The Milewater Service Centre, or the home of the new ‘Glider’ as it’s also being called, has quite rightly been applauded for its next level design and construction. The ‘Glider’ is a purpose-built facility to service, maintain and repair the fleet of Glider (Belfast Rapid Transit) vehicles, along with other Translink buses. The main building comprises offices, meeting rooms and staff facilities (120,000ft2) across three floors which sit alongside engineering garages and workshops, bus washing facilities, parking for 145 buses and 191 staff car parking spaces. Architecturally speaking, it sets a new precedent in the city while the complex build, which was carried out by Henry Brothers, has also set a new standard for projects of this nature.
This was an exciting and prestigious project for Henry Brothers to work on. The Service Centre provides highly specialist facilities not only to maintain Translink’s existing fleet but also to service and support Translink’s newest additional fleet, 30 of the 18m long Gliders. The eco-hybrid Glider vehicles are high capacity articulated buses and are considerably larger than standard buses, requiring larger facilities and specialist equipment. The new facility allows Translink to maintain the fleet in quality condition in order to deliver high standards of service and reliability, as well as maximizing efficiencies.
The new site has also brought additional employment opportunities, including up to 120 construction jobs. Over 450 Translink staff are based on site at the fully operational service centre. Sustainability also plays a part in the new Centre; rain water harvesting tanks with capacity of over 100,000 litres, a grey water recycling system for the bus- wash wastewater, solar panels and energy efficient lighting are all features of the new building. Milewater Service Centre is an externally clad, steel frame structure while the office section of the building is made up of Brickwork, Trespa panelling, aluminium windows and Kingspan cladding.
Built on reclaimed land, ground conditions were far from optimal, hence it was essential for the entire site to be piled. There were 1000 augured piles between the two main buildings and some 3000 piles across the rest of the entire construction site to support the utility roads & parking bays. The building is quite near the docks, so this amount of piling isn’t unusual, but a major amount of works hidden in the reclaimed ground. A demanding schedule and programme led to a phased handover. The first phase included the bus wash building including perimeter fencing & southern entrance & bus parking bays, while the second phase included the main service garage, engine workshop, ground and mezzanine offices and mezzanine and first floor storage areas, pallet racking, tyre stores and the northern entrance.
This was a complex, high tech and highly serviced building and it required a large amount of forward planning and coordination with client & sub – contractors throughout the entire process to accommodate the specialised services & equipment such as the 3 Post In-ground Lifts (for the new Glider), Brake Tester & Shakers and a galvanised Wash Bay sky lift in Bus Wash Bay to name but a few. M & E & specialist services were a big part of the project, which was key to delivery.
It’s not every day that an entire bus facility is constructed from scratch and this was the first project Henry Brothers had delivered to Translink for some time. “We were delighted to work with them, Translink are a hands-on client and their input throughout the process was invaluable. The ‘Glider’ building is a very prestigious project and we’re delighted to have played such an integral part in its construction. Meeting the tight timeline was a joint effort between the Contractor, Client and Designers and through this collaborative effort we delivered the project on time,” said Paul McLean, Contracts Director at Henry Brothers.
- Specialist Workshop Equipment Supplier
- Aluminium Systems
- Civil Engineering & Groundworks
- Concrete, Building Mortar & Screed
- Ironmongery & Door Automation
- Mechanical Contractor
- Electrical Contractor
- Interior Space Design
- Cleaning Services
- Gym Flooring & Equipment Supplier
- Gas Barrier Design
- Road Surfacing
- Builders' Merchants
- Doors & Screens
- Storage Products
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Airtightness Testing
- Floor Screeds
The collaborative approach to working with contractors made Search Workshop Supplies the perfect partner for Henry Brothers at Translink Milewater Service Centre, Belfast. As a leading supplier of garage workshop equipment and consumables, the company was behind the innovative vehicle lifts that are central to the project. “As the home of the new Glider buses, we had to source lifts that could meet the requirements of these longer vehicles,” explained Simon Glass, Managing Director at Search Workshop Supplies. “We have long-term relationships with all the leading suppliers and specified the Steri-Koni Inground Diamond Lifts, which we believe are the first to be installed in the UK.”
