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New fire station a unique facility

New fire station a unique facility
The 600sqm Remutaka Fire Station in Upper Hutt will be unique in terms of layout and size.

Ben Law, project manager at McMillan & Lockwood says construction of a purpose-built modern fire station in Upper Hutt which began in August 2018 is proceeding well and to programme.

This is not the first fire station McMillan & Lockwood have been commissioned to build for Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), however at 600sqm, the new station at 35 Park Street, Upper Hutt, is unique in terms of layout and size.

“This station incorporates a number of services, including the rural fire division and has been purpose built to offer a modern and comfortable environment for career, volunteer and fire operational and administration personnel alike,” says Ben.

The company has contracted a number of local sub-contractors to undertake the build while Ben makes regular visits to update on progress.

“We enjoy a very good relationship with our subbies, many of whom we have engaged on builds over many years.”

The site the station is being built on carries the second highest ‘z’ factor in the country, which necessarily added costs to its geotechnical and structural design elements.

Work on the two level precinct is due to be completed early November and according to Wayne Goodfellow, FENZ Planning and Programme Manager, National Property Portfolio, personnel who will be working from Remutaka Fire Station are very much looking forward to its opening.

“Right through the planning phases we have sought and welcomed input from our FENZ personnel.  These are the people who will be working and living at the station so it was very important their perspectives were heard,” Wayne says.

“We have been careful to do our due diligence through the planning phase.”

The build is significant too because it identifies and reflects the vast array of services today’s fire service provides, far beyond responding to fire emergencies alone.

New fire station a unique facility

The station will have four appliance bays, decontamination wash and storage areas for equipment, six single bedrooms, living and service areas for staff housed on site, along with an operations hub, training spaces, a gymnasium, kitchen and lounge. Below dignitaries at the site’s inauguration.

 

“It’s an exceptionally important facility for us because of the growing community in Upper Hutt and the Remutaka Area and the diverse range of services the fire service offers, including attending motor vehicle accidents, first responders to major emergencies such as floods and slips,” Wayne explains.

Design guidelines have continued to evolve due to the comprehensive nature of the calls the Fire Service attend, with the bulk of calls responding to weather, medical and motor vehicle accidents.

“We have ensured in its structural integrity that the Remutaka Station will remain open and operational in the event of a major emergency.”

Given events in Christchurch in 2011 planning and resourcing for the Remutaka Fire Station was deferred however Wayne says several positives came out of this.

“We had to move our national programme because of Christchurch however that consequently provided us with the ability out of the Christchurch rebuild to review and change design guidelines, to modernise and future-proof fire station design.”

Remutaka Fire Station has been constructed, using materials and construction methods that will guarantee its economic efficiency for the life of the building.

When completed the station will have four appliance bays, decontamination wash and storage areas for equipment, six single bedrooms, living and service areas for staff housed on site, along with an operations hub, training spaces, a gymnasium, kitchen and lounge.

“Every thought has gone into its design to ensure that all essential services and operational infra-structure have been factored in.”Outside there is a large open area for training purposes and sufficient off-street secure parking has been provided.

The building has been positioned to allow for back entry and front exist of appliances.

Wayne says Fire and Emergency NZ have been exceptionally pleased with the professionalism, capabilities and outcomes McMillan & Lockwood have delivered throughout the build.

“They have really excelled and have come up with subtle design changes to enhance the facility.  I have worked with the company on a number of projects including bulk seismic upgrades,” says Wayne, who has been in his role for six years.

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