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Aston University

Link 51’s mobile shelving helps maximise storage space for Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led University known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years. The University is currently ranked 8th overall for graduate employment and is consistently ranked in the UK’s top 40 universities confirming its place amongst the elite.

Aston’s four Schools offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, and also work with the public and private sectors to develop tailored Foundation Degree programmes. The University is highly regarded for postgraduate level success and has been consistently ranked in the top 10 for the last 15 years. It is in the UK top 5 for Masters in Management Programmes and top 40 in World rankings. Ranked in the World’s top 100 Universities for Graduate Employer recognition (51st) and ranked fifth for being one of the UK’s Greenest Universities.

Aston University is based in the centre of Birmingham, home to over 65,000 students and one of Europe’s liveliest and most welcoming cities.

The University’s 40 acre campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for 8,500 students.

The Brief

Future proofing Aston University’s expanding capacity is the responsibility of the Estate and Capital Development department. Within the department, the Space Management team’s role is to make the best use of current space in order to minimise environmental impact and better balance resources so that the estate is fit for purpose.

During a periodic review, the team identified space underneath the University’s Main Building that had potential to be utilised for growth expansion. The Main Building, which itself is made up of offices, teaching and research space on 7-floors, also has a lower floor and a basement. The lower ground floor had become used for ad-hoc departmental storage and contained books, files and other materials, stored with little or no access control.

A report was submitted that looked at regenerating the lower ground floor area for engineering teaching space and a new virtual reality research facility. It was intended that storage would be moved out of the lower ground into the basement, which, apart from pipework and plant, was empty.

Once the project had been green-lighted, the team instructed an architect and a building constructor to manage the process of making the basement fit for purpose.

Link 51 were also appointed at this early design stage, as their input and experience was considered essential; they were selected on account of previous shelving installations at the University.

The Solution

For the amount of the storage required, both Link 51 and the Space Management team decided on mobile shelving as a preferred solution. Sections of mobile shelving could also be closed off and made secure, which was a key requirement for both the HR and Finance departments.

Once all necessary design implications had been taken into account, an installation ‘window’ was agreed which would cause the least disruption to campus routine.

Link 51 installed a trackless mobile system with Stormor shelving. Installed with only one guide rail fixed along the rear of the system, the design removes the need for fixed tracks, leaving clear unobstructed aisles, reducing trip hazards and interference for trolleys or steps. Additional static bays were also installed, giving a total of 290 bays of storage.

Within departmental sections, certain aisle facing bays within the mobile units feature hinged lockable doors to provide additional storage security. As an addedenhancement, each section can be fully immobilised by lockable shoot bolts.

The complete installation is finished in RAL7035 with BioCote® antimicrobial protection against mould.

“Link 51 were very organised for the outset. They successfully delivered against the brief, fully listened to our requirements and provided expertise to allow us to implement the best overall solution; this was particularly vital when planning the storage requirements of key departments, such as HR and Finance and their respective security concerns.” – Riccardo Bongiovi, Space Planner, Aston University

Why not contact Link 51 on 0800 169 5151 for help with your storage requirements?

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