A new eco-friendly police station is in the running for a hat-trick of awards.
The North Wales Eastern Command and Custody Facility being built in Llay has been shortlisted in three categories at the Constructing Excellence Wales Awards.
One of the nominations is for the Offsite Award for the innovative approach adopted by contractors Galliford Try and its construction partner, PCE Ltd.
They came up with a hybrid prefabricated system with the pre-cast concrete frame being made offsite and as a result they made £1.5 million in efficiencies.
One benefit of manufacturing the structure offsite was that they were able to reduce the construction programme by 10 weeks.
It meant the number of employees on site was significantly lower than with a traditional frame erected in situ, which also reduced the health and safety risk.
Detailed early design enabled the building services, door frames, plumbing, fixtures and fittings to be integrated into the precast units.
In addition North Wales Police has been shortlisted in the Client of the Year Category while sub-contractor Ecological Land Management Ltd (ELM), based in Llay, is in line for an honour in the category for Small and Medium Enterprises.
The awards ceremony is being held at the Celtic Manor in Newport on July 6.
The £17.5 million contract to build the new facility on the site of the former Sharp warehouse in Llay was signed by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones who is responsible for all police buildings across the force area.
The 8,680 square metre building, and has dedicated offices and facilities for 248 police officers and staff.
It has 32 cells, canteen facilities, and two gyms, one of them for conducting beep fitness tests for police officers, as well as locker rooms and garages.
The building has an 80 kilowatt solar array on the roof, rainwater harvesting for washing 85 police vehicles a week, smart lighting to conserve energy and sunlight shafts to ensure those in the pre-cast internal cells get natural light.
Galliford Try are due to hand over the building to the force this summer and it is due to be operational in the autumn. The overall cost of the project is £21.5M which includes the purchase of the site, preconstruction and construction costs as well as fit out and IT installation.
Meanwhile, the old police station in Wrexham will be demolished and a new town centre station with a public front desk will be opened in the former Oriel Gallery.
Mr Jones, a former police inspector, said: “The new North East Wales Divisional Headquarters is a wonderful facility and I am delighted to hear the project has been shortlisted for three prestigious awards.
“To be able to house the staff for Wrexham and Flintshire in one purpose-built location is excellent.
“It has been future-proofed and built for the 21st century and it will provide an excellent working environment for our staff – far better than the town centre tower where I spent many years.
“In particular since the closure of the cells at Mold police station, prisoners from Flintshire have had to be taken to St Asaph and this will provide a much more accessible and suitable location.
“It will enable greater integrated working for staff across Wrexham and Flintshire, in largely open plan offices.
“The project is being led by Liz Bryan, Estates Project Manager at North Wales Police, in collaboration with by Stephen Roberts, the head of facilities and fleet.
“They both deserve great credit in the way the project has been managed and the facilitating the innovative approach which has been so successful.
“When it’s operational, this will be among the most modern facilities of its kind in the UK and sets a new benchmark.
PCE’s business development director, Simon Harold, was extremely proud the project had been shortlisted in three categories.
He said: “Through our early engagement with Galliford Try and their client, PCE was able to develop an alternative, hybrid structural solution for the Wrexham project. This offered enhanced performance characteristics whilst providing significant programme betterment with both quality and delivery certainty when compared against traditional construction methods.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Galliford Try Operations Manager Ian Marsh who said: “This project is a fantastic example of how projects should be delivered.
“This has resulted in the high morale of the whole team and the positive approach within the workforce to behavioral safety improvements.”