In 2007 the UK suffered floods that were among the worst on record, causing damage estimated at £3 billion. Among the victims was Cheltenham Leisure Centre in Gloucestershire, which called in specialist contractors BELFOR to undertake the necessary repair work. BELFOR in turn asked Aggreko, leaders in the rental of power and temperature control systems, to help devise and carry out the clean-up operation.
Aggreko’s first job was to assist with the site survey and determine the appropriate power and drying equipment needed for the project. “Dealing with a flooded building requires a different approach to drying out a building on a construction site,” said Aggreko sales engineer Lee Knapper, who worked on the project. “As a solutions provider, we get involved in the project from day one to ensure that the specified equipment is right for the job. With more than 111,000 people regularly using the leisure centre each year, it was important to get it up and running as soon as possible.”
To dry out the water logged building, Aggreko specified ten KT1600 dehumidifiers and four generators to supply the 705kVA of power needed to run all the equipment and provide electricity to the operations and security cabins. In addition, Aggreko also provided 1215 metres of cable and a fuel management service to ensure the equipment ran continuously.
“Before we could even begin to consider redecorating the damaged interior, we had to first focus on pumping out and vacuuming up the surface water from the flood,” said Phil Jones, the site supervisor for BELFOR. “As the leisure centre covers an extensive area, Aggreko provided generators of varying outputs which were dispersed around the site.”
The most effective way of drying out a flooded building is to introduce large volumes of dry air, but the project had to be modified continually to cope with changing conditions. A few weeks after the dehumidifying process began, the on-site temperature dropped, slowing the rate of drying. “When the temperature drops and there is more dew in the atmosphere, dryers that move the air around the building improve the rate of drying dramatically,” explained Phil Jones.
Following completion of the dehumidifying process, BELFOR retained the equipment on site to ensure the leisure centre was kept warm and dry throughout the winter months as work continued.
“Working with Aggreko has allowed us to get on with the job,” said Phil Jones. “The provision of reliable, quality machines has meant we’ve not had to worry where power will come from for the equipment. Their specialist knowledge, identifying ways in which processes can be sped up, has really helped to move the project along.”
Aggreko has a proven track record in emergency response as well as assisting with contingency planning and offering standby solutions. From its 24/7 network of service centres, it is able to offer emergency support through a dedicated team of technical consultants who will visit a site and then tailor the best equipment and service package to a specific situation. To ensure that equipment runs safely and securely, specialist engineers attend the site to carry out regular maintenance on equipment. A fully ADR-compliant fuel management service is also available for any project.