Liverpool Central Library Building

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Liverpool Central Library

Building Development – design by Austin-Smith:Lord Architects

18 Mar 2013

Liverpool Central Library Building

DuPon Tyvek advanced breather membrane adds to the architectural wisdom of the new Liverpool Central Library

Design: Austin-Smith:Lord

The northern facade of the new Repository wing of the re-developed Liverpool Central Library:
DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced breather membrane protects the structure from behind the external façade cladding:
Liverpool Central Library
photo : Ben Aston (all rights reserved) courtesy of Shepherd Construction

Enhanced thermal efficiency and high-performance protection for a priceless archive

DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced breather membrane adds to the architectural wisdom of the new Liverpool Central Library

March 2013 – The renewed Liverpool Central Library is a landmark £50 million redevelopment of a Grade II* listed building in a UNESCO World Heritage location. This exemplary scheme has employed advanced methods and materials to both restore important historic features and add bold new additions. Designed by Austin Smith Lord architects, the PFI funded project has been developed by Inspire Partnership, a joint venture between Amber Infrastructure and Shepherd Construction. Aiming from the outset to achieve optimum levels of efficiency and sustainability, the redevelopment has now attained BREEAM ‘Very Good’ status and won praise for its sympathetic design and construction management.

One of the impressive new build elements that replaces outdated structures from the1950s and 1970s is the Repository, now the home of the Liverpool Record Office, which has been built according to the latest British Standards for Repository and Archive storage (BS5454). The priceless collections housed within require constant levels of temperature, ventilation and humidity to be maintained, therefore the entire construction has been built to very specific tolerances.

The facade of the new Repository wing of the re-developed Liverpool Central Library. DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced breather membrane is installed behind the external façade:
Liverpool Central Library Building
photo DuPont™ Tyvek®, all rights reserved

DuPont™ Tyvek® Supro advanced breather membrane was specified for installation behind the north facing external wall of the Library’s Repository, to help protect the structure and enhance interior climate conditions. The cladding that finishes this wall consists of TECU® gold panelling, with a section of granite onto which has been emblazoned the names of Liverpool’s world-famous wordsmiths (from poets and playwrights to renowned lyricists Lennon & McCartney.)

Serving as an airtight but vapour open underlay behind the façade, DuPont™ Tyvek® Supro is an integral part of a holistic solution for the building envelope. The thermal performance, airtightness and energy-efficiency of a structure is dependent on the proper functioning of the entire system, from external walls to insulation to internal finishes and climate control services, and DuPont™ Tyvek® plays a key role in the overall building fabric of the Repository.

DuPont™ Tyvek® – unique in the market because of its high-quality single layer construction – is naturally vapour open but also wind and water-tight. Lightweight yet robust, DuPont™ Tyvek® is easy to install to exterior walls and roofs and offers long term, proven reliability.

The facade of the new Repository wing of the re-developed Liverpool Central Library. DuPont™ Tyvek® advanced breather membrane is installed behind the external façade:
Liverpool Central Library Building
photo DuPont™ Tyvek®, all rights reserved

At Liverpool Central Library, a crucial aspect of its sustainable design is low infiltration rates to reduce both unwanted thermal losses and gains. This is complemented by conservation heating and recovery, high-efficiency boilers (plus a biodiesel generator) and high-efficiency lighting, plus rainwater harvesting. DuPont™ Tyvek® Supro is set to be a reliable element of a cutting-edge project designed to preserve historical wisdom for the long term. Authentically restored to its former glory while simultaneously modernised and enhanced, the Library is due to re-open in May, 2013.

For more information about DuPont™ Tyvek® in the UK please visit: www. or call 01275 879 770 (087 922 2740 in ROI)

About DuPont™ Tyvek® ( – Invented by DuPont research and development laboratories in the late ‘60s as a premium material for personal protection and packaging, DuPont™ Tyvek® is manufactured using a unique, proprietary technology, and has, over time been discovered and developed as ideally suited to a variety of further applications and markets. Around 1990, it was first adopted as a breather and water proof membrane for roofs and walls for building construction in certain countries in Europe.

Between 1990 and 1995, it was introduced to the Nordic Countries (Scandinavia), Switzerland, Germany and then to the United Kingdom. Today, DuPont™ Tyvek® is marketed in 35 countries in the Europe Middle East and Africa region, in addition to the USA, Canada and many other countries in the other regions. In 2005, the entire range of DuPont™ Tyvek® membranes achieved CE certification, the first to do so in the building membrane market.

About DuPont Building Innovations – DuPont™ Tyvek® is a product of DuPont Building Innovations. From innovative energy-saving systems to beautiful and long-lasting surfacing solutions, the extensive offering of DuPont Building Innovations delivers safety, durability, beauty and energy efficiency, providing a major contribution to the modern built environment – across the spectrum of building and architecture, roads, bridges and other infrastructure and also to landscaping and gardens, as well as to the preservation or the renovation of contemporary and historical constructions. The main products and brands managed by DuPont Building Innovations are DuPont™ Corian® ((, DuPont™ Tyvek® and DuPont™ AirGuard® (, DuPont™ Energain® (, DuPont™ Typar® ( and DuPont™ Plantex® (

About DuPont – DuPont (NYSE: DD; has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, non-governmental organizations, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.

Liverpool Central Library Building images / information from Broadway Malyan

Austin-Smith:Lord Architects

Liverpool Central Library Building : more information, 20 Jun 2013

Address: William Brown St, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 8EN

Phone: 0151 233 5835

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