Integral’s emergency works at The British Council site is ‘not far short of a miracle.’

Integral UK has been carrying out maintenance works to The British Council site at Spring Gardens for the last 5 years, and in an entirely unprecedented complication earlier this month, we had to rely on our quick thinking and plentiful resources to resolve the problem as efficiently and effectively as possible. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and with visitors arriving from all over the world daily, it was imperative to carry out the mandatory maintenance with minimal disruptions.

On Tuesday 7th June, a cable fault in the basement of the building was found to be the result of water ingress, blowing the main 400A supply fuses in the District Network Operator service supply. It was found that water ingress into the cables was the cause of the fault. IT systems and telephone systems were affected and consequently The British Council could not operate normal services until the supplies were reinstated.

“Thanks to everyone for their hard work and huge effort with last week’s emergency works at Spring Gardens. All senior management are being made fully aware of the scale of the incident, and thus how getting the building back running again in so short a time was down to a fantastic effort by all concerned. I’ll look forward to all the remaining work here completed over the next few weeks, and thanking you in person.”

Technical Services were mobilised on the morning of Wednesday 8th June to assist and advise. It was recommended for the building to be placed onto temporary generation until the fault could be rectified. Unfortunately due to the location of the site, and with Queen Elizabeth’s birthday celebrations taking place at the time, the option was deemed unsuitable.

The British Council FM team was advised of all proposed works:

  • Four 185mm 4 core SWA cables were installed over a 50 metre run through four basement rooms
  • The two faulty cables were disconnected and replaced to the supply points within the riser
  • A new 400A fused isolator was installed to replace the existing switchgear as it was found to be unserviceable
  • An additional two 185mm 4 core SWA cables were left in position for connection at a later agreed date as it will require a building shutdown for installation

Senior Authorised Person, Paul Bannon, and Installation and Test Engineer, Laurence Preston, remained on site for the duration of the works.

Despite a three hour delay to the start of the works, Technical Services, together with our partner contractors ATD, reinstated the supplies at 19:00 on Thursday 9th June.

“Given the sheer magnitude of the problem and to get it delivered the same day and get specialist teams on site so quickly was excellent work. To have only lost Spring Gardens for 2 days given the above is not far short of a miracle.  All the teams worked really well together both BC and Integral (and subcontractors) so it was a very successful (albeit long) 60 hours“