Natural History Museum

What we helped achieve

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We’ve been providing specialist facilities management services to the Natural History Museum, a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre, since 2001. They chose us because we understand their needs; have the ability to plan ahead; are flexible; and generate significant cost savings. We provide estate management services to 1.4 million square feet of facilities, including the museums at South Kensington and Tring, and storage sites in south London. Our activities support their strategic plan to become the world’s leading natural history museum by 2016.

Some of the key benefits we’ve brought

  • Our expertise helped them achieve the ISO 18001 health and safety accreditation, and become the first museum in the UK to receive the ISO 14001 environmental management accreditation
  • We recommend energy reduction initiatives such as reviewing lighting intelligence systems, to help the museum achieve its CO2 targets
  • In 2009, our successful partnership was awarded a Premises and Facilities Management (PFM) award
  • We improved services and enhanced savings through a joint business plan and regular reviews of contract performance

The challenges we had to overcome

  • Limited cash availability as the museum relies on donations and government funding - we continually monitor costs while balancing the needs of public areas
  • Keeping a scientific facility, with temperature controlled labs and 76 million specimens, fully functioning - we carry out over 12,000 maintenance tasks each year
  • Flexible space required for events - our site planner works with the museum’s event management team to transform rooms for media events whilst protecting priceless collections, diverting lighting and power to rooms, removing walls, and providing screens and glass panels for exhibits
  • Minimise impact on the museum’s visitors - we carry out work in public areas when it is closed and focus on behind the scenes reactive jobs when it is open
  • Damp was discovered in the walls behind the mounted marine reptile fossils - we worked with the palaeontology department to carefully remove them, fix the problem, and remount them
  • Flexible model - we constantly find ways of being more efficient, and help find flexible funding solutions, so critical work can be done straight away
  • Stretch the museum’s budget further - we implemented a three-year asset maintenance plan, that reduces costs by making assets and equipment last longer

How we helped

  • The museum’s displays change frequently - we find space to store artefacts so that scientists can work on them in the future
  • Accessing the large mineral collection, which is stored in thousands of cabinets - we manage the locksmith service and have generated additional cost savings
  • Protecting the invaluable collections and historic buildings, from fire and pests - we replaced their fire safety systems, saving money and increasing control, as well as using the museum’s own science, which utilises enzymes and microorganisms to deter pests
  • Assisted with VIP visits - our space planner acts as a building guide for the police and security services
  • Construction of the Darwin Centre - when 1,500 contractors were on site we provided compliance advice and guidance

Service scope

  • Mechanical, electrical and fabric maintenance
  • Pest control and waste management
  • Fire and security
  • Building engineering and projects
  • Managing agent for housekeeping contract
  • FM consultancy
  • Event support and life-cycle management