The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service are currently in the planning stages for construction of a new ambulance station hub with associated staff and administrative facilities, district headquarters, garaging and car parking on a green field site between Ballee Road West and the Antrim Road in Ballymena. The total area of the site is 0.7892 Hectares. The gross floor area of the actual building is 1840m 2 . This is made up from 1274m 2 of functional areas, 393.5m 2 of circulation areas and 182.5m 2 of storage.
BREEAM is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. The building is being designed to reach BREEAM Excellent status and is anticipated to achieve a score of 71.76%. This will be achieved through using innovative features such as a biomass boiler and LED lighting. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building’s environmental performance. It encourages designers, clients and others to think about low carbon and low impact design, minimising the energy demands created by a building before considering energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.
A BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. They include aspects related to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.
The project costs are estimated to be £5,367,329 and of this. The costs of electrical and mechanical services are expected to be £492,000 and £355,000 respectively. The electricity usage is predicted to be 90,000kWh a year which would equate to £8.70/m 2 but there is not anticipated to be any fossil fuel usage as the Biomass boiler will take the average heating load and gas will only be used as a backup. The predicted water usage is 18.25m 3 /person/year.
The new building will provide a great environment both for crews who are out on the road and administration staff who will also be based there. The Ambulance Service is using this opportunity to create an identity for itself. The colours used will reflect those of the ambulance service which will distinguish NIAS as a brand. This colour scheme and associated design elements will then be rolled out through any further construction works. This will put NIAS forward as an important civic entity and elevate it’s status among the wider public.