Translink, Ticket Vending Machines

We were appointed Principal Contractor to deliver the Ticketing System Replacement M&E, Civils & Communication Services for Translink, valued at £3.1m, which enable Translink passengers to pre-pay for their tickets using cash or card. Works were awarded through Translink’s Electrical Contractors Framework. 

The project involved the installation of Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs), Ticketing Platform Validators (TPVs) and Electronic Gate Units at selected Translink manned NI Railways stations and unmanned (or partially manned) rail halts, Metro bus stops/town centre locations, Ulsterbus stations and Park & Ride sites across Northern Ireland. The works included the provision of power and communications cabling and infrastructure including structural and civil works, the alteration of existing underfloor heating and other service installations, provision of CCTV installations, installation of the TVM Bases, chambers, ducting and draw ropes to support the installation of power and data cabling, and installation of shelters/canopies. 

As an experienced contractor within the transport sector, our works approach reflected the site risks including trackside safety, working in train stations, bus depots and station halts, working in areas with high pedestrian traffic, and coordination & cooperation with relevant statutory authorities. All works complied with the Disability Discrimination Act, and we delivered the works in a manner that limited disruption to bus and rail operations, staff and the public, with works phased to suit the client’s requirements.

We also ensured all works complied with the NIR Contractor Safety Requirements, NIR Rule Book, Ulsterbus/Metro Safety Handbook, site constraints and controls. All staff who worked on or near the line were PTS trained, and all work on or near the line was completed under possessions with a permanent track safety coordinator and lookouts. 

Ardmore, Hammersmith Civic Campus

We have been appointed as the specialist MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services) subcontractor for the full design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of all MEP works within the Town Hall.

Our works, valued at over £15.93 million, form part of the £155m main contract to refurbish and extend the existing Grade II-listed Town Hall building to launch the Hammersmith Civic Campus; a major new mixed-use development in West London providing over 15,000 sqm of state-of-the-art office and public space, alongside 204 new homes and over 10,000sqm of commercial space.

Our works incorporate mechanical & public health services, electrical works, six plant rooms and roof plant, LV switchroom, external services, above ground drainage, domestic services/pipework, ventilation works and fire safety works.

Value engineering prior to commencement was crucial to achieve the aspirations of this project. The design stage required practical, cost-effective solutions to incorporate cutting-edge environmental technology and enable the Civic Campus to become one of the most accessible series of buildings anywhere in the world, achieving a high-quality and inclusive scheme.

Europa hotel

Europa Hotel, Air Conditioning

The world-famous Europa Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and offers 272 hotel rooms. We are delivering the project as part of a major hotel refurbishment within the main tower block, and are installing Daikin VRV IV+ Heat Recovery Air Conditioning Systems to around 180 bedrooms across nine floors. Works started in November 2019 with an original programme duration of 24 months; progress slowed due to COVID restrictions with completion now due in Spring 2022.

The air conditioning systems we are installing within the hotel utilise reclaimed refrigerant which meets AHRI700 certified standards. This is verified by an independent laboratory and is the same quality as virgin refrigerant. This process reduces HFC refrigerants placed onto the market, with the manufacturers (Daikin) product range avoiding more than 250,000kg of virgin gas being produced each year, thereby reducing carbon emissions and contributing to the green economy.

Working within a functioning hotel requires close collaboration with the hotel operator, with key communication lines kept open with the construction team on site and the client. This includes noise restriction timings, phasing of work and on site liaison for access to facilities such as the single goods life which was utilised by back of house staff as well as our construction personnel.

Due to the age of the building, work is tailored from room to room with all transitional ductwork onto the supply grilles independently measured and manufactured in a bespoke fashion. For the suite bedrooms, we employed a local painter to spray the supply grilles the specific RAL colour required from the hotel operator in order to discretely match the room decoration.

With a bustling city centre location, safety was our priority. Safety management included a lifting plan and traffic management plan, enabling us to install the outdoor condensing units. These units were lifted onto the various ninth storey rooftops using a 100-tonne crane operated under a weekend evening road closure to minimise disruption and comply with Streetworks.

Belfast Opera House, Air Conditioning

We completed the design, installation, testing and commissioning of a Toshiba Air Conditioning Systems across multiple areas at the Grand Opera House in Belfast; Northern Ireland’s most iconic theatre. It is a historic Grade A listed building designed by the most prolific theatre architect of the period, Frank Matcham, and opened in 1895.

Our works formed part of the £12.2 million restoration and development of the Grand Opera House and spanned approximately six months. The restoration project was supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Department for Communities, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation. We used a mix of Toshiba Split and VRF Air Conditioning Systems throughout this project. The VRF Systems provide best in class efficiencies utilising high efficiency DC inverter driven twin rotary compressors.

The project was unusual as it was made up of two separate sites. The focus of the work was the extensive restoration of the 1895 listed building, and the reimagination of the 2006 extension to make it more sympathetic to the Matcham building.

With 60 specialist subcontractors engaged on the project, a key consideration was consultation and co-ordination of safety matters, as well as planning and programme management. We had to be extremely careful working within the roof spaces of the building, particularly around brazing. In particularly fragile areas we opted to use a press fit system for our joints rather than brazing to eliminate any fire safety risks. Due to the vertical nature of the building our pipework routes were very challenging, sometimes passing through multiple service cupboards and pathways. We overcame problems trying aligning pipework alongside existing services through good communication with the main project team and the expertise of our on-site team.

Works were paused at the height of the pandemic but quickly got back underway once restrictions eased. The Grand Opera House was last restored 40 years ago, and we are delighted that this vital project for the Belfast arts scene has been completed for its full reopening in line with the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.