Howarth Litchfield were appointed by Durham University at the start of this year as Design Team Lead in providing Building Surveying services for the acoustic infrastructure upgrade of some of their Music Department accommodation located between Divinity House and Palace Green Library Annexe.
Divinity House is located at the south-west corner of Palace Green, opposite the western end of Durham Cathedral Church. Palace Green Library Annexe is located directly adjacent to Divinity House. Both buildings face the Green at the front, while their rear elevations overlook the riverbanks. Divinity House is Grade II* Listed for its significant historic value. The Concert Room located in Divinity House is the largest and most important space for the Music Department, and is heavily used throughout the year for teaching, research and public engagement, including student and professional concerts, international conferences, and graduation ceremonies of Durham University.
A range of acoustic enhancements are proposed throughout both buildings, all concerned with improving acoustic isolation from external noise, and improving acoustic performance of spaces in terms of reverberation times and acoustic diffusion. The improvements include secondary acoustic glazing of windows, acoustic isolation treatment to floors, ceilings and doors. Acoustic absorption treatment to walls and lighting equipment, and new access control and ironmongery to internal and external doors.
Listed Building Approval for the works has been successfully obtained. The Building Regulations Application has been submitted and tender package recently completed to enable the works to be undertaken in time for next year’s new teaching term.