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Amey installs innovative water supply solution at UKHO head office

Amey Secure Infrastructure has provided the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) with an innovative and environmentally beneficial way of ensuring its head office in Taunton has sufficient water supplies in case of an emergency.

As part of a three-year facilities management contract, the Amey team provide cleaning, mechanical & electrical, and grounds maintenance services across the UKHO estate. The client asked the team to quote for a specialist project to provide the building with a water tank solution for use by the fire service.

Initial quotes came back higher than expected which led the team to investigate more innovative ways of solving the problem. As an expert in building solutions, the team came up with the idea of installing a pond which could hold the correct amount of water required to tackle a fire. 

When defining the brief, the client asked for a natural looking pond with the ability to hold a minimum 45m3 of water – the end product actually managed to hold 122m3. The specification also defined the need for filtration and the inclusion of native plants, plus an access chamber for the Fire and Rescue Service to pump from. 

In addition, the team wanted to include aesthetic elements that employees could enjoy – such as walkways and seating areas.

Not only did the new solution reduce spending by £100,000, based on the original water tank brief, but it has provided a more environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing asset – supporting the UKHO’s ecology objectives. The pond also reduces the risk of any potential legionella incidents on site. 

Amey Secure Infrastructure Operations Director, Ian Warren, commented: “As a service provider to the public sector we are always looking for ways to save money for our clients. But we also have a big part to play in making sure that public estates are future focus and supporting a wider environmental agenda. The installation of this specialist pond has not only solved a problem for the client, put also created a welcoming habitat for local wildlife – and an area of tranquillity for employees to enjoy.”

Rick Hodge, UKHO Head of Facilities Management, added: “We are delighted with the solution Amey has provided. It not only exceeds our needs in terms of previous conventional emergency tank water capacity but enhances the site environmentally. The pond will become a haven for wildlife, be a place of rest for staff and visitors to enjoy, while remaining a valuable asset, as a back up to our on-site hydrant network firefighting system.”

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