The prestigious Battersea Power Station project comprises the refurbishment and transformation of the iconic Grade-II listed Power Station into modern use. Due to open in 2021, the building will house more than 100 shops, restaurants and cafes, an events venue, office space – including Apple’s new London Campus – and 253 new residential apartments.
Packaged Plant Solutions, part of Baxi Heating, supplied offsite fabricated utility cupboards for the residential apartments. The final pods included a HIU/CIU for heating and cooling, mechanical ventilation heat recovery, underfloor heating, electrical distribution, and metering and billing devices. A washing machine was also included in each pod.
Due to its heritage status, the building presented significant challenges in terms of design and logistics. However, early engagement and collaboration with Battersea Power Station Development Company and Mace, the Principal Contractor, enabled the team to achieve the most efficient and successful design.
The Packaged Plant Solutions team supported Mace’s architects and consultants with the system design and provided BIM models for visualisation purposes. The opportunity to work alongside the M&E designers and lend manufacturer expertise, meant that a detailed design could be assessed and approved at the early stages. Only once the standardised approach was agreed was the production line set up for the manufacturing process begin.
By manufacturing the full solution offsite, the risk of human error was reduced significantly, as were the health and safety because of the elimination of hot works on site. It also saved huge amounts of time on the overall project. To put it into context, it takes three hours to connect one unit via MMC, whereas an onsite installation can take up to five days.
The success of the Battersea Power Station project demonstrates how offsite fabrication is as relevant in refurbishment projects as in new building development. And with demand for residential properties showing no sign of slowing, the role of MMC, and offsite fabrication in particular, in providing value added benefit is clear. But early engagement, full commitment and improved coordination across the supply chain are key if the maximum benefits are to be reaped.
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