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GM Fire and Rescue refurbishment works and new build showcase sustainable design


GM Fire and Rescue refurbishment works and new build showcase sustainable design 


Due to the changing demands and pressures placed on the property portfolio, including ageing stock and co-location with other services, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Services (GMFRS) have recently had the opportunity to improve energy efficiency and sustainability of their building stock through the construction of new premises and the refurbishment of existing buildings. 

To improve the sustainability of the buildings, GMFRS have ensured energy efficiency, sustainable materials and social value are factored in to projects at an early stage through project scoping and specification documents as well as via the Energy and Building Temperature Policy. 

As part of the Energy & Building Temperature Policy, minimum energy efficiency specifications have been set.  For new build, the minimum specification is: 

  • Defined on the basis of improved kWh/m² compared to the last GMFRS building constructed 
  • Minimum of 20% of projected energy demand supplied by renewables 
  • A+ rated Energy Performance Certificate 
  • Building fabric and technologies chosen on the basis of whole life cost 
  • Minimal gas heating with an aspiration to avoid non-renewable heating 

Refurbishments also have a minimum specification outlined within the Energy & Building Temperature Policy which states energy efficiency upgrades should achieve a payback on investment of less than 15 years, these should include: 

  • Building fabric and technologies chosen on the basis of whole life cost 
  • Automatic controls installed during refurbishment to minimise additional cost and disruption  

Along with performance, fabric and technologies, the Energy & Building Temperature Policy outlines specific information for boiler refurbishment and the purchasing of energy-labelled equipment. 

For new build projects, additional sustainability factors such as construction materials, waste and social value are specified within project requirement documents in line with overall building requirements.


Wigan Community Fire and Ambulance Station New Build


Wigan Community Fire & Ambulance Station was completed in 2017 and now hosts North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) serving Wigan borough.

The station replaced the previous GMFRS site in Wigan and following completion, achieved a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating which took many of the sustainability features throughout the building into consideration, such as: (BREEAM is the world's longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings.)

  • A+ rated Energy Performance Certificate 
  • 40kWp Solar PV system 
  • LED lighting installed throughout the building 
  • Rainwater harvesting system to meet largest water demand activity on site – vehicle washing 
  • Over 95% of construction waste diverted from landfill 
  • Over 20% of building materials sourced from recycled content 
  • All timber used on site classed as 100% FSC or PEFC certified 
  • Concrete 100% sourced from BES 6001 accredited supplier 
  • Energy sub-metering throughout the building 
  • Bespoke BMS enabling temperature control of individual rooms 


Bury Operational Training and Visitor Centre 


As the largest, purpose built Fire-Fighter training facility in the UK, the Fire and Rescue Service Training and Safety Centre was built in 2017 and designed to inform visitors of all ages about how to protect themselves against fire and other dangers.

The site has numerous targeted training areas which facilitate specific training scenarios including hazardous materials, high-rise, road traffic collision and urban search and rescue. In addition, the site has a visitor centre aimed at educating communities from across Greater Manchester about fire safety and other issues such as CPR. 

The centre not only offers a curriculum enhancing, immersive and interactive learning environment that supports the work of schools and emergency services, but also shows visitors what to do in an emergency and how to protect themselves against fire and other dangers.

Following construction, the site achieved CEEQUAL ‘Good’ (the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm projects).  

A number of sustainability features were factored into the refurbishment including: 

  • Smoke scrubber installed on high-rise training facility to minimise impact on local air quality 
  • Weather monitoring equipment installed to ensure training activity factors in sensitive receptors in the local area 
  • Drainage separators throughout the site including a drainage system to protect the River Irwell from the effects of firewater created from training activity 
  • 108kWp Solar PV system 
  • LED lighting installed throughout training facilities and visitor centre 
  • Solar thermal heating system to provide DHW to training classrooms, operational welfare 

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