New training facilities for London Fire Brigade complete

Published:  13 April, 2015

$9.8m project is the largest modernisation programme for LFB in over a century.

Building and civil engineering contractor Britcon has completed an $9.8m (£7.4m) project to build a new state of the art training facility in Park Royal for the Babcock International Group, the chosen training partners for the London Fire Brigade (LFB). The Emergency Services Training Centre in Park Royal is part of a larger project to deliver new and upgraded training facilities to the LFB.

Britcon was appointed as lead contractor by Babcock which has secured a 25-year contract with LFB to deliver the biggest modernisation of fire fighter training for more than a century. The initiative aims to increase the amount of time available and the quality of training for firefighter training and save the LFB an estimated $88m (£66m) million over the next 25 years.

The Emergency Services Training Centre at Park Royal has been built on a brownfield site which was formerly used for industrial trading. The new facility includes a comprehensive firehouse with basement for fire behaviour and breathing apparatus (BA) and Real Fire training. The building also incorporates variable internal doors to provide a range of training scenarios, together with a range of rope access for high line rescue training and ladder training. The training building incorporates BA classrooms, syndicate rooms, management suite, and welfare facilities. A commercial kitchen installation with full dining facilities is also included.

The Park Royal site has been designed with significant environmental benefits with a CHP heating system and PV installed on the sloping roof area. The structure has a green roof, and the aim is to recycle as much run-off water as possible, all meaning that the overall building is expected to achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) Excellent rating.

State-of-the-art features in the site include two gas fired ‘smoxidisers’ that act like a catalytic converter to clean the smoke from seven carbonaceous burn training rooms in the building in compliance with the London clean air act. A simulated sewer system also creates opportunities for confined space training and a large training tower provides a working at height training facility.

Paul Clarkson, Managing Director at Britcon said, “We have built a very successful partnership with Babcock International and developed a highly successful, bespoke model for the 21st century needs of the UK fire and rescue service. This is a unique, world leading facility that incorporates specialised materials and structures to withstand temperatures of up to 800 degrees combined with techniques to manage smoke and water extraction as well as methods to provide utmost safety for training firefighters.”

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