It’s not every day that flying mammals are a prime consideration during an electrical installation. That was the case for WKK Electrical Ltd as they under-took the electrical contract at Bloomfield Presbyterian Church in east Belfast. Forget the Hollywood notion that vampires are scared of crosses, for living close by the evangelical church is a colony of bats. “It was certainly something a bit different from the norm,” said Gavin Thompson, Contracts Manager at WKK Electrical Ltd. “Part of our role on the Bloomfield project was to install floodlighting that met with stringent guidelines. It involved a 3000k colour render and a narrow beam angle of light distribution that protected a local bat colony in the area.”
First established in 1887, Bloomfield Presbyterian Church sits on the fault line of the Beersbridge Road. On the one side are the Victorian houses that once supplied workers to Belfast’s burgeoning manufacturing industry; on the other, the merchant’s houses that reflected the growing wealth of the city’s middle class. Long gone are the days when shipyard workers and mill workers shared the pews with solicitors and school mistresses, but Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, under the stewardship of the very Rev Dr Frank Sellar, remains a popular place of worship. That continued popularity is evidenced by the extensive building and refurbishment project that commenced in 2018. Leo Matheson Ltd was chosen as the main contractor for the demolition of a hall at the rear of the church and the provision of a new annexe. As the electrical contractor, WKK was charged with the relocation and installation of the church switchboard, a lift, general lighting, and a new audio visual system.
Keeping the power surging
Stage one of WKK Electrical Limited’s three-pronged approach to the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church project involved the power supply. The challenge here was to install a new system without totally pulling the plug. “We had to install a new NIE supply and switchboard,” explained Gavin Thompson. “This involved the diversion of existing sub-mains supplies to the new switchboard, whilst maintaining the activities in the adjoining church and halls. This was achieved with a phased change-over that ensured a supply throughout the process.”
Stage two centred around the refurbishment of the church’s existing halls and offices, comprising new energy efficient lighting from Concord (one of Europe’s most respected architectural lighting brands); heating control systems; and a state-of-the-art audio visual system by Cullybackey-based company Absolute Technologies. The final stage was all about the impressive new annexe, complete with offices, meeting rooms, activity halls, and kitchen facilities. “Each had a new audio visual system, data systems, dimmable LED lighting, and a passenger lift was also installed in this phase. The Fire & Safety provision for the overall project came from Ashdale.”
The Bloomfield Presbyterian Church project was completed two months ahead of schedule, a credit to the main contractor. “WKK Electrical was delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside Leo Matheson Ltd on Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, and on a project connected with a building that has been part of the Belfast landscape for nearly 150 years.”
Client: Bloomfield Presbyterian Church
Main Contractor: Leo Matheson Ltd
Electrical Contractor: WKK Electrical Ltd
WKK Electrical Ltd, 35, The Cutts, Dunmurry, Belfast BT17 9HN.
T: +44 (0)28 9030 8881