Army buildings benefit from electrical lifecycle project

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A major lifecycle project co-ordinated by Aspire Defence Services Limited is delivering improvements to the electrical network of over 40 Army buildings at Warminster garrison in Wiltshire.

With many of the buildings at Waterloo Lines dating from the 1950s, a five-year project began in 2015 to address a historic lack of resilience in the Low Voltage (LV) electrical ring. The LV (11kv) network is currently managed by Aspire Defence Services Limited (ADSL) and the project was funded by MUJV, a subcontractor to Aspire Defence Services.

Jonathan Gould, asset manager for ADSL, explained, “Many of the Army’s buildings were interconnected, sharing supplies and isolation, and there was a need to harmonise the earthing requirements. Inherited interfaces between ADSL, MUJV and UKPNS also lacked clarity of responsibilities, with a potential risk to safe working practices.”

MUJV and ADSL have now completed upgrades to 12 priority buildings, alongside an additional eight assets requiring remedial works. This year, seven projects are either in progress or planned, and a further 14 buildings will be completed after 2019. In many buildings, MUJV and UKPNS had to provide new independent supplies; in others, the location of the supplies had to change. This work was absorbed into planned and existing lifecycle works, to mitigate against additional costs.

The successful delivery of works to date has resulted in improved network resilience and additional benefits.

Gould added: “The Army buildings now have new, upgraded electrical systems capable of being isolated independently and designed to suit current requirements. Security of power supplies should improve, with less buildings at risk of unavailability, and recent changes in electrical legislation will ensure additional safety protection is installed. The works have also created an opportunity for some communications systems to be upgraded.”

Improving the garrison network is an ongoing and complex task that has required effective multi-agency communication and collaboration, as well as considerable forward planning to minimise disruption to the military customer. Ultimately, the LV network will pass to UKPNS operational responsibility, in line with the rest of the Aspire Defence managed estate.

Mark Furnival, assistant head (Infra) PAC for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), said, “The impressive progress of the network upgrade at Warminster garrison is testament to the excellent working partnerships and collaboration between Aspire Defence, its contractors, the Army and the DIO. This investment will deliver significant, long-term benefits to the military and supports our ambition to create a better defence estate.”