King’s College London delivering major estates improvements


King’s College London is a research-led University, based in the heart of the capital. A £1 billion redevelopment programme is transforming the College estate and since 1999 over half the University’s activities have been relocated to new and refurbished buildings. To support this major period of change LCMB worked with the King’s Estates team to review and re-structure their core Facilities Management activities, delivering over £1m savings on contracted services, a new Carbon Strategy and improved, user-focused services.


King’s College has over 25,000 students from across the globe and over 6,500 employees. The University was founded in 1829 and has a long history of development and change. Since the 1980s it has grown through merger with several related colleges and institutes and the estate is complex and dynamic. To support this expansion, the University needed to re-appraise its FM activities to ensure that the service continued to offer the best possible value for money, excellent quality of service and high levels of operational efficiency.


Over a period of 10 months, LCMB provided an embedded management resource to address the following FM strategic priorities:

Health & Safety and Statutory Compliance

  • The existing approach to Health & safety and statutory compliance was reviewed and priorities for action to minimise risk and attain required standards were identified.
  • Operational guidelines for 3rd party contractors were enhanced and safe systems of work developed for all common maintenance activities.
  • Training and improvement plans were instigated for each campus team and new internal processes to audit health and safety performance and flag compliance issues.

Improving working relationships with NHS partners

  • The structure of the estates service operating across the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ campuses was simplified (four teams reduced to two) and accessibility by the customer was radically improved by basing a single FM team on campus.
  • A new management team was recruited, including a role dedicated to managing and improving the NHS relationship.
  • Responsibilities were clarified and all current estate related problems were identified, allowing a more constructive relationship to develop with the NHS and a reduction in time taken to resolve outstanding issues.
  • A similar approach was taken to create a campus-centric model for the Denmark Hill site.

Reducing procurement costs

  • A full review of all outsourced service contracts was undertaken with the procurement team, to identify areas where savings could be achieved.
  • The procurement approach was shifted to an output based specification, rather than input.
  • Separate contracts were combined into larger retendered packages.
  • Tender and contractual procedures were improved to enhance the price and value gained for the College.
  • A value engineering approach was adopted for discussions with new and existing contractors to identify areas of cost, within contracts, that could be removed without reducing the service received by the College.
  • Contracts were scrutinised for opportunities to deliver additional value, without contractors incurring additional cost.

Improving financial control and performance measurement

  • Estate operational budgets were agreed with the campus teams and a regular review process put in place to monitor spending.
  • ‘Strive’ targets were put in place for areas with potential for savings.
  • Non-financial measures were also agreed with the campus teams, to help improve customer service and align with overall Estates Directorate objectives.

Clarifying the approach to security

  • A review of security concerns was undertaken for both internal and external users, to agree the appropriate degree of free public access to the College estate.
  • Key actions and an order of priority were identified to allow the College to function in a secure but open manner.
  • Management of day to day security was transferred to the campus operations teams to improve delivery against estate users’ needs.
  • A plan for agreeing common standards was defined for CCTV and access protocols across the estate reducing the operational difficulties caused by the historic use of different, incompatible systems.

Developing a Carbon strategy

  • Built around the initial carbon management plan, a carbon strategy to 2020 was developed for the College to achieve the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) requirement to reduce energy consumption by 40% of 2005/06 levels.
  • A carbon governance structure was defined for the College and energy/carbon budgets were introduced to track campus performance against carbon targets.
  • An automated meter reading contract was implemented to provide the utility data needed to monitor progress.

Delivering major infrastructure investment

  • Support was provided to deliver the £12m infrastructure investment fund, on time, in line with public sector procurement guidelines and value for money principles and to best effect for the College.
  • The following services were procured through the infrastructure investment fund to help improve the condition of the estate: automated meter reading, lightening protection, thermal imaging, water hygiene improvements, security consulting, combined heat and power feasibility studies and fire alarm upgrade packages.


  • Savings in excess of £1m on contracted services
  • Over £200k annual saving on security costs
  • Space reduction achieved by taking excess buildings out of use
  • Carbon strategy and budgets in place to help deliver the College’s carbon reduction commitment of 18,000 tonnes CO2 by 2020
  • Budget accountability improved by devolving responsibility to campus based FM teams
  • Resolution of sublet space charging that had remained unresolved for several years
  • Reduced College risk profile, delivered by improving the planning and compliance processes
  • Improved customer service and responsiveness, from a campus based estates team, focused on helping staff deliver their teaching and research objectives
  • Motivated and inspired operational team aiming for ever higher standards

Challenges and Achievements

Implementing lasting change through interim working

The scale of change involved in re-structuring and improving the King’s College FM service was significant and required a major investment in senior management time. This was achieved through the provision of interim support from LCMB, which was highly targeted at resolving core issues and achieving a step-change in the cost and quality of FM services provided to estate users.

Innovative approaches to reduce cost

Placing the emphasis on output specifications and adopting a value engineering approach allowed the estates teams to identify opportunities to reduce procurement costs, without reducing the quality of outsourced services delivered to the College.

King's College London Delivering Major Estates Improvements

John worked with me to review and restructure our Facilities Management activities. His primary focus was our operational team. John made a real difference for us. Key outcomes included reducing our cost of operation, improving our customer focus, strengthening our health and safety processes and developing a 10 year carbon reduction strategy.”

Ian Caldwell, Director of Estates, King’s College London

Find out more

LCMB improves the financial and environmental sustainability of buildings and estates, and the productivity and well-being of the people using them. We do this by reducing building operating costs, energy used and improving building space and its’ utilisation. We offer Workplace Performance, Facilities Management, Project Management and Resource optimisation support.

Amongst others our clients include King’s College London, Birmingham Airport, Tata Technologies, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bouygues Energies & Services.

Give us a call on:
01295 576 000

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