Moreton Terrace Mid Tunnel Vent Shaft Upgrade

As part of the London Underground Cooling the Tube programme, VVB was tasked with managing the high-risk project to upgrade the Moreton Terrace vent shaft, to almost double the air handling capacity.



Project Value

£1 - 10 million



Excessive heat in the London Underground environment is a ongoing problem. As part of the Cooling the Tube programme, the Moreton Terrace vent shaft needed upgrading, with a keen eye kept on risk mitigation and emergency procedures.

The project involved the careful removal of an existing ventilation system from a densely populated urban area, and the installation of a system with an increased capacity of 75.6m3/s – almost double the air handling capacity.

VVB was appointed by principal contractor Costain to project manage the Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) requirements; from RIBA Stage D design, through to installation, commissioning and handover of the finished project. VVB worked closely with all stakeholders and continually managed client expectations to achieve the most cost effective solution.

The scope of VVB’s role in project included:

  • Controls and electrical design
  • Mechanical design for installation
  • M&E design coordination and integration
  • LUL ED assurance
  • Management of specialist subcontractors and suppliers
  • Installation and maintenance of temporary site services
  • M&E installation, testing and commissioning

London Underground required absolute assurance that any risks arising from the work would be mitigated and managed with utmost care.

As existing ventilation shafts were located in densely populated urban locations adjacent to schools, residential and office locations, any incident could have been catastrophic. So, VVB prepared a site specific plan and emergency procedure, in the unlikely event of a major incident.

The upgrade had to fit within the constraints of existing buildings, integrated project delivery and off‐site trials to prove installation methods. This was done though:

  • VVB’s integrated approach, with high importance placed on accountability
  • A focus on safety, with over 40,000 safe working hours recorded
  • The inclusion of ‘soft’ issues such as CDM, health and safety, our environment and cost certainty
  • Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) of fans, UPS, safety and control systems
  • Supporting  ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) design with key documents such as management and control plans, EMC project management, and earthing and bonding throughout the site –critical to the close out of the project

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