Working in high-risk environments is all part of the job in the fire service, but training for the sheer range of potential emergencies is a major challenge. To answer this challenge, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service have constructed a cutting-edge fire and rescue training centre, along with a new fire station, both stunningly finished with Benchmark’s Ceramic Granite Façade.
The £22million Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Training Centre has been described as one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the UK. An eye catching academic base forms the hub of the site, containing lecture rooms, an auditorium and an incident command training suite. Construction at the 40acre site was overseen by main contractors Lend Lease with the outdoor grounds separated into three hazard training zones to simulate residential, industrial and transport rescue scenarios.
The academic base’s challenging design features a four-storey observation tower and a self-enclosed auditorium, which project seamlessly through the roof and glazed front exterior of the building’s lobby. Both elements are clad in Ceramic Granite and a combination of expert detailing and Benchmark’s secret-fix fastening system allow their curved walls to flow without facets. Architects, Cooper Cromar, specified the façade in black with a highly reflective polished finish, providing a dramatic contrast to the lobby’s glass and matte white walls.
Construction on the new Clydesmill Fire Station, situated directly opposite the rescue centre, was completed by main contractors Farrans Construction. Benchmark’s Ceramic Granite Facade was again specified in polished black to clad the tall front exterior of the station, providing the building with a professional aesthetic which reflects the design of the academic base opposite.
Ian Churcher from Cooper Cromar comments on the choice of façade: “Benchmark’s Ceramic Granite Facade was selected for the project with a highly polished, black finish as it perfectly complemented the corporate image of Strathclyde Fire Service. Kingspan provided helpful technical support and advice throughout the building process, and we are currently using the Benchmark Façade and Karrier Panel Systems on a further project.”
Thanks to their partnership with Shackerley, Benchmark are able to offer the Ceramic Granite Façade in a myriad of colour combinations, veined and grained variations, and finished in a natural unpolished, satin pre-polished, mirror polished or metallic surface. The Ceramic Granite Façade, just one of the many façade options offered by Benchmark, is ideal for projects looking to combine the beauty of natural stone with the minimal maintenance and ease of install provided by a modified façade system.
Benchmark’s Karrier Panel System, used to support the façade, also provided additional benefits to the project as Cathal Montague from Farrans Construction explains: “As the Karrier Panel system is installed separately from the façade, we were able to use it to wind and weather proof the building at an earlier stage than was planned. This meant work on the internal fixtures and fittings could begin while the facade was still being installed.”
The fire and rescue training centre is additionally designed to achieve a BREEAM sustainability rating of Excellent, with features such as rain water harvesting and a biomass boiler which produces heat and hot water by burning wood pellets from a sustainable fuel supply.