The lifts are manufactured in the USA and, due to their popularity in the region, a long lead in time was required. “We worked closely with Henry Brothers on all aspects of the co-ordination,” added Simon. “The lifts had to be installed at an early stage, so the timing was critical. We have a great working relationship with Henry Brothers from working with them on other projects, and that helped a great deal to ensure everything ran smoothly.”
In addition to the specialised inground lifts, Search Workshop Supplies also delivered a range of additional specialist equipment including mobile column lifts, modular tool box storage cabinets, 2-post and 4-post lifts and pit jacks.
“This was a really big project for us and one that tested our abilities to meet a wide range of specialist needs,” explained Simon. “But everything went relatively smoothly and I think it perfectly demonstrates the benefits of working with us. We take a partnership approach to every project and thanks to our relationships with the leading manufacturers in this sector we are able to provide a bespoke service.”
This service extends to the installation and maintenance. “We don’t sub-contract our maintenance work. We like to have full control over quality, so have our own teams who have a lot of experience.” This is a demonstration of the attention to detail and unique offering provided by Search Workshop Supplies.
“We’re unique, as we offer both lifts and workshop equipment, which is unusual in this sector,” explained Simon. “We have worked on major projects all across Ireland and supply the car, commercial, quarry, plant and public transport industries, so we have the knowledge and expertise to meet any requirement.”
Search Workshop Supplies, Altnagelvin Industrial Estate, Londonderry, BT47 2ED
T: (UK) 028 7131 2225 or (RoI) 01 5060572
The striking colour incorporated into the complete external glazing solution at the Translink Milewater Service Centre in Belfast perfectly showcases the attention to detail delivered by McMullan O’Donnell. Working closely with the main contractor, Henry Brothers, and the client, McMullan O’Donnell was able to create a distinctive system for the impressive new facility in Belfast.
With extensive glazing forming an integral part of the design of the new offices at the facility, the company was tasked with adding distinctive elements.
“We included coloured Vanceva glass into the overall design, which really enhances the building,” explained Michael McMullan, Head Estimator. “We enjoy the challenge of finding the balance between providing energy efficiency and the practical aspects with the overall aesthetics and this project showcases this perfectly. We’re delighted to be able to include Translink to our client list and to further develop our strong working relationship with Henry Brothers.”
McMullan O’Donnell is actively involved in commercial work across the UK and Ireland. The company’s product range includes a range of PVCu windows and doors for the domestic/residential sector whilst also offering an extensive range of aluminium systems for the commercial sector.
McMullan O’Donnell delivers cost-effective and tailored solutions, striving to provide excellence in performance, security, long life, reliability and low maintenance. In the commercial sector, this has included successful projects in the leisure, education, office and retail sectors.
L. Loughran & Sons was tasked with the full groundworks and civils package on Belfast’s new ‘Glider’ facility. The job included site clearance; the bringing up of levels across the 40,000m2 site for associated piling works; foundations; cutting of piles; foul and storm drainage installation; all electrical service ducting; and kerbing.
This was a significant package of works and presented the team at L Loughran & Sons with a pretty unique set of challenges from the outset. The site’s close proximity to the sea meant challenging ground conditions for Laurence Loughran and the rest of his team to contend with.
“We encountered a lot of ground water along with a large amount of contaminated ground throughout the site, which had to be excavated and disposed of in associated landfill sites. “Quite uniquely, we also had to install five large underground water storage tanks, some of which were approximately 6m below ground level. Digging these out in a safe and timely manner proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of the project,” said Laurence Loughran, MD and founder of the company. Not only did Laurence and the team have to complete these complex yet crucial elements of the job to the highest standard, but they also had to meet the very tight timescale.
“The strict timeline was certainly another challenging aspect of the project. It was a challenging programme that required a lot of work and coordination with Henry Bros and the other subcontractors on site.”
Ensuring all the temporary works were constructed to the highest standard was essential Laurence and the team.
“Temporary works played a large role in this project and in particular the works regarding the tanks, but crucially we had to make sure they were erected properly to he designs to ensure for the safety of our workers.
“This was a challenging project for us on several fronts; we had never dealt with such a large quantity of contaminated material and such poor ground conditions. The scope of works that was required on the tanks, in particular, was something we hadn’t encountered before, namely the sheet piling – so ensuring we were able to carry out those elements of the job in the safest possible manner was crucial.”
