This state-of-the-art building project involved the construction and full fit out of a 3-storey office facility, single-storey external stores/garages block, single-storey energy centre building, and single-storey gatehouse, complete with complex mechanical and electrical works. External works included perimeter walls & fences, as well as site works which included up to 154 parking spaces, access roads, and extensive landscaping.
The building reflects, as far as possible, the ethos of community policing in Northern Ireland, moving away from heavily fortified structures to a more open and more community-friendly facility.
The accommodation incorporated within the new 3-storey main building includes standard and specialised office type accommodation for individuals and groups, public reception facilities, consultation/briefing rooms for the PSNI and medical practitioners, training rooms, technical areas, canteen/catering facilities, locker and storage facilities, recreation facilities, and other ancillary/services accommodation.
The building includes complex M&E installations comprising electrical services installation included new sub-station, co-ordinated in conjunction with Power NI, standby power, general & small power, LED lighting, CCTV, access control & perimeter detection, IT & phones, addressable fire alarm & detection system. Mechanical services installation included LPHW heating; biomass boiler & oil burners, air handling plant, cooling, plumbing, and fuel tanks.
Built on a 6.5-acre green/brownfield site within the boundaries of the old Downshire Hospital, the new Area Command Unit was designed to sit harmoniously within the existing landscape of mature trees and a boundary wall of stone construction, which also had to be repaired and retained.
The design is contemporary, utilising innovative and traditional building materials and techniques to reduce energy consumption, carbon footprint and C02 emissions.
Enhanced thermal insulation and airtightness was a key factor in the design and in achieving the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A21.
Innovative features include a rainwater recovery system which uses rainwater harvested to supply sanitary appliances (toilets and urinals) and the car wash bay; a biomass boiler; LED lighting and PIR phased control technology; a Sustainable Drainage (SUDS) to car parking areas to reduce stormwater run-off and a sedum (planted) roof.
This site received a Performance Beyond Compliance and two Bronze awards under the Considerate Constructors’ Scheme and the building was awarded Sustainable Building of the Year by Sustainable Ireland.