Transforming the urban landscape of Cardiff

Since the early 1990s Cardiff has been through a complete transformation citywide – from the impressive changes across the Bay to the new rugby stadium and shopping/leisure facilities in the city centre. Group SCS is proud to have played a part in helping change Cardiff for the better, working on an array of smoke control projects. Here are just some of the many projects in Cardiff that we have worked on over the years.

The station roof

As a passenger arriving at Cardiff Central Railway Station, you only have to look up to see the vents on the station roof that we installed approximately 15 years ago. These roof-mounted louvred ventilators can be seen from Platform 1 and were installed as part of a refurbishment. They were installed complete with battery-backed control system and fireman’s override control switch in the main ticket hall.

2 Central Square

Step out of the station and you’ll find the impressive new BBC Cymru building where we’ve recently worked on the atrium smoke extract system, the protection of two firefighting shafts and a smoke extract system for the car park/loading bay.

Media Wales HQ

Just over the road are the headquarters of Media Wales, where back in 2008 we provided our UniForce mechanical extract system serving the firefighting lobbies, together with our UniJet car park ventilation system.

Admiral HQ

And just down the road, we worked on the newly-built Admiral HQ, one of the city’s tallest buildings. There we installed our UniForce smoke shaft system and created a suitable solution for ventilating the car park based on the building’s existing design.

Helmont House

Around the corner is Helmont House, home of a number of offices, as well as the Premier Inn Cardiff City Centre. Here we provided two new UniForce extract systems to work in conjunction with the existing pressurisation system, serving the existing offices together with the new hotel, which opened in 2010.

Holland House

As you head out of the city centre, you’ll see Holland House. We were brought in as a part of its redevelopment into a luxury hotel back in the early 2000s. We designed a staircase pressurisation system to protect the escape routes. It was a project that we decided to commission at night to ensure clear access, a practice has become standard for us on pressurisation systems.

The Bay

Now head down towards Cardiff Bay, which itself has seen an incredible transformation from the industrial docks area it once was. These days, following the building of the Barrage, Cardiff Bay offers restaurants, recreational activities and impressive shows at the Wales Millennium Centre, all surrounded by many new residential developments – several of which we’ve been involved in. Back in the early 2000s, we carried out work at what is now the Novotel Cardiff Centre, then the Cardiff Bay Hotel. There we installed a stairwell pressurisation system for the firefighting shaft.

Flagship developments

Much of our work in Cardiff Bay has been residential, including two flagship developments – Victoria Wharf and Celestia, both constructed around a decade ago. For both these buildings, we provided UniVent natural ventilation systems, covering a total of more than nine hundred apartments on these two projects.

What we’re up to now

Currently, we’re working on a new development – Bayscape – where we are installing a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) and smoke control. The site comprises two separate buildings, both of which will have mechanical smoke ventilation systems. We are also providing daily ventilation to assist with the removal of excessive heat from corridors. For the BEMS, a central energy centre will supply the heating for the whole building, which can then be controlled by residents for their own individual apartments. We have used Trend for this part of the system. There will also be energy monitoring and for this we are using Tridium. A 4G modem will allow a user to dial in remotely to access the entire BEMS for the buildings.

Cardiff – a place of growth and development

Looking back at our work in Cardiff over the years, Group SCS Director Allan Meek said:

“When we started the company in Cardiff back in 1992 it was the norm that we had to travel to find work in our field as there was nothing going on locally. But as you can see from all the projects we’ve worked on, our work in Cardiff increased rapidly as the city grew. In recent years our regional structure has developed and we now have project offices in London, Manchester and Portsmouth. Cardiff is second only to London and the growth looks set to continue with a strong order book and more exciting developments in progress. The growth of Cardiff as a city is a testament to Group SCS’s growth as a company.”

Chris Connolly SCS Group“Cardiff is close to my heart”

Contracts Manager Chris Connolly, one of our longest-serving employees, has worked on many of our projects in Cardiff and said:

“I grew up in Cardiff, it’s close to my heart. Being able to work on so many projects in my home city as it has developed over the years has been great. Knowing that I’ve been part of Cardiff’s transformation as buildings have been built from scratch, as well as refurbished or updated, is really quite special.”

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