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Cofathec wins 5 year British Library contract

24 September 2008

Leading technical maintenance and energy management company Cofathec has been awarded a 5 year contract with the British Library to provide a wide range of services.

These include mechanical, electrical and fabric maintenance, energy monitoring and management and project and supply chain management services. Cofathec will also be responsible for maintaining a unique, automated book storage facility that operates in a low oxygen environment.

The contract covers four sites in London and one in Boston Spa. These include the flagship St Pancras building, the largest public sector building built in the UK in the last century. With a floor area of over 111,000m2, the facility covers 14 floors – nine above ground and five below – and incorporates 76 plant rooms. Cofathec will also provide full project services, when required, in full compliance with the British Library’s high quality standards.

A key factor in the appointment of Cofathec was the company’s innovative approach to business-focused maintenance and the flexibility to put in place a bespoke performance model for the contract. To that end, the total number of KPIs will be reduced, while enhancing the usefulness of each – all monitored and measured in real time through Cofathec’s online reporting system.

The contract also incorporates a gain/share model, encouraging the introduction of initiatives that will streamline processes; with financial rewards for any staff who contribute to these improvements.

As well as reactive and planned maintenance, Cofathec will be responsible for the procurement and management of energy, using extensive monitoring through the building management system to measure consumption and target areas for improvement. Cofathec will also produce Display Energy Certificates (DECs) for British Library, as well as aligning the organisation’s energy strategy with SOGE (Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate) targets.

Cofathec will be based permanently on British Library sites and will include specialist trades such as French polishing to meet the particular requirements of the British Library.

The British Library’s collection is astonishingly diverse ranging in age from manuscripts dating back to 300BC to the latest daily newspapers. It encompasses around 150 million items, including 13 million books, 7 million manuscripts, 56 million patents, 4.5 million maps and 8 million philatelic items.

Many of these items can truly be described as treasures, such as the Magna Carta, the Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci's notebook, The Times first edition from 18 March 1788, The Beatles manuscripts and a recording of Nelson Mandela's trial speech.

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