RSME Gas Training Centre Gas, Ventilation and Electrical Installation
Synecore provided the gas, venilation, electrical installation for The Royal School of Military Engineering Gas Training Centre at Brompton Barracks in Chatham, Kent.
Babcock and its partners provide engineering training and apprenticeships to 11,500 soldiers per annum, ranging from those who are embarking on their military careers, to veterans that are preparing to leave the service. Babcock provide training services at various military facilities across the country delivering practical and theoretical lessons in engineering and construction. These training centres help to equip soldiers with the skills and qualifications they need during their careers in and out of the Armed Forces.
As part of their ongoing programme at The Royal School of Military Engineering in Chatham, Kent, Synecore were enlisted by Babcock, on behalf of their resident training provider, to carry out an extensive mechanical, electrical and plumbing refit of an unused area to provide a new Gas Appliance Training Facility.
The Babcock Gas training centre at Brompton Barracks in Chatham is one of three Royal School of Miltary Engineering (RSME) locations to undergo an extensive refurbishment. The work is part of a seven-year construction programme to improve military training and living facilities in Bicester, Minley and Medway.
Due to a tight delivery programme required to fit around ongoing training requirements, the original contractor was unable to facilitate the required works. Having worked with Babcock’s supply chain Lead for many years in previous roles, Synecore was the obvious choice to step in and deliver the project’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing design and installation.
The Gas Training facility required new training equipment for practical lessons that represented a domestic scenario. This required multiple appliances to be installed in close proximity to enable training of 8-10 students per course, all with their own equipment to work on. Such an installation would not usually comply with standard domestic installation regulations, however being a training centre, these did not apply here. This is because the equipment was for training purposes only, meaning the gas usage was not comparable to a residential building.
Synecore’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing expertise was essential to the fit out. The scale of training equipment presented a complex design that Synecore would have to adapt throughout the project, therefore a lot of planning and preparation was required.
Much like Synecore’s experience working on airside, the security checks for the military base were stringent. The security clearance became part of the project’s extensive planning process and could not be compromised at any level, or the project would be delayed.
Plumbing Gas Installation
Synecore was enlisted by Babcock Limited to complete the design and installation of the following equipment that could be used for minor fault finding and component replacement during training:
- 4 system boilers with radiators
- 5 combi boilers with radiators
- 1 training boiler that could be repeatedly fitted and removed from the wall
- 10 gas cookers with ventilation canopies
- 10 gas hobs with ventilation canopies
- 2 integrated ovens
- 12 stand-alone gas meters
- 10 water heater units were installed in the original training area
- 10 gas fireplaces were also installed in the original training centre
To allow the students to practice on a range of appliances, Synecore installed products from various brands, such as NEF, Beko and Bosch cookers and hobs, as well as standard BGas and U6 gas meters.
Each appliance had to be fitted with its own gas meter for testing purposes and the boilers were connected to three radiators each, mounted to the wall above, to provide heat discharge for the short periods when the boilers were running.
These items will be essential to practical lessons covering how to repair and maintain gas-based heating and plumbing fixtures within a commercial and domestic environment.
To support the new training equipment, it was paramount that adequate ventilation was installed to extract gas fumes and pump in fresh air to the area.
Synecore installed the exposed polished ductwork and four Vent-Axia extraction fans with inverter controls. Four cooker canopies were also installed above the hobs.
With so much gas-based training equipment in place, safe operation was a key concern. To address this Synecore installed an alarm and monitoring system to compliment the extraction system. For added safety during training, Synecore installed emergency shut off points and a Merlin gas safety interlock system to prevent gas leaks.
Much of the new equipment required additional power, therefore Synecore designed and installed a suitable electrical system that would accommodate the new boilers, water heaters and hobs and a new distribution board was installed to support the extraction fans.
It took 12 weeks to complete this complex mechanical, electrical and plumbing installation. At its height the project commanded eight gas, plumbing, electrical and flu engineers.
“This project was always going to be challenging. We had to change the original design on several occasions to facilitate the end-user’s requirements and the physical space within the training centre,” explained Synecore’s HVAC Director, Gary Piper.
“Fortunately, we had a brilliant team onsite, who were able to adapt and most importantly deliver quality installation that was on budget and on schedule. The RSME training centre was a great experience and we’re very proud of the outcome.”
What the Client Said
Dean Hoare, Supply Chain Lead, Babcock International said, “We required an M&E contractor to step in at short notice to complete a complex Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing installation to a very tight programme! Having worked with Synecore for many years I had no doubt they were the right people for the job and they did not disappoint.
“There were numerous technical challenges along the way but Synecore worked with us and our client to identify workable solutions to problems that you wouldn’t normally come across in your average domestic or commercial set up.
“Synecore worked with us to deliver a phased handover to avoid disruption to training courses which are planned months in advance. All areas are now in full use and feedback from our training providers and students is excellent.
“We’re looking forward working with Synecore to deliver the next phase of our Training facility refurbishment.”
Dean Hoare, Supply Chain Lead, Babcock International said,
“We required an M&E contractor to step in at short notice to complete a complex Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing installation to a very tight programme! Having worked with Synecore for many years I had no doubt they were the right people for the job and they did not disappoint.
There were numerous technical challenges along the way but Synecore worked with us and our client to identify workable solutions to problems that you wouldn’t normally come across in your average domestic or commercial set up.
Synecore worked with us to deliver a phased handover to avoid disruption to training courses which are planned months in advance. All areas are now in full use and feedback from our training providers and students is excellent.”