The Victorians knew how to do big plant distribution. Today we have somewhat tighter constraints, yet longevity - as well as flexibility - is still the goal.
Done well, the pipes and wires of the building's services are elegantly integrated with the architecture. Whether on show or concealed they are the parts of the building that work, require maintenance and consume energy.
To open up the mechanical and electrical systems during refurbishment is not a trivial matter, doing so can reveal all sorts of neglect. I see it as my role to ensure the client understands what's already in place and the implications of our services strategy.
With new build projects I'm interested not just in how the building will be used when it is handed over, but also designing in the capacity for change of use. This is particularly relevant to public buildings like colleges, but the principle holds good for every type and sector.