RAF Lyneham

The large scale redevelopment of an existing RAF airbase in Lyneham will become home to the new Defence College of Technical Training. 

Electrical and Mechanical Contractor, Integral, has managed the large scale installation, specifying Marco’s cable containment solutions across the site. Steve Davis of Marco Cable Management and Simon Grimsted of Integral offer us a look inside the transformation of one of the UK’s most important airbases. 

Lyneham was decommissioned by the RAF in 2013 with plans to transform it into a national training centre containing various departments including Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering and Communication and Information Systems. Much of the redevelopment consisted of upgrading and redeveloping existing buildings, whilst the airfield will be retained and used for outdoor training. 

The project was managed by a consortium, Hercules, combining contracting power houses, Balfour Beatty and Kier, who together appointed Integral as M&E Contractor under a £7.3 million project. 

The site is made up of a series of large hangars where the Hercules aircraft were stored. Initial works included the full strip-out of each of the hangars which were reconfigured introducing training classes combined with a number of large open spaces where light vehicles, tanks and helicopters could be held for training purposes. 

Simon from Integral explained: “This was a vast project for us largely due to the scale and size of the buildings and at one point we had over 150 Integral employees (direct & sub-contract) working at this site, over 4 or 5 buildings. All existing mechanical and electrical services were removed and once the partitions were in place, work on the brand-new installation began. 

“With an initial focus on the primary containment, all of the trunkings and trays were installed. We’ve specified and installed Marco’s Elite 3 trunking on various MOD projects in the past and so knew that their products had full approval (JSP480) prior to including them in our proposals. The Marco dado trunking was accepted and the cable containment formed a critical part of the project. 

Steve Davis, National Business Development Manager at Marco commented: “The use of Marco’s Elite 3 allowed Integral to meet both Cat5 and Cat6 compliance for the structured cabling, providing the correct bend radius and data capacity required by utilising a curved profile. Future-proofing an installation is becoming increasingly important for end users who are taking a long term view in terms of data cabling capacity. The use of products that support Cat6 and Cat6A will see an installation future-proofed for the next 20 years. 

“The Elite 3 also proved to be a good fit for the project due to the age and shape of the building. Built many years ago, the versatility of the Marco Elite internal and external bends being adjustable from minus to plus ten degrees. This was important because the walls are never 90 degrees, enabling a perfect fit and no need for a mastic infill to be used. “Ensuring DDA compliance through Part M was particularly important and Integral opted for a coloured frame in light grey which sits behind the power and data outlets.” 

Simon continued: “The Marco products continue to work really well for us and meet all of our needs. As our work with the MOD gathers pace, we will continue to opt for the Marco specification. Their products are of a fantastic quality and the service has been excellent with deliveries to site always on time with open and consistent communication throughout. 

“It’s great to work with a company that are based solely in the UK and we’re keen to support UK -manufacturers. Our sub-contractors and suppliers are critical for our business and we enjoy a particularly positive working-relationship with Marco whose products we’ll continue to champion.” 

Steve continued: “For us, we understood the challenges that Integral faced at RAF Lyneham. It was a scheme that demanded a quick turnaround and deliveries to site were scheduled on a tight deadline. Working closely with our electrical distributor partner, Edmundsons in Bristol, we made sure we fitted into their timescales through regular fast-track deliveries at short notice. In terms of technical support, our office-based team were always on hand and I personally made several site visits to support the Integral guys helping them to get the most from the Marco products. 

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