Library of Birmingham

Close neighbour to the Birmingham Rep, the Library of Birmingham opened in September 2013 replacing its predecessor Birmingham Central Library.

Viewed by the Birmingham City Council as a flagship project for the city’s redevelopment, it has been described as the largest public library in the United Kingdom, the largest public cultural space in Europe and the largest regional library in Europe.

This iconic and award-winning site was built with a ground-source energy system to provide 320 KW of peak cooling. WJ was tasked with delivering the necessary expertise and specialist site capabilities required to allow two existing wells to be used for an open-loop system.

Firstly, WJ carried out an initial CCTV survey of each well to establish the condition of the sandstone wells which had previously been drilled to a depth of 150m with a finished diameter of 300mm.

This investigation indicated that a programme of well development was necessary to remove the excess sand from the pumped water. Pumping testing – including step tests, constant rate tests and recharge tests – was carried out, which also allowed time for the processing and granting of Environment Agency Abstraction and Discharges licences to the client. With all the information gathered and appropriate licences in place, WJ installed and commissioned permanent borehole equipment. This included a 30kW borehole pump installed at 60m below ground level (delivering 25 l/s) and bespoke stainless-steel wellheads located in unobtrusive manholes situated in public areas outside the building’s footprint.

A fascinating project for a satisfied client, WJ is proud to be associated with this latest development of Birmingham’s rich cultural core.

For further information please read this article.


  • LOCATION: Birmingham, West Midlands
  • CLIENT: Carillion / Birmingham Council
  • MAIN CONTRACTOR: British Gas Heat Networks

Project Scope

  • Building
  • Sandstone

Related Projects

University College London

University College London

  • Well Drilling & Ground Source Energy System
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