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Sustainably protecting the iconic British Film Institute

Drawing on our skills to decarbonise BFI’s listed buildings on the Thames

Various works to decarbonise this charity’s listed Thames-side buildings included installing a heat recovery system, improving the movement of air within the foyers, and replacing the old reciprocating chillers and cooling towers with high efficiency air cooled units.

Located next to Waterloo Bridge on London’s Southbank, the BFI is a charitable organisation that preserves film-making and television in the United Kingdom.

Key challenges:

  • Access issues as the services are suspended in a void underneath Waterloo Bridge
  • The iconic building was riddled with asbestos, causing a hazardous working environment
  • The BFI is a live environment during the daytime and early evening


  • Upgraded the building BMS system to carefully control systems and help reduce carbon output
  • Designed and installed a heat recovery system including electric heat pumps to replace the old gas fired boilers and reduce the charity’s reliance on gas
  • The team worked nights to ensure the working buildings could remain open to the public during the day
  • An experienced team overcame various challenges including working in tight conditions under the bridge

Products and Services Supplied: Air handling units, Desiccant dryers, Chillers, Heat pumps, BMS

Sector specialism: Building Services


Project Info

Client: The British Film Institute
Value: Not stated

Our further expertise

Design and Planning

Installation and
Maintenance Support

Energy Management

Project Management

Specialist Knowledge

“The working environment of CERN on occasion imposes sudden changes to the detailed planning, but Arcade dealt with these well, showing excellent flexibility… the engineers were able to use their good design skills to define the technical solution and meet CERN’s requirements.”

Michele Battistin, Section Leader in the Cooling and Ventilation Group at CERN.

“Conamar Building Services have worked with Arcade over several years on some fast paced high prestige projects mainly in the commercial building sector. Arcade are a reliable company and provide an exceptional service from design to installation

John O’Donnell, Contracts Director at Conamar Building Services Ltd.

"Airblast has worked with Arcade for over four years delivering high quality Spray Booth and Shot-blast cells with precise environmental conditioning requirements. We find Arcade to be a very reliable and trustworthy company to partner with. Arcade is able to deliver all aspects of a project from concept and design through to commissioning and maintenance"

Jonathan Cook, Managing Director at Airblast Ltd

"NCS asked Arcade-UK to become a business partner to help deliver successful, working archive and museum stores that provide genuinely protective environments for heritage collections by avoiding unnecessary and potentially damaging air conditioning and poor quality construction. Arcade's expertise in designing, modeling and constructing passive climate structures along with a deep understanding of mechanical systems makes them an ideal partner for NCS in developing modern, forward-thinking approaches to sustainable conservation storage, reducing institutions' energy and maintenance costs and contributing to a lower carbon footprint for the heritage sector."

Chris Woods, Director at National Conservation Service.

"At Wenlock Spring, we have worked with Arcade to undertake major upgrades to our bottling facility. The installation of a Biomass Boiler and ancillary services provides effective heating for our processes and Arcade's expertise on Process Engineering has allowed us to fully automate our Dosing, CIP cleaning and Tank control"

Bruce Orme, Director at Wenlock Spring.

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