Renovation of stable block at Audley End House, Essex
Located in the grounds of Audley End House, an early 17th-century country house in Essex, the stable block had fallen into disrepair and had not been open to the public for many decades. English Heritage, the organisation responsible for Audley End, had plans to renovate the stable block and cart yard and to transform them into a major visitor attraction.
Historic buildings, whether listed or not, typically present tremendous challenges to M&E engineers. Often, there are few or no voids to use for services which means that alternative routes have to be used without compromising the historic integrity of the building. The existing cross-site services may be old and difficult to connect to – and may not offer sufficient spare capacity. In addition, the existing switchgear and mechanical apparatus is likely to require upgrading to comply with current legislation.
Drawing on our extensive experience of historic buildings, we worked closely with English Heritage to supply full M&E design services for the stable block. As traditional materials had to be used in the renovation, we agreed routes for the services at an early stage and identified the risks and upgrade costs associated with the existing cross-site services. All engineering work was carefully scheduled and co-ordinated, utilising high quality fixtures and fittings in keeping with the period style.
The stable block and cart yard have now been fully renovated and are playing an important role in attracting visitors to Audley End. As well as being home for an a team of horses, the site features information displays which include interactive audio and visual systems.