Ireland, Premier Construction

Major new fire HQ on standby for action

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A long-awaited new state of the art fire service headquarters which will serve the whole of the south east of Ireland is just being completed at Kilbarry Road, Waterford, for Waterford City Fire Service.

The building will be a regional centre for fire fighting, river rescue, public consultation and training and will provide a 24 hour response unit. The development will provide Waterford City Fire Service with modern facilities to prepare and respond to emergency incidents in Waterford and its hinterland, as well as deliver all its fire safety functions to the community.

In addition to response facilities, the building will include training and testing facilities, administration accommodation and Civil Defence facilities.

The project is being carried out for Waterford City Council, with Duggan Brothers as main contractors, McCullough Mulvin Architects as project architects and O’Connor Sutton Cronin Consulting Engineers as civil and structural engineers.

The new three-storey building, which has a gross floor area of 2,187 sq m, includes 10 appliance bays, a dormitory, canteen, office space, a lecture theatre and a rooftop garden. Ancillary buildings on the site will consist of community garden space, car parking and a civil defence training area.

The building has been constructed on a greenfield site on the Kilbarry Road and is in a much more suitable location than the fire service’s original base on Catherine Street.

Situated close to a ring road, the building is shaped around the active service it delivers, being derived from the tracking movements of the appliances. Training includes cutting up vehicles, underground and confined spaces training, breathing apparatus training and desk study training.

According to McCullough Mulvin Architects: “The building encloses space and makes an artificial landscape; function is paramount. Office and ancillary functions are housed in a simple zinc volume, folded around like a piece of origami to enclose a large drill yard; the roof is extended and angled to suit operational dimensions.

“Zinc is cut away at ground level to give views of the appliances behind their glazed bay doors, addressing the ring road and giving definition to an essential piece of public infrastructure.”

Waterford City Fire Service Chief Fire Officer Niall Curtain said the new building will enhance the service his team provides to the people of Waterford.

The project is a significant capital investment by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and will also allow for the extension and refurbishment of Waterford City Court House which hopes to expand its services to the old fire station building in the future. This will have a further positive impact on the city’s economy when it is complete.

Waterford City Fire Service serves a population of approximately 65,000, covering the area of Waterford City, areas of South Kilkenny and Waterford County.

The Fire Service responds to all emergency calls from the public for assistance, primarily to protect life and save injury to individuals, but also to prevent and restrict damage to property.

Many emergency calls, however, are not to fires, but to incidents where members of the community are trapped in vehicles following road traffic accidents, trapped in machinery, or trapped in less life threatening circumstances, as well as being called to chemical spillages and toxic emissions, river rescues, and many other emergencies.

Founded in 1926, Duggan Brothers is one of Ireland’s leading general building and civil engineering contractors – having successfully completed hundreds of prestigious contracts in both the public and private sectors

These projects – ranging in value from €1m to €35m, encompass the commercial, pharmaceutical, educational, healthcare, residential and industrial sectors, and include a number of civil engineering projects. In addition to the standard procurement approach, the company also operate on a design and build and PPP basis.

McCullough Mulvin Architects was founded in 1986 by Niall McCullough and Valerie Mulvin, and has become one of a new generation of practices in Ireland with a strong dedication to design excellence. Their work includes cultural projects, civic buildings, residential work, and more recently, libraries for public and academic use.

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