L. Loughran & Sons has worked with the main contractor on the Glider project on several other projects.
“We’ve developed an excellent working relationship with Henry Bros over the years. They know our capabilities and our expertise. We look forward to continuing that relationship into the future. We hadn’t worked with Translink before so it was great to have that experience. We’re proud to have been involved in a project as prestigious as this; it’s an important facility for Belfast. We’re delighted with the end result.”
Flooring and wall cladding specialists, GMP Industrial, along with supplier, Altro Resins and JNG Agencies, was responsible for installing the hard-wearing epoxy resin flooring to the servicing bays at the new ‘Glider’ project in Belfast. A collaborative effort with the client and the other teams on site ensured a straightforward, efficient job and one that GMP Industrial can add to its already impressive portfolio of works.
Working directly for the project contractor, GMP Industrial planned works around other trades to ensure minimum disruption. For an expedited installation process, two crews operated at the same time; one to prepare the surface and a second to install the resin flooring. This resulted in a quick completion and handover to the client.
Despite the straightforward nature of the job, the ‘Glider’ project wasn’t without its challenges. High temperatures in the summer months hampered GMP’s ability to proceed with the job. “Temperatures during the very hot spell we had reached 38 to 40 degrees. That made curing very difficult. We worked at night to overcome the problem and ensure the rest of the sub- contractors could get on with their jobs,” said Mark McCann, Director at GMP Industrial. A tight timeline meant all teams were under pressure to complete their works package and allow the project to proceed without delay. “Working at night meant we weren’t affecting anyone else. It also allowed us to complete the flooring element of the project to the high standards we set on every job we undertake.”
The Milewater Service Centre isn’t the first project for Translink that GMP Industrial has worked on.
“We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Translink once again. We’re accustomed to their specific requirements on jobs like these and I think they’re happy with the approach we take and the commitment we show to getting the job done in a timely manner. The ‘Glider’ facility is a prestigious project and we’re proud to be associated with it.”
GMP Industrial has been operating for over 25 years. The company has worked on a diverse range of commercial and industrial project across the country. The highest standards of workmanship and attention to detail are applied to every job undertaken by the company, large or small. GMP’s policy is to always have one of the company’s directors on site to oversee each project to ensure the highest standards of workmanship and attention to detail throughout the contract.
The combined product and construction knowledge at RTU was firmly at play at the new Translink Milewater Service Centre in Belfast. With the project build in the region of £20million, RTU had the pleasure of supplying a range of materials to this project including concrete, standard building mortar and Speed Screed.
RTU supplied approximately 3000m3 of concrete to UK piling company, Vibro Menard, and approximately 10,000m3 of concrete to main contractor, Henry Brothers. RTU offers a wide variety of concrete mixes, produced to clients’ specifications, to meet the many challenges of modern construction. RTU’s ready-mix concrete is supplied according to a customer’s design mix specification, and mixes can include pumped, air-entrained, fibre re-enforced, waterproofed, eco-friendly and foamed.
Standard building mortar was used extensively across the new service centre and was supplied by RTU. Delivered direct to site, RTU’s factory produced mortar is ready to use, with either 8 or 36 hour set-retarder. It offers guaranteed quality and strength to provide greater consistency than site-mixed mortar. These tried-and-tested solutions reflect the company’s experience of supplying mortar to the Northern Ireland construction industry for over 20 years.
RTU supplied Henry Brothers with approximately 150m3 of the company’s Speedscreed with micro fibres . This product has been designed as an improved drying screed, suitable for all common floor finishes. It accommodates quick turnaround, allowing foot traffic and application of floor coverings earlier than normal.
As a leading supplier to Northern Ireland’s commercial, residential and self build industries, RTU is perfectly positioned to meet the specific needs of projects of this type.
RTU has an impressive portfolio of projects, with the company working on a wide range of prestigious jobs across Northern Ireland.
RTU’s iconic modern fleet services the company’s distribution from a cutting-edge manufacturing plant in Newtownabbey. In addition to the products supplied to this Translink project, RTU is also recognised for two unique signature products – Exposa®, a beautiful decorative concrete and the ultimate alternative to traditional paving, asphalt, tarmac and loose gravel; and Ultraflo®, Ireland’s only ready- mixed hemihydrate liquid floor screed with unique properties that make it an ideal solution for all domestic and commercial projects.
