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Electrics in sensitive Listed Buildings

Installation of modern electrical and plumbing systems within the sensitive Listed fabric of old buildings is now a major issue.  It is particularly acute when restoration works take place in Central London properties - owners demand very high end lighting, security and other features which require invasive works to the building fabric.  

Modern restoration work involves substantial investment in lighting, switching and automation. Most high end projects now require lighting to be 'designed' and automated from an iPad.

Introduction of this increased lighting and control equipment invariably has two consequences for the building:

  1. Too many lights which impact the character of the building, ex pecially when cutting downlights into lath and plaster ceilings - which harms the historic fabric, effectively ruining it.
  2. Increased cabling demand, which creates a need to chase out and damage plaster finishes, and cut holes in historic beams and floors.

The solution!

We have a solution though.  Home automation is now a buzzword for designers.

We have successfully worked with lighting designers to remove “unsuitable” lighting (such as 12 spot lights in a ornate plaster ceiling !), and we have worked up designs where the lighting consists of a mix of floor boxes with 5a lamp sockets (with lamps plugged in), discreet wall lights, and pendants, all automated from a Lutron or similar automation package, which can set the lighting to desired modes without having to individually switch.

This also removes the need for millions of wires and vastly cuts down on the cable runs, and amount of cabling being required to go back to a switch, as a remote location can be used. As a result of this approach, we have been able to run cabling in the most difficult and sensitive areas without compromising the historic fabric.  In most instances we increase lighting and control, but whilst utilising existing cable runs and cut outs in the finishes.

An added bonus is that these systems are far cheaper than they once were, and there are dedicated small packages for domestic applications, such as Lutron Home Works

Regulated by RICS