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Some 90 miles up the M1 from North London lies Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU).  As part of their growth and vision, a disused building in the centre of Leicester has been transformed into a university business school. Leicester Castle’s Great Hall (Castle Hall) is thought to have been built by the Normans which De Montfort University has been converted into a thriving business school. In transforming this ancient listed building, the manufacture and installation of structural external glass balustrades, staircases and ramps to the front and rear, together with terrace work, would need to be of the highest standard and adhere to the rigorous demands of the ‘listed regulations’ imposed on the development work.

The solution

The products recommended by Laidlaw were compliant with current legislation whilst also being sympathetic to the nature of the building. All handrails were external, so grade 316 stainless steel was used to avoid corrosion due to being open to the elements. A minimalist design was chosen, as not to detract from the historic surroundings. On the terraces, structural glass with no top rail was used, to maintain uninterrupted views.

How Laidlaw Helped

Several trying logistical considerations had to be overcome in delivering the pre-manufactured elements of the project which included negotiating extremely difficult access through the ancient cobbled streets of the city which also had weight limits imposed on delivery vehicles. This alone would prove to be a very unusual aspect of the project for Laidlaw, which they overcame through continuous meetings with the client and the local authorities to ensure the project kept on track. It’s a testament to Laidlaw’s ability to go above and beyond the requirements set by a tough challenge to be able to deliver a quality project on time, every time.

The Laidlaw Team

Lee Thompson

Technical Balustrade Sales Executive

Sukhi Bassi BSc Hons, MSc

HRB Business Unit Manager

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