Rising Brook Community
Fire Station, Staffordshire

Client: Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Authority
Contract Value: £1.25m
Programme: 55 weeks
Completion Date: July 2010
Form of Contracts: PFI

Rising Brook Community Fire Station was the first of five fire stations built by Stepnell and George Law for Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority under a PFI contract.

Set within a live campus on the disused tennis courts of a fully operational Sports College, plus being surrounded closely by residential flats, the key to success on this project was to build strong relationships with the College Headteacher and Housing Association. The site team maintained good relations by ensuring continuous update meetings were held keeping everyone informed throughout the works.

As the first of ten fire stations to be handed over, Rising Brook was to set the quality benchmark as a minimum requirement for all other stations to achieve. Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Enness, of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As the first to open, Rising Brook will lead the way and set the standard for the nine community fire stations that will follow.”

This also meant that the majority of the design development for the entire PFI scheme was undertaken during design stages of Rising Brook. In addition the Fire Authority were trying to secure necessary credits and funding for the second PFI scheme so all banks and relevant stakeholders were constantly monitoring the performance and quality at Rising Brook to determine the future of the entire PFI scheme.

A critical 11 month programme was initiated which included a 6 week enabling works period. Here existing utility services serving the flats and college had to be diverted and disconnected and a new access road, entrance and car park for the college had to be built to a highway design specification before any works on the new fire station could commence.

The construction of the new building comprises of a reinforced concrete slab on traditional spread foundations on mass fill concrete pads. The structure was a steel portal frame supporting a composite profiled metal deck upper floor of reinforced concrete slab with elevations of rainscreen, aluminium and curtain wall cladding and brick infill panels. The building utilises a grey water system (harvesting rain water for use within the building) and also features a sprinkler system.

The fire station has been designed with state of the art operational facilities, and to allow for integration within the community by way of its dedicated community facilities.

Stepnell and George Law completed the construction of Rising Brook on time and to budget and set exemplary quality standards achieving “Zero Defects” at handover, far exceeding the SSFRA’s expectations, which is a credit to everyone involved.