City engineers help to save landmark college building

Lowestoft College building

Lowestoft College building - Credit: Archant

A prominent Lowestoft building earmarked for demolition has received a bold revamp with help from a company in Norwich.

Structural engineers Canham Consulting, based on School Lane, has played a key role in the multi-million pound project for Lowestoft College to restore the building using sustainable technology.

Key to the transformation – nicknamed project chameleon – has been an energy-efficient aluminium cladding, which changes colour in the sunlight.

Rob Panter, a director of Canham Consulting, said: 'The aluminium cladding used means the building changes colour from a bronzy-brown to a light green, depending on the light conditions, angle of sunlight, time of day and the direction you are viewing it from.'

'We've worked successfully with the college for many years and we were confident that with a good design team all pulling together we could deliver, despite the tight timeframe,' he added.

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The Skills Funding Agency, which awarded a grant of £3m for the college's £4.5m renovation project, said the work had to be finished by September – a delivery window of just eight months.

Jon Bonham, Lowestoft College's estate manager, said: 'If we hadn't done the work now, the building would probably have had to be demolished within five years – and we would have lost 3,000sq m of teaching space.'

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Canham Consulting carried out an investigation into the condition of the building's concrete skeleton, sampling materials and structural design.

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