Works on the Ebbw Vale fire station refurbishment project are progressing well, with an expected completion date of May 2012. Under the £1.2m scheme, the fire station will be completely refurbished and a two-storey extension will be added to the existing building.
Ebbw Vale fire station is located on Cemetery Road in Ebbw Vale, South Wales, and serves the towns of Ebbw Vale and Cwm . As part of the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, the fire station covers an area of approximately 13 square miles and a population of around 28,000.
The station opened in 1974 as a Shift station with a Retained complement. In the mid eighties it was changed to Day Crew status before becoming a full-time service in July 2011 following a risk reduction plan.
The aim of the refurbished station is to provide a suitable working environment to meet 21st century fire fighting requirements whilst also improving engagement with the community.
Main Contractors SC Moore are carrying out works for the £1.2m project, which is split into two phases. Phase 1 comprised the installation of temporary accommodation, which allowed for the decantation of the firemen from the original fire station in order for the refurbishment to commence. This phase began in May 2011 and was completed in July. Phase 2 is the main refurbishment, which began at the end of July and is expected to be completed by May 2012.
Several of the existing facilities – such as toilets and kitchen areas – have been refurbished, whilst a small two-storey extension will provide new dormitory facilities, toilets, offices and a community space. Internal works have comprised the remodelling of the original space, including demolishing walls, extending accommodation and replacing finishes. In addition, the entire building has been rewired and a new heating system installed, along with repairs and improvements to the external fabrics in order to improve the performance of the building, with the ultimate aim being to reduce the energy consumption and CO2 footprint.
The first floor cladding of the existing building is to be replaced: the existing cladding will be removed and new Kingspan insulation installed before the insulated sheets are added.
External works have comprised the renewal of car park areas.
Stuart Howison, Project Manager for the client, said: “This is an important project for us as it is the first major refurbishment in three years and is part of the Forward Works programme to undertake major refurbishment over the whole fire service for the next ten years.
“Main contractor SC Moore and architect Mark Davies from the Monmouthshire County Council have performed excellently and we are currently both on programme and on budget.”
Because the fire station has remained operative throughout the construction process, robust plans have been put in place in terms of access arrangements and keeping areas clear.
The fire station has built up strong links with the local community over the years and has implemented several community initiatives, including: arson reduction group meetings, various local schools and community groups, a firewatch scheme with Ebbw Vale Comprehensive School and Glyncoed Comprehensive school, and a mentoring session with Glyncoed Comprehensive School.
As a result, efforts have been made to limit the amount of disruption caused by the building process, with noise a particular concern. Deliveries have been coordinated to occur outside the start and finish of schools in order to minimise the risk to school children and pedestrians living in the residential area surrounding the fire station.
Kieron Lloyd, Contracts Manager for SC Moore said: “We are delighted to be working with Southdale Fire and Rescue Service and maintaining their standards and expectations. We hope to deliver a project to them that we’re proud of and they are pleased with.”