Founded in the 18th Century, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew is the one of the world’s oldest research facilities of its kind.

The site comprises of many historic buildings which are famous in their own right, including the Pagoda, Palm House and Temperate House. Its importance was recognised in 2003 when it became a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The mechanical and electrical infrastructure has evolved constantly as the site has expanded and developed, with many ad-hoc additions made over the decades. Despite the existence of substantial record drawings and archive information, inevitably there were gaps and inconsistencies in the knowledge of the site. We were appointed to undertake both a strategic level review of the site electrical infrastructure, and detailed building by building surveys. This remit included the home of the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakenhurst Place, Sussex.

We initially carried out visual surveys and inspections of the record information. Following this, we advised where intrusive investigations were needed, and supervised the undertaking of these by qualified specialist contractors. Ranging from the upper galleries of the famous glass houses, to concealed Victorian tunnels and state of the art laboratories, our surveys took us to all areas of this unique and important site.

The client now has a comprehensive accurate record of their assets, and an understanding of what capacity is available for future developments. This will support their work through the next few decades.

Photos: Doruk Yemenici & Philippe Gras

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