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Global HSE Case Study

Osbourne House

Osborne House is the palatial former holiday homes of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, located on the Isle of Wight. English Heritage has owned and managed the attraction since 1986. Due to the nature and historical value of the estate, there was a requirement for effective fire compartmentation throughout the property.

Project Details

  • Client
    English Heritage
  • Sector
  • Project Value 
  • Location
    Isle of Wight 
  • Duration
    3 Weeks

The Project

Osbourne House saw us complete required remedial works to existing cross corridor doors. The historical cross corridor doors in the Durbar Wing required fire safety measures to be put in place following concerns raised with the Fire Officer at English Heritage. The upgrades were necessary to ensure the Durbar Room could be protected more efficiently and for longer in the event of a fire. 

The Approach

A proactive approach was required to be taken at Osbourne House to ensure that damage did not occur to the paintings and surrounding areas of the doors. The client required the original aesthetics to remain, with an upgrade to the fire rating. As the house was built in the 1850s, replacing these doors with new fire rated door sets was not an option. Global needed to work to improve the original elements of the property to provide improved fire protection, without damaging the historical elements of the house. This was achieved through various methods, including:

  • Replace existing fanlights and vision panels with fire rated glazing
  • Installing hardwood lipping to eliminate excessive door gaps
  • Fitting intumescent combination seals
  • Fitting hardwood glazed over panels to doors and loft lights
  • 3-part Envirograph intumescent coating to doors and timber
  • Fire rated boxing around electrical consumer units

Originally the deadline for completion of works was 21st February 2021, to allow the property to reopen fully in time for half term. With Covid-19 restrictions at the time, it was not possible for the property to open for visitors during February, however Global still worked to the previously set out completion date. Commencing works on 1st February 2021, we were able to complete remedial works within three weeks. Our team of X worked over the three weeks to improve the fire rating of existing door sets, replace glazed screens, and provide fireproofing around electrical consumer units. 

Global were able to upgrade the existing historic cross corridor doors to the Durbar wing, whilst retaining as much of original doors as possible, helping to protect the heritage of the building and the valuable items inside of it. A Royal collection had to be booked in to remove paintings and sculptures in close proximity to where works were being carried out, as English Heritage cannot move paintings themselves as they are owned by the Queen. All areas were subsequently clean screened to minimise dust damaging any important objects, and an English Heritage Chaperone was issued to ensure all valuables were protected during the works. As a result of our works, the Durbar Wing of Osbourne House now has fully compliant doors, which ensure that all of the heritage and the visitors are kept safe in the event of a fire.

The Outcome

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