Building Future Flexibility and Resilience Into Electrical Networks at South Wales Police Developments

As the way we live and work changes, so too do the threats to our safety and security. Consequently, police forces also need to adapt to the way they operate, in order to maximise resources and utilise skills and technology.

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As local police stations have closed, police headquarters have become more complex and are designed to continue evolving. Two new developments in South Wales, both of which have been specified with CMD Ltd’s power distribution range to offer flexibility and resilience, provide excellent examples of how the electrical fit-out of blue light sector buildings is being delivered with futureproofing built in.

Cwmbran HQ

Both South Wales Police projects have been delivered by Highadmit Projects, an electrical contractor based in Mid Glamorgan. The new 5,178m2 Gwent Police in Cwmbran will replace the current facility in nearby Croesyceiliog and has been designed to accommodate 480 officers and staff. The new building will reduce running costs by more than £1million a year, while providing facilities that include the force’s control room for 999 and 101 calls, wellbeing and training accommodation, and a base for major crime teams, support services and senior management.

The electrical fit out for the new Cwmbran HQ has been specified to ensure that any trips or outages on the electrical network affect as little of the building as possible to support 24/7 operational continuity and efficiency. CMD Ltd’s Power Hub underfloor power distribution system was specified by the M&E consultant in conjunction with the client, Monmouthshire County Council, in order to satisfy this requirement. The Power Hub system provides up to six power outputs from a single mains input, combining compact hub units with flexible metal conduits or ‘umbilicals’, which connect the hubs together to create the electrical distribution network in the floor void. The Power Hub system has been installed along with CMD’s Auxiliary Earth 63A Betatrak powertrack and Elite+ under desk power modules.

CMD’s Betatrak powertrack system has been installed to distribute the incoming supply on each storey and create a central spine within the floor void. Around 60, 6-way CMD Power Hub units have then been installed on each storey to take power to the required locations. At installation, the requirement is for no more than 12 double sockets to be powered by each hub circuit, ensuring any outages are localised to enable the remainder of the building to operate as usual. Ample redundancy has been built into the system to enable further tap-offs to be installed as required should occupancy rates or connectivity requirements change.

Each Power Hub will connect to a CMD Elite+ under desk workstation module via a CMD 20 Series fast-fit Floor Box, and serves just two workstations, with cleaner’s hives installed for dedicated sockets for cleaning equipment. With circuit protection at the Betatrak, the Power Hub and the Elite+ workstation power module, any trips on the system will affect a limited number of workstations and devices in case of an electrical fault.

Bridgend Learning Centre

Meanwhile at the new £28 million South Wales Police Learning Centre constructed at the force’s existing police headquarters in Bridgend, CMDs Betatrak powertrack system was specified to enable easy reconfiguration of the electrical layout should areas of the building be repurposed in the future.

The purpose-built Learning Centre will combine all of South Wales Police’s teaching requirements within a single four-storey building, including a 114 space lecture theatre, an open atrium for flexible learning and break out spaces, open plan offices, immersive training suites, classrooms and welfare facilities.

CMD’s 63A Betatrak powertrack system enables tap-offs to be installed for local access to power at every 30cm anywhere on the network. Sections of the system simply connect together in the required layout and, at each tap-off, power is taken up through the floor via a floor box, grommet or cleaner’s hive, depending on the specific requirement for different locations within the building.

Jonathan Duguay, project manager at Highadmit Projects commented: “We have worked with CMD on various South Wales Police installations and know that we can trust them to respond to any specification questions we may have with a high level of expertise.

“The simplicity of the systems and efficient supply from CMD have enabled us to deliver large-scale power distribution networks quickly at these two projects, while providing a robust and flexible installation. The real benefits will be in the operational flexibility and resilience the systems offer, thanks to the ease of potential future adaptations with CMD’s Betatrak and Power Hub systems.”

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About Phoebe Train

Phoebe is a Marketing and Events Executive, who joined the BCFA as an English graduate in 2021. Working closely with designers and BCFA members, Phoebe has published an array of content for Design Insider.
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