A full electrical package was installed by large scale commercial expert Fox Electrical Contracts in the Little Victoria Street Student Accommodation project.
The Armagh-based firm supplied all services including power and lighting, the fire alarm, security, CCTV, PA, switchgear and distribution for the 15-storey, 269-bed development.
PIR sensor-controlled heating in each of the bedrooms was a key energy-efficient measure implemented in the project.
Mark Fox, Director of Fox Electrical Contracts, said, “The key challenge on this project was to get the budget right for the build. Post-Covid-19, project budgets were under pressure from material price inflation, so we brought in a value engineer who proceeded to save 15% of costs to make the build happen.”
Site and time constraints were among challenges of the project, with ongoing building and fit-out work continuing at the high-rise building throughout the installation.
The development was completed to high quality standards within a tight 18-month delivery programme to be ready for occupation in September 2023.
Construction works began in early 2022 and the approved student scheme achieved practical completion in August 2023.
“Communication and logistical organisation were key,” said Mark. “Detailed programming, procurement and off-site storage of long lead items aided the achievement of targets.
“While using the in-house team to complete, we used a Gripple Fast Fix system to speed up containment installation. Site installation was streamlined using our specialist procurement team, switchgear and accessory kits, which were prepared off site and delivered on a room-by-room basis.”
Completing the project as per the builders’ programme, satisfying the client and main contractor, was a point of pride for Fox Electrical Contracts, as were delivering a high standard of studio accommodation to Belfast, and setting a precedent for high quality student accommodation.
“This project stands out for the high standard of finish,” said Mark. “There are a lot of exposed services visible on the bare concrete ceilings in the public areas of the building which needed to be left in tidy and aesthetically pleasing state.
“McAleer & Rushe assembled an exceptional on-site team, which developed a strong collaborative bond. Having previously worked on substantial projects together, we’re now looking forward to new ventures with the team.
“This project showcased our ability to turnaround a large-scale student accommodation project within a fast 10-month schedule, which was a fantastic achievement. It also highlighted our value engineering and project management skills.”
Fox Electrical Contracts specialises in large commercial and industrial projects across the UK and Ireland, operating offices in Armagh and Monaghan.
Celebrating 10 years in business this year, it began operations in 2014 and has grown to be a business with over 100 years’ combined experience and a multimillion-pound turnover.
While the repercussions of Covid impacted on all industries and affected growth, the firm has continued to expand its reach, working with high profile and multinational clients.
“We offer a responsive and hands-on service to customers and clients,” said Mark. “There is a wide range of in-house knowledge which covers all aspects of the installation, and in turn gives the client confidence in the delivery of their project on time and on budget.
“Fox Electrical