• Hertford College, University of Oxford

    Hertford College occupies a historic site directly opposite the Bodleian Library in the very heart of Oxford. It is probably best known for its iconic Bridge of Sighs which joins two parts of the college together. Darke & Taylor was engaged to install an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging point to this Grade II-listed building.

    Hertford College, University of Oxford


Preserve the architectural integrity: As one of oldest educational buildings in Oxford (Hart Hall dates back to the 1280s), much of Hertford Hall is Grade II-listed. The challenge was therefore to combine EV functionality without compromising any of the building’s aesthetics.

Best-fit EV: With a huge range of EV chargers available on the market with different electrical requirements, capacities and functionalities, the choice can often be overwhelming. Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) – from 2020, the ZEZ will begin to introduce restrictions on some vehicles and journey types – this is set to increase gradually to cover all vehicles with a target of zero transport emissions in Oxford by 2035.

Busy College, busy workplace: With ongoing expansion works and the College in constant use almost all-year round, any works needed to be carefully planned with engineers used to working safely around people.


Detailed working knowledge of the buildings: In its Planning Meetings, Darke & Taylor (D&T) worked closely with the College to determine the best place for an EV charger. A non-listed wall in the NB Quad was deemed to be the most accessible yet unobtrusive EV location.

D&T is not tied to any one manufacturer: This means it can make recommendations with complete impartiality (in this case a 7 kW (*) fast charger) and take care of all the grant paperwork for an easy end-to-end solution.

Forward Green planning: D&T has a Energy Solutions Division which offers a wide range of green solutions. For the EVs, D&T identified a site with the future potential to accommodate up to three extra EV chargers whilst reutilising the existing cabling.

D&Ts experience in education: All of D&Ts engineers are both DBS-checked and used to working around students. Furthermore, D&T operates a separate Health & Safety function to maintain the highest safety standards are met onsite.

* A 7 kW charger will recharge a compatible EV with a 40 kWh battery in 4−6 hours.


“Darke & Taylor are very effective at measuring, tracking and reporting back compliance around site. They keep us constantly in the loop and provide us with the peace of mind that all testing works are being managed safely and correctly.”

Daniel Lee, College Clerk of Works

Technical overview

D&T was engaged directly by Hertford College to design, install, and commission an EV charging point to the quadrangle to recharge the College’s newly acquired electric van.

Darke & Taylor represented the client to obtain consent from the electricity network to install the charger, then specified, installed and commissioned a 32 amp fast-charge wall mounted unit which utilised the existing infrastructure to provide a cost-effective solution.

Project details

CLIENTHertford College, Oxford

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