The ability of Doorways to co-ordinate with both architects and main contractors was central to the company’s success on the new Translink Milewater Service Centre project.
Doorways supplied all the ironmongery as well as supplying and installing the new door automation systems. The company’s in-house Lock Centre, which is based in Belfast, also built the locking cylinders as part of the overall service.
Initially working closely with the architect to understand the design of the project, Doorways ensured that the products met the necessary fire ratings and relevant regulations as well as the desired aesthetics. Once these elements were agreed, the team then worked closely with Henry Brothers on the delivery requirements. The ironmongery and door automation were supplied individually on a door-by- door basis to match a pre-agreed schedule with the main contractor.
“We enjoy working from the early stages of a project to meet all the various requirements and create a tailored service for the client,” explained Sales Manager, Robert McNeill.
“It is important for us to be able to match in with the architect’s vision for a building while also considering the practical needs and the relevant regulations that need to be met. “For the contractor, their needs are different from job to job and we work closely with them to find out how best to deliver the products to site. We back this up with regular site visits and, where necessary, altered orders to match their requirements. It’s all part of our partnership approach.”
It is just over a year since the Macnaughton Blair-owned businesses, Moffett Thallon Doorways and MB Architectural, joined forces under the Doorways brand to offer a one- stop shop for architects and building contractors requiring doors, doorsets, ironmongery, access contol and door automation solutions. In that time, Doorways has continued to offer a complete service to both trade and retail customers. The company has recorded significant growth in terms of sales and interest in the various services it provides. Doorways operates to the stringent ISO9001 standard and the company is also able to offer a full joinery service and is certified by Certifire to cut and glaze fire doors.
“We have been working hard across the industry to emphasise the importance of compliance with fire safety regulations and we would be delighted to meet with any architect or contractor who wants to learn more about this,” added Robert.
Doorways, 143 Northumberland Street, Belfast, BT13 2JF.
T: 028 9032 2802
One of the key elements for R&F Mechanical Services at the Translink Milewater Service Centre was the co-ordination with specialist suppliers.
The company is well-versed in commercial mechanical installations but this project included a number of unusual elements, with R&F Mechanical working closely with the suppliers of the high efficiency bus washing facilities as well as the bespoke diesel, specialist fuels, lubrication and antifreeze storage and distribution systems to serve the extensive Translink fleet.
The project also included elements such as vehicle exhaust extraction throughout the main garage facility, a dust extract system to serve paint prep and workshop areas, and a specialist gas supply to the welding workshop.
Energy efficiency was central to the project, and R&F Mechanical Services installed a solar array to feed the DHW system along with two rainwater harvesting tanks totalling in excess of 100,000 litres of rainwater reclamation as part of the bus wash systems. the entire mechanical system is incorporated into the overarching Building Management System (BMS).
R&F Mechanical Services are proud to have worked closely with Henry Brothers in successfully delivering this impressive facility for Translink.
T: 028 2766 2627
Electrical services for the new ‘Glider’ project were provided by Braham Electrical. The company used BIM to coordinate several elements which left the installation quicker and more accurate onsite.
“A huge amount of effort went into co-ordination before we even stepped onto the site. As it was so heavy in both mechanical and electrical systems, we used BIM to ensure the process was as efficient as possible,” said Ciaran McQuaid, Braham.
An extremely tight deadline meant Ciaran and the team were under pressure. “The new Glider buses were due to be launched in September, so we had to have the core facility finished by then. It was tight; we were trying to deliver a huge package of works in a very large complicated building and quite often we were working at height so that presented its own challenges.”
Products specified were of the highest quality, as befitting a project for Translink NI. Dextra lighting took centre stage in the main garage and workshops, utilising high efficiency LED fittings each with in-built microwave pods. The security systems were extremely important to the client and the building benefits from a complex network of CCTV, door access and fire safety systems.
Work Rest Play Interiors has created a stunning new office environment for Translink at the Milewater Service Centre.
“The Translink team, headed by Michelle Alcorn, were very engaged in the process and a joy to work with’ said Elaine McVeigh, MD.
“A full deign consultation with them highlighted the main focus was to use space effectively, creating a wonderful working environment for staff.
