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engineer carrying out maintenance work


ZSL London & Whipsnade Zoo
Ongoing, beginning Feb 2021
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“It’s great to see Accent AC engineers being so thorough. Couldn’t compliment them more on the first service.”

Jack Flanagan

Compliance & Helpdesk Manager - Pareto FM

It’s not often in Air Conditioning maintenance, that a risk assessment includes such hazards as animal bites and “free ranging animals”, but this was all taken in their stride by Accent Services when they began talks with ZSL London and Wipsnade Zoo in the Summer of 2020. Account Manager Tuesday Ruby started discussions some seven months before the final package was agreed, and when a full asset list was supplied in December and site surveys had been carried out, she was able to finally draw up the comprehensive maintenance plan that the project demanded.


Once in receipt of the purchase order, individual site visits were arranged for both ZSL London and Wipsnade Zoo, with the lead engineer able to be walked around each site to check the location and ease of access for each of the 150 plus assets listed.

“Firstly, I must pass on my compliments of your engineer, Darren.

He was an absolute star”

Working in a Zoo

Special consideration would need to be given to some unusual factors such as working inside animal enclosures, and engineers were even required to wear hazmat suits when working in close proximity to several endangered species.


Inside the enclosures, plant was often used to keep the temperature within a specific range to simulate native conditions rather than just cool the space, which meant that running to the extremes of hot and cold to test an asset was not an option and workarounds had to be found.


Thankfully, the giant tortoises shown in the photos moved at a pretty leisurely pace, but some animals such as butterflies are much harder to predict and significantly less robust. Factor into this mix too, heat pumps for a rare seahorse breeding pool and an engineer with a serious spider phobia and you can imagine the planning that went into this project.


Once the contract was set up on Accent’s internal system, it was decided that five engineers would be dedicated to each site. Facilities Management specialists Pareto FM saw this as an important factor in ensuring that a good and lasting relationship could develop between the zookeepers and a familiar engineer. Accent were in complete agreement and able to comply, drawing from the deep resource of engineers available to them.

“The first service was really positive and its clear the depth of detail in Darren’s work.

He was fantastic all week”

Some of the assets were inside an animal hospital on site, and so engineers were briefed to anticipate works being aborted at any time, should an emergency case, arise. Thankfully, things went off smoothly here, but never the less, it pays to be well briefed and well prepared.

First service complete

During the initial visit sequence, several assets were found to need repair and Accent were able deliver a schedule and order up parts, several of which had to be made to order as the assets were completely bespoke units. All assets were given an Accent code number to allow each piece of machinery’s maintenance history to be logged. This will make all future dialogue between the customer and Accent straight forward if issues arise. With ZSL London and Wipsnade Zoo, more than happy with the quality and dedication demonstrated by Accent, return visits for the next batch of scheduled maintenance were planned.

Assets at-a-glance



1 Chiller

6 Fridge/Freezers

2 Crac Units

1 Heat Pump

(for komodo dragons)

92 AC Units (Splits and VRV)

7 Heat Pumps

(crocodileand hippo pools)

7 Fridge/Freezers

29 AC Units (Splits and VRV)

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