Vaughan Engineering’s outstanding M+E engineering expertise brought the £18m Strabane Academy to life by supplying, installing and commissioning the complex building services to this new build project.
The two-storey building consists of classrooms, school meals kitchen, dining space and drama rooms with underfloor heating and heat recovery ventilation throughout. The project also comprised, BMS, LED lighting, PV, pitch lighting, fire and intruder alarms, AV and domestic water services incorporating a rainwater harvesting system. In addition, the technology building was provided with compressed air, welding gases and a dust extraction system.
As with most construction projects, coordination and programming were key to the smooth running of this project, as Gavin Toman, Construction Director for Vaughan Engineering explained, “We always operate with a collaborative approach, and communication was vital in establishing the extent of the requirements of the design team and the client’s expectations.
“We led meetings with our specialist supply chain involving the main contractor and design team along the way, agreeing milestones for key information to be available to other trades and allowing time for design team approvals. A detailed programme was produced and monitored regularly. Where any challenges arose – and had the potential to cause delay – these were discussed and solutions agreed so as not to impact on the overall completion of the project.”
In the absence of any BIM models and due to the complex shape of the building, Vaughan Engineering’s BIM team developed a 3D model of the entire building, which formed the basis of the installation approach.
When it came to identification, monitoring and rectification of post-handover defects, Vaughan Engineering employed the latest tech.
“We used a quality monitoring software to record defects and allocate responsibility. The software was linked to the building model and sent reminders to the responsible sub-contractors. This ensured all defects were recorded and rectified.”
Vaughan Engineering Services is based in Newtownabbey, with offices in Manchester and Newcastle. Celebrating 60 years in business in 2020, it is now a third generation family business. Many members of the team have trained with the company and risen through the ranks to management positions. Several members of staff have worked their entire working life with the company some retiring after 50+ years’ service. Brankin Engineering also falls under the Vaughan Group. Brankin delivered the full ventilation installation for Strabane Academy with all ductwork manufactured locally in its Newtownabbey-based, state-of-the-art facility.
Vaughan Engineering is driven by a responsibility to engineer sophisticated buildings that meet the needs of the people who live and work in them. They do this by providing high quality, safe and best value building engineering services through their commitment to operational and technical excellence.
“We have delivered some of the most technically complex buildings in the country,” said Gavin. “We embrace these types of projects where we can investigate and implement the latest working practices and technology to enable us to enhance our knowledge and the end product for our clients.
“Our dedication to this industry and our core values of integrity and quality have remained unchanged since the founding our company in 1955.”
The family firm embraced the project’s social clause with the construction team providing work placement and training, which was advertised and sourced through local agencies, jobs and benefits offices.
“We have a sense of pride, having been being part of the build and completion of this state-of-the-art facility which will continue to service the pupils, staff and local community for many years to come,” said Gavin.
“It was a pleasure to work with the Woodvale team and we would welcome the opportunity again on another venture.”
Client: The Education Authority
Main Contractor: Woodvale Construction Company Ltd
M+E Contractor: Vaughan Engineering Services Ltd
M+E Consultant: Mott McDonald
Architect: Samuel Stevenson & Sons
Project Manager: Samuel Stevenson & Sons
Boiler & domestic hot water package
Sermet proves it’s not the size that counts by selecting space-saving yet high-performing boiler and hot water package…
Supply and commissioning of boilers and hot water production for the new build Strabane Academy project was entrusted to Sermet.
The Lisburn-based company provided a Remeha Gas 610/10 Eco Pro 1300 condensing gas boiler, selected for its high output in a small footprint – as plantroom space was extremely limited – and its high efficiency (gross seasonal efficiency 95.66%).
“The Remeha Gas 610 consists of two boiler modules in one casing giving the benefits of having two boilers but in a smaller overall footprint space and with the added benefit of a single flue outlet lowering contractor installation cost,” explained Tom Moore manager for Sermet.
Sermet also provided the domestic hot water package for the school, consisting of an Ormandy Rycroft HT Breeze Plate Heat Exchanger and 1800 litre Buffer vessel package.
“Again, constraints with plantroom space were a factor in this selection,” said Tom. “This package already reduces space required as it is a high recovery system which reduces the need for large quantities of stored water. The smaller storage vessel and plate heat exchanger also improves efficiency, both from a faster heat up period and reduced heat losses. Space was also saved by manufacturing the buffer vessel to bespoke dimensions for this site.
“We got great satisfaction by coming up with a solution within the tight space constraints onsite with zero compromise on the quality products or system efficiency.”
Commenting on the completed project, Tom said, “Sermet has a long history working with Vaughan Engineering on various types of commercial projects and we have always found them to be extremely professional and agreeable to work with. Their standard of workmanship and attention to detail is excellent.”