So what really happens behind the scenes in an iconic building such as Wales Millennium Centre during an extended lockdown period? A lot more than you might think...
The ongoing maintenance activities may have been scaled back but there is still lots of regulatory compliance work that must be carried out on the electrical, gas, water, life safety and air conditioning systems to ensure the building is in a state of operational readiness; in other words, ready to welcome visitors back again.
There is a security presence on site 24/7 and routine patrols help to identify any potential building fabric issues (such as a leak) which are then reported to the maintenance team.
Remote monitoring of the Centre’s energy use helps identify any problems or unusual figures, and action can be taken to help keep costs within budget and ensure our future sustainability.
In fact, the extended lockdown period has allowed the team to re-imagine the future energy requirements of the Centre and examine how technology might provide cost-effective solutions such as using photovoltaic or solar thermal systems.
In conjunction with all the energy work and planning taking place, providing support to the emergency services during this difficult time has also been paramount.
South Wales Police officers are currently using the building for their work, fitting protective masks for staff, and the Specialist Operations Dog Section have also been using the building to train their dogs in specialist skills such as detecting explosives.
The Centre was built for noise and creativity and music and people – and they’ll all be back some day - but in its own way this huge building still hums with activity, even now.
David Bonney - Building Conservation and Engineering Manager