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Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Head Quarters expands

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Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Head Quarters

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service has been undergoing a significant change in its built environment for the last 5 years; the latest being a modern, friendly, green extension to their headquarters facility in Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Head Quarters expands

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service has been undergoing a significant change in its built environment for the last 5 years; the latest being a modern, friendly, green extension to their headquarters facility in Kelvedon. The building is a prominent set of buildings seen easily from the A12 just past Kelvedon on the way to London.

The site itself is referenced in the Doomsday book with the oldest building dating back to the 19th Century, with an inscription that reads “Quod dixi dixi”, loosely translated as “What I have said I have said and I stand by it”.

The building and site was purchased in 2008 by ECFRS with the aspiration to centralise functions reducing associated costs. It was originally planned as a dispatch centre although only half finished. The extension will incorporate a number of different uses including training environments, the emergency ‘999’ control centre, and additional office space. The interactive training suite for real time large incident capability will be one of a few in the country.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Head Quarters

Bond Bryan Architects were appointed three years ago to undertake the design of the project. On site works began in August 2012 and the projected completion time is early summer 2014. It is a technical project in terms of the constructions works and the construction programme reflects the complex nature of the build.

An archaeological dig had to be undertaken before construction work could begin as the site surrounds a historic mansion building, adjacent to burial grounds and the site of a Roman road. The construction area itself had a number of previous uses including a stable and a barracks in the Second World War. The dig – in which nothing of interest was found – lengthened the construction period, meaning the pouring of foundations did not begin until January 2013. Nigel Marcoolyn, Associate Director at Bond Bryan Architects, said his firm are very proud to have been involved in this high profile project. He added:

“There were a number of complications due to the sites ground conditions and we have had to incorporate a number of design features to ensure that the site remains clear of water, such as swales and attenuation ponds. There were also a number of design aspects that will reduce the impact of any instance of fire on the building.

“The ground floor comprises a steel frame and concrete planks; the first floor is also a steel and concrete slab construction, designed for additional loading. The external structure is a mixture of brick and curtain walling.”

As the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service HQ is a large site, disruption to the service was able to be kept to a minimum. The front part of the site houses 200 service employees who were able to remain in the same location and carry out their duties whilst construction work took place to the rear of the site. The size of the site allowed the project to be completely segregated from the day-to-day activities.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Head Quarters

The new control centre is a replacement to the existing control centre the service currently has at another site; therefore employees are able to continue using the original centre and will simply relocate to the new facility upon completion.

Farrans Construction is the main contractor on the project; they are an established building and civil engineering contractor with operational interests throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe. They have worked in many sectors including the commercial industry, education, energy, industry, emergency services, healthcare, hotel, marine, regeneration, residential, transportation, utilities and water.

Essex Fire have always approached the development of this site with a balanced ambition. Great care has been made to safeguard key and important parts, such as the decadent tree scheme started some 500 years ago, as well as utilising the on-site water feature as a heat recovery system.

Essex Fire are confident that the project, when completed, will improve the service’s provision as:

“At the moment a lot of the training facilities are disparate and spread around the county which affects time training because of transportation between sites. This project will bring a number of facilities to one site, situated within a mile of the centre of the county, so the service’s costs will reduce dramatically”.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Head Quarters

Nigel Marcoolyn went on to add:

“The project has been fantastic to be a part of. We have worked on quite a few projects like this but this is the highest profile one to date, which we believe will have an enormous impact on the fire service. It is definitely the most important fire project I have been involved in and we are very proud to be playing a part in improving the facilities for such a vital service.”

Kelvedon.

The building is a prominent set of buildings seen easily from the A12 just past Kelvedon on the way to London.

The site itself is referenced in the Doomsday book with the oldest building dating back to the 19th Century, with an inscription that reads “Quod dixi dixi”, loosely translated as “What I have said I have said and I stand by it”.

The building and site was purchased in 2008 by ECFRS with the aspiration to centralise functions reducing associated costs. It was originally planned as a dispatch centre although only half finished. The extension will incorporate a number of different uses including training environments, the emergency ‘999’ control centre, and additional office space. The interactive training suite for real time large incident capability will be one of a few in the country.

Bond Bryan Architects were appointed three years ago to undertake the design of the project. On site works began in August 2012 and the projected completion time is early summer 2014. It is a technical project in terms of the constructions works and the construction programme reflects the complex nature of the build.

An archaeological dig had to be undertaken before construction work could begin as the site surrounds a historic mansion building, adjacent to burial grounds and the site of a Roman road. The construction area itself had a number of previous uses including a stable and a barracks in the Second World War. The dig – in which nothing of interest was found – lengthened the construction period, meaning the pouring of foundations did not begin until January 2013. Nigel Marcoolyn, Associate Director at Bond Bryan Architects, said his firm are very proud to have been involved in this high profile project. He added:

“There were a number of complications due to the sites ground conditions and we have had to incorporate a number of design features to ensure that the site remains clear of water, such as swales and attenuation ponds. There were also a number of design aspects that will reduce the impact of any instance of fire on the building.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Head Quarters

“The ground floor comprises a steel frame and concrete planks; the first floor is also a steel and concrete slab construction, designed for additional loading. The external structure is a mixture of brick and curtain walling.”

As the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service HQ is a large site, disruption to the service was able to be kept to a minimum. The front part of the site houses 200 service employees who were able to remain in the same location and carry out their duties whilst construction work took place to the rear of the site. The size of the site allowed the project to be completely segregated from the day-to-day activities.

The new control centre is a replacement to the existing control centre the service currently has at another site; therefore employees are able to continue using the original centre and will simply relocate to the new facility upon completion.

Farrans Construction is the main contractor on the project; they are an established building and civil engineering contractor with operational interests throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe. They have worked in many sectors including the commercial industry, education, energy, industry, emergency services, healthcare, hotel, marine, regeneration, residential, transportation, utilities and water.

Essex Fire have always approached the development of this site with a balanced ambition. Great care has been made to safeguard key and important parts, such as the decadent tree scheme started some 500 years ago, as well as utilising the on-site water feature as a heat recovery system.

Essex Fire are confident that the project, when completed, will improve the service’s provision as:

“At the moment a lot of the training facilities are disparate and spread around the county which affects time training because of transportation between sites. This project will bring a number of facilities to one site, situated within a mile of the centre of the county, so the service’s costs will reduce dramatically”.

Nigel Marcoolyn went on to add:

“The project has been fantastic to be a part of. We have worked on quite a few projects like this but this is the highest profile one to date, which we believe will have an enormous impact on the fire service. It is definitely the most important fire project I have been involved in and we are very proud to be playing a part in improving the facilities for such a vital service.”

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