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Cavendish Engineers and OFGEM prove that heritage buildings and new technology can mix Successfully reducing 45% energy consumption

9 Millbank is a true landmark building establishing a powerful and imposing architectural presence on London’s skyline. In 2001 OFGEM (Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets) occupied the building and today holds approximately 850 employees as well as hosting parliamentary dignitaries including Minister of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Like so many government heritage


ince 2001 Cavendish Engineers have provided M and E maintenance and engineering consultancy at 9 Millbank. Originally built in 1928,

buildings within the UK, FM’s face their greatest challenges yet. The government targets’ to reduce building energy consumption by 2020 means that government buildings are feeling the pinch to deliver. Yet 9 Millbank is a prime example of how new energy technology can work with the oldest and most prestigious of buildings.

Cavendish Engineers have worked with both tenants to create a working controlled environment whilst reducing their costs. Between 2004 and 2011 the building has successfully reduced its energy consumption by 48%. Steve Allen, Managing Director of Cavendish Engineers, explains more; “Good maintenance enables you to identify areas which are either not affective or have a high energy output. FM’s now have a responsibility to measure and monitor energy spent and select products that will not only reduce energy but be reliable. It is too easy to install a new energy product without maintaining or monitoring it, but the savings come many years down the line after good PPM. Our ethos has always been preventative rather than reactive; this year’s result proves that you can make good savings through good FM and monitoring.” Cavendish and Ofgem’s joint

collaboration has meant that Ofgem have reduced their display energy certificate from an initial G 165 to E112. They are also on target to achieve a D rating. Ofgem’s impressive energy results have meant that they have paved the way for other government buildings, and Westminster buildings alike. In addition to their continuous improvement in energy and FM management they have incorporated over 57 different energy reduction strategies in the last ten years (37 of these include new plant technologies.) For example; although low energy lighting is now common place in 2001 these were not well regarded in every day FM. Ofgem


has installed PIR motion detecters for light switching between 2001 and 2009 and more recently the conference rooms lighting has been replaced with LED’s. In 2002 they were the first government building to install a CHP, which enabled other Government buildings to follow suit. In 2007 Ofgem switched to 100% green electricity tariff and in 2008 they installed two voltage power optimisers.

Ofgem encourage their staff to embrace their low energy ethos by offering up to £500 bike loans and bottling their own water, using recyclable bottles. Even their new offices chairs are made from 86% recycled materials and are themselves 96% recyclable. New engineering technologies have also enabled many of the original buildings features to be restored. For example more recently the flag pole and the column facade were repaired but modelled on the original parts/features. Have you got a heritage building story that you want to let Public Sector Sustainability know about? Email

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