System Five, a 4energy group company, is proud to be the incumbent BEMS maintenance contractor for the world-renowned Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington, London.
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. Founded in 1852, the museum is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Last year the museum attracted 4 million visitors, who were able to explore the world-class collections, galleries and exhibitions on display. Housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects, the Museum holds many of the UK’s national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass and ceramics. Established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers, the V&A’s collections span over 5,000 years of human ingenuity in virtually every medium and from all over the world.
The V&A building is Grade 1 listed and has a floor area of approximately 85,000 m2, 145 galleries and plant rooms in over 300 locations. The building has been subject to various modifications over the 150 years since its inception. Due to its Grade I status the museum works closely with in-house conservators and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to ensure best conservation practice. The V&A is a large and intricate site with a mixture of old and new plant. The BMS system is also vast, complicated and in places old. The museum is permanently manned by System Five and our engineers are undertaking a continual upgrade of building controls working closely with both the museum’s Estate Department and IT Department together with Vertex Building Services, to maintain crucial systems that retain optimum temperatures and humidity to preserve their artefacts.
Maximising energy performance is a priority for the museum; they optimise the use of daylight, control the environment by minimising solar gain, and use intelligent ventilation and heating strategies without humidification or cooling plant to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. The Museum has made good progress in reducing its environmental impact and is a leader in the sector and they actively participate in wider discussions in the museum sector on a range of sustainability topics.