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Dreaming Spire in Exeter Loses Face

16 January 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

Parts of a two and a half year old £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute building on the Penryn campus of Exeter University fell to the ground.

Exeter University has called in experts to find out why the failure in the building occurred on Tuesday of last week. The building was only formally opened in 2013, but construction was completed towards the end of 2012 by main contractor, Leadbitter.

Exeter University stated that the Environment and Sustainability Institute building had closed on Tuesday, 6 January, after a ‘small part of masonry cladding on an external front wall gave way’. The building was closed to all but a few ‘essential staff’ during which two surveys were undertaken by structural engineers who investigated the structure and the bits that had become detached.

The university said the building reopened on Friday but with a number of restrictions in place. The local paper, the Falmouth Packet, was told by the University: ‘Scaffolding needs to be put up around where the cladding gave way on the building’s front wall; this needs to be engineered, buttressed scaffolding so is subject to specialist structural preparation, which means it’s unlikely to be started until the end of the week beginning Monday, 12 January.

‘However, more straightforward scaffolding will go up around the rear access door near to the SERSF building site. This area will be accessible but surrounded by temporary fencing. Various areas within the building will remain cordoned off and/or boarded up as a safety precaution.’


Pictured: The Environment and Sustainability Institute building at Exeter University experienced failures in its cladding last week

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 16 January 2015


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