“Creating collaborative spaces, supplying bespoke workstations and specialist lockers was part of our remit. The long term health benefits of their working environment were integral in our overall design as happy healthy staff are more productive.”
Clear visuals, strong aesthetics and practical acoustic considerations also enhanced the overall service provided by Work Rest Play Interiors.
For the past 14 years, Work Rest Play Interiors has been committed to creating stunning interior spaces for a range of businesses, organisations and venues throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland and beyond.
The company’s collaborative approach and holistic philosophy enhances this overall service.
T: 028 9031 4303
Blackthorn Contract Furniture completed the specialist joinery to complete the new-look kitchen at Translink Milewater Service Centre.
The impressive staff canteen also doubles up as a meeting area, so had to have a very distinctive look and finish that matched the modern and stylish aesthetic of the new office accommodation section of this impressive new facility.
Blackthorn works across the commercial sector on projects ranging from education and healthcare through to offices, schools, sports clubs and community buildings. The company can provide everything from the reception counter to the vanity units; the staff room kitchen to the trophy cabinet; the coffee bar to the toilet cubicles; and the storage shelving to the IPS panelling.
All products are manufactured to order, meaning that the specific and unique finishes and styles can be delivered to meet a client’s requirements. All these quality products are matched by the excellent standard of workmanship by the standard of workmanship by Blackthorn’s highly skilled joiners.
WAF Cleaning Services ensured the new Translink Milewater Service Centre was looking its best before staff moved in by completing a deep clean of the entire facility.
The company, which has been in operation for over 30 years, has a long-established relationship with the main contractor, Henry Brothers, and the team used a wide range of specialist equipment to complete the interior and exterior cleaning.
“We’re delighted to again be working with Henry Brothers,” said William Fry, Director, WAF Cleaning Services. “This was a big project and while it was completed in phases, at the very end we had to be flexible to allow the contractors to finish their work before we moved in. We changed our shifts to nights in order to get the work completed on time and allow the client to move in when scheduled.”
WAF Cleaning Services offers a range of commercial cleaning services including builders’ cleans, carpet cleans, roof cleaning, power washing, chewing gum removal, graffiti removal and property maintenance.
The company works with customers across the private and public sectors, providing a full professional service.
T: 07889 137391
Fix A Gym specialises in making the most of restrictive spaces, and at the Translink Milewater Service Centre the new staff gym epitomises this perfectly.
“We started with designing the layout using 3D CAD software and, once approved, we sourced, supplied and fitted all the gym equipment,” explained Richard Wallace, Managing Director.
“With offices situated below the gym, we also installed anti-vibration safety flooring to prevent noise transfer from the gym.
“This is the type of work we specialise in. Through the use of dual or multifunction equipment along with clever design, we maximised the available space.”
The team is well accustomed to working closely with the architect on the design aspect of the project and also with the main contractor to co- ordinate the installation process.
“The client is central to everything that we do,” added Richard. “We have an extensive showroom which allows them to select the equipment and we also follow up the design and installation process with training and servicing.”
Fix A Gym Ltd is the parent company of a wider group of trading divisions that includes Fitness Equipment NI, Trade Floors NI and Rubber Flooring NI.
Baridek Services Ltd were responsible for the design, supply and installation of the gas barrier at the ‘Glider’ project in Belfast. A complex site, the team had to contend with a significant amount of contamination which had to be accommodated in the gas barrier design. Ventilation was also a key element of Baridek’s brief.
“All these elements made getting the project over the line a challenge. We were working to an extremely tight timeline but we managed to meet it,” said Declan Conlon, Director at Baridek Services Ltd.
The company has worked with the main contractor on previous projects, a relationship which helped to ensure the project met its strict deadline.
“We have an excellent working relationship with Henry Bros and we look forward to strengthening those ties into the future. We’re delighted to have been involved in such a prestigious project and to have met the strict planning requirements around it. We met the deadline, which was no mean feat. It’s a very worthy project to add to our portfolio.”
The extensive road surfacing surrounding the new Translink Milewater Service Centre was completed by John McQuillan Contracts. The company was also involved in various phases of the Belfast Rapid Transit project across the East and West of the city to create extra lanes for the Glider.
“We were delighted to again be working closely with both Henry Brothers and Translink” explained company Director John McQuillan. “We have worked with Henry Brothers on various projects before, both in Northern Ireland and Scotland. To enable the BRT scheme to go live in September, we faced a challenging programme. At the same time as the Milewater Service Centre project, we were the Main Contractors on separate Phases of the BRT project at Stewartstown Road and Newtownards Road. Notwithstanding the challenges, we were able to meet all project completion dates on schedule”
The design for the project specified a Stone Mastic Asphalt surface course to cope with the high stress associated with the continuous movement of Translink’s fleet, including the Glider. All material was sourced from McQuillan Quarries based at Edentrillick Quarry in Dromore Co.Down and Budore Quarry at Dundrod, Belfast. John McQuillan Contracts is part of McQuillan Companies which rebranded in August 2018 under the following 4 divisions – McQuillan Quarries, McQuillan Environmental, McQuillan Outdoor and John McQuillan Contracts.
T: 028 9266 8831
JP Corry worked closely with main contractor, Henry Brothers, to supply a wide range of materials to keep the construction of the impressive Translink Milewater Service Centre on track.
The leading builders’ merchant prides itself on having a diverse product range and for this project JP Corry supplied Kingspan Styrozone insulation , plywood, heavy duty manhole covers, timber, and a selection of day to day materials.
All these products were delivered direct to the construction site, with the JP Corry team liaising closely with Henry Brothers to co-ordinate supplies.
T: 028 9024 3661
Experienced joinery company, DMS Hanna, delivered a top class job working on this Translink project.
Working with the main contractor, Henry Brothers, for the first time proved to be a new and enjoyable experience for DMS. The talented team handed over the first phase of the workshops and offices on time but faced a tight deadline to complete the second phase of the main office block. However, with everyone pulling together, completion was achieved on time.
T: 028 4176 2004
M: 07802838733 – 07764534577 – 07729456237
Sperrin Metal provided Translink with a wide range of storage products including general pallet racking, Feroprofil racking, COSHH racking, boltless shelving, mobile shelving and mezzanine flooring.
Sperrin Metal Storage Solutions was first established in 1963, and has grown steadily since then to become one of the leading storage manufacturers in Britain and Ireland. Sperrin has produced bespoke storage solutions for many sectors of the market, ranging from the small start- up entrepreneurs to large multinationals.
T: 028 7962 8362
PJD worked closely with Henry Brothers’ Health and Safety team to provide a core range of products that were safe, comfortable and met the required specifications.
Furthermore, PJD was also responsible for the branded clothing on site, including safety helmets, Hi Vis and wet gear which helped to promote the new Henry Brothers rebrand.
PJD Safety Supplies is a family run business with over fifteen years’ experience; with health and safety being a significant part of every work place, the company supplies all sectors of industry with an extensive range of products suited for all work environments.
T: 028 8772 2940
RG Decorators is proud to have been associated with Henry Brothers in the Translink Milewater Service Centre.
The company provides a professional service in all aspects of its work and aims to leave the highest quality painting finishes as required by the client.
This project is the perfect example of these high standards.
T: 028 4063 1519
Airtightness Ireland carried out the airtightness tests for the new Translink Milewater Service Centre in Belfast. With energy efficiency such an important element of this project, the airtightness testing was required to ensure the facilities reached optimum levels.
The expert team from Airtightness Ireland has worked with Henry Brothers since 2006 on projects across the UK and Ireland,and this project was a continuation of that partnership.
T: Martin Smyth on 0748 3125 623
The floor screed in the new office block at the Translink Milewater Service Centre was supplied and installed by the team at PW Contracts.
The Omagh-based company can provide a range of screed solutions and, on this occasion, selected Ultraflo® from RTU as the best match for the requirements of this project. Ultraflo® is Ireland’s only ready- mixed hemihydrate liquid floor screed with unique properties that make it an ideal choice for all domestic and commercial projects.
The screed will complement the underfloor heating system in place in the offices while it has also proved to be an ideal solution for the external bus wash areas.
PW Contracts has over 20 years of experiences as flooring specialists for both private and commercial business. The company supplies and fits sand cement, paving and concrete floors, imprint concrete, exposed concrete, and can also undertake all areas of insurance projects from start to finish.
PW Contracts, 7 Lenamore Road, Gortin, Omagh
T: 07990 554105