Building Management Public Buildings

Pilot to manage Kenwood House services is extended

Ecclesiastical Insurance and English Heritage, in partnership with technology firm Shepherd, are extending a pilot that puts 18th century Kenwood House. 
Image credit: English Heritage

Ecclesiastical Insurance and English Heritage, in partnership with technology firm Shepherd, are extending a pilot to manage building services at 18th century Kenwood House 

Dozens of sensors to introduced to monitor and manage building services at Kenwood House, have been introduced in the former home of William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, located on the edge of Hampstead Heath in London, will stay in place for another year.

The sensors, which are unobtrusive, battery-operated and do not require Wi-Fi, were installed inside Kenwood House to discreetly monitor environmental changes within the building. The technology learns what normal looks like for the building over a short period.

The sensors then send live real-time data back to be analysed, enabling English Heritage to identify performance issues in its mechanical and electrical plant, or catch minor leaks before they cause major problems.

The technology has monitored Kenwood House throughout the pandemic, identifying key areas where costs savings and efficiencies can be made, as well as identifying how to optimise its building services during the national lockdowns.

The pilot is part of Ecclesiastical’s loss prevention innovation programme and aims to help English Heritage to reduce costs. English Heritage’s annual budget for maintaining its buildings is around £15 million. The pilot is assisting the charity’s objective to achieve a 25% reduction in operating costs.

Ecclesiastical, English Heritage and Shepherd are collaborating with the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage to give Data Science for Cultural Heritage MSc students access to data and insights from the pilot.

English Heritage is also expanding the pilot to monitor energy consumption and identify efficiencies at nine other energy-intensive historic sites across the country including Dover Castle, Wrest Park and Brodsworth House.

“ We know that rising energy costs are a major concern and incidents such as electrical fire or escape of water can be disastrous for customers, which is why we’re piloting innovative solutions to detect issues as early as possible,” said Faith Kitchen, Heritage Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Rob Woodside, Conservation and Estates Director at English Heritage, believes live real-time monitoring has huge potential to revolutionise the management of heritage estate sustainably, with the pilot providing a cost-effective, evidence-based preventive maintenance .

“We are now equipped with real-time insight and a risk score which enables us to make smarter, more informed decisions around how we manage the performance and risk of Kenwood House, both day-to-day and strategically. This insight is not a nice to have but absolutely essential for us to both better protect the building, its contents and revenue,” he said.

Shepherd, has provided the real-time, 24/7 monitoring and alerts, with risk analysis to provide an overview of the performance.