TGA Consulting Engineers LLP were commissioned as conservation building services engineers by the Auckland Castle Trust as part of a team led by Purcell Architects to design and supervise the Mechanical & Electrical Services associated with a £20m HLF funded refurbishment project.
The project includes the refurbishment, conservation and remodelling of several areas of the historic Castle buildings which have been occupied by the Bishop of Durham for over 800 years.
The project delivers new exhibition spaces within the principle rooms of the Castle as well as visitor amenities including a café, retail facilities, kitchens, cloakrooms and toilets.
Within the historic buildings, environmental control is delivered using heating systems controlled on conservation heating principles with a view to controlling relative humidity. In certain areas, additional controls will be implemented with a view to achieving conditions required for loans covered by the Government Indemnity Scheme.
A major new extension is also being constructed which will be provided with close control air conditioning in order to enable loans of sensitive objects from national and international institutions to be displayed. The environment in this building will be controlled in accordance with the requirements of the Bizot Green protocol.
A new welcome building, the Auckland Tower, has been constructed at the entrance to the site providing ticketing and orientation facilities, along with a new Energy Centre which will serve the whole site, enabling mechanical and electrical services infrastructure to be taken out of important historic spaces.
Provision has been made for the connection of a geothermal heat source in future to provide thermal energy to the whole site via the new Energy Centre, whilst high efficacy lighting systems are being provided throughout with DALI based controls in exhibition spaces.
The Energy Centre, Auckland Tower and Phase 1 of the Castle have now been completed and are in use, whilst the remainder of the Castle is scheduled for completion in early 2020.