supply and installation of all equipment, was awarded through the Crown Commercial Service supplier framework, following extensive evaluation by both the Procurement Department and advisors brought in for the project. Rotadex were awarded the contract, based on their submission and their long standing presence on the Crown Commercial Service framework.

The main element of the new works was a 300m², 4.5m high mezzanine floor, which included handrail to all exposed edges, two access staircases and a pallet gate. One hour fire protection was also fitted to the floor, comprising a suspended ceiling below the floor, cavity barrier, bulkhead and fascia protection. The floor columns were also clad in fire protective material retained within column cases. The main workshop and warehouse were subdivided by using security cages to form 8 separate enclosures, allowing differing council departments space to store and pick spare parts. The cages included single pedestrian, double and sliding doors to allow access for fork lift trucks. Inside the cages were a variety of storage mediums ranging from pallet racking, heavy duty and small parts racking, through to Kanban units and industrial workstations. The new layout enabled workflow to be improved, with palletised deliveries being able to be delivered direct from goods inwards, into each individual department’s secure cage.

Following award of the contract, Rotadex carried out a detailed site survey to establish a schedule of works to fit into the overall project programme. At the same time plans were submitted to the local authority for Building Regulations approval, along with the necessary structural calculations. Installation of the mezzanine floor took 10 working days, and was followed by the fitting of the security cages and storage equipment comprising Rotadex Fineline delta edge, Rax 1 and Rax 2 shelving systems, louvre panels, parts bins and workbenches. The complete scheme was finished within the designated 10 week project programme.

Cambridgeshire Archives Roller Racking and Plan Chests

Cambridgeshire Archives recently relocated from Shire Hall, Cambridge to its new home at The Dock, Ely and opened to the public once more at the end of 2019. The £5.3M Archives project followed a National Archives' assessment of the Shire Hall basement accommodation, leading to the redevelopment of the former Strikes Bowling Alley.

The interior of the existing building was completely removed and the existing ground floor raised by one metre, with reinforced concrete to add strength and new interior walls to provide storage vaults and staff and public accommodation. The archive vaults incorporated new mechanical and electrical services (to ensure the correct environmental conditions for the archived documents), new lighting and zoned sprinklers for fire protection.

The archive – which conforms to BS4971:2017 recommendations – houses in excess of 850 tons of historical documents stored on more than seven miles of mobile and static shelving, plan-chests and rolled maps storage units. Mobile shelving is principally used in order to ensure that the available floor space – and height – is fully maximised.

The archive contains a wide variety of stored items from records of the County Council, original maps, records of parish churches, business and other authorities – along with parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. The Ely facilities also include meeting rooms for the public to have appointments with registration staff, and a Search Room for using the stored documents.