Borras back at Imperial War Museum Duxford

Following the successful delivery of our American Air Museum project in 2015 Borras are proud to once again be working at IWM Duxford.

Our General Contracts team have been on site since November 2016 carrying out works to Building 13 on Duxford’s North Side. Building 13 was originally constructed as a barracks in 1933 and remained one until Duxford ceased operation as a active RAF airfield in 1961. For the next 16 years the site’s future remained in the balance until 1977 when Cambridgeshire County Council joined with Imperial War Museum and the Duxford Aviation Society to purchase the runway, surrounding buildings and aerodrome.

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Building 13 is neighboured by several listed buildings and a fortified underground shelter (pictured in the foreground) 

Today, the historic site, outstanding collection of exhibits and regular world-renowned air shows combine to create a unique museum experience, attracting over 350,000 visitors a year.

The North Side is one of the best preserved examples of a World War Two era fighter base in Britain. It is now predominantly used as a storage area for collections and artefacts.

Building 13 itself was converted into a document store in 1981. Our works, which are scheduled to last 20 weeks, include refurbishments and improvements to modernise the building and vastly improve its efficiency.

New insulation and air-tightness improvements throughout the archive rooms will dramatically upgrade the thermal performance of the building. The delicate nature of the contents which diaries photographs, war correspondences, films and regimental documents means a specific internal environment must be achieved to prevent deterioration. All existing plant will be replaced with more efficient, quieter and more economical air conditioning, air handling and humidifying units which will combine to create the ideal atmosphere.

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Insulation installation in progress in one of the archive rooms

Works began with the completion of a small sample room to ensure the targeted specification could be achieved. This room was then tested and returned an extremely low score of 0.2m3/(h.m2), 0.2m3 lower than the required rating.

External works will see the entire building re roofed, including new slate tiles, lead work and guttering. Cosmetic repairs will also be carried out on the exterior brickwork, these works shall require additional caution in order to avoid several small steel hooks, which where used to hang camouflage netting from during the Second World War (pictured below).

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