Case study

Smart technology helps preserve an iconic heritage building

  • Client Royal Opera House
  • Services provided Asset & Property Management
  • Sector Leisure & Hospitality

Based in Covent Garden, this iconic Grade I and II listed building, is home to the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet companies. Steeped in tradition, the present building dates from 1858 when it was rebuilt after a fire. Since 2019, Integral are proud to have provided a full mechanical and electrical maintenance contract, including innovation and energy management, with a team of 16 site-based engineers working in shifts.

Historic importance
The preservation of this historic building is of utmost importance, as the ornate domed ceiling incorporates one of the oldest gilded plaster freizes in Europe. In addition, the building houses many valuable instruments and centuries old documents and fabrics in the archives, meaning maintaining the correct levels of humidity and temperature is critical.

The challenge
Like all theatres, the Royal Opera House features a multitude of specialist machinery and equipment, including lighting which generates a lot of heat. However, cooling equipment towers and fan coil units routinely produce condensation and water. Given that any leaks or accumulation of excess damp could result in the plaster ceiling collapse, mitigating this risk had previously required twice daily, labour intensive visual checks by our engineering teams. An innovative, more tactically efficient solution was required.

The solution
Working with Infogrid, the Integral engineering team had already deployed cost effective, smart sensors from Disruptive Technologies, to provide always-on Legionella and L8 water testing (you can read more on this award winning solution here.) Further leak detection and humidity sensors with alert capability have since been deployed to supplement the existing BMS system and visual checks, by providing detailed info on cooling and leaking.

The result

Per annum this approach is:

  • reducing CO2 by 98% – saving 313,893 kgs carbon
  • saving 181,871 litres of water or 1,212 bath tubs
  • saving 5,412 kWh energy
  • saving 421 hours of labour on leak inspections that can be redeployed 

As well as these savings the sensors are decreasing risk and improving productivity by supplying our teams with intelligence that helps them add-value with data driven maintenance. In addition, the sensors collate historic analytics to allow our teams to spot trends and take decisions that will help preserve the building, based on sound evidence.

As an organisation, Integral are always looking for new innovative ways to deliver a better-quality service for our clients. Having used the Infogrid IoT solution for assisting in our water management (Legionella compliance), we bolted on their affordable and easy to use and install Leak Detection solution to alert us to hard-to-identify leaks as soon as they happen. This enables us to react immediately, ensuring rapid preventative maintenance, lower unexpected costs and helps preserve this incredible building for decades to come.

Steven Gale Integral Account Director – Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is a unique historical building, with some beautiful heritage, which it is our mission to preserve for future generations. Integral’s use of Infogrid’s cutting edge technology to assist in the maintenance of the building has not only resulted in reduced risk, but has added value by freeing up the Facilities Team to concentrate their efforts on maintaining other parts of the building.

A Royal Opera House spokesperson


If you would like to find out  more about how data driven maintenance can help you on the road to net zero, get in touch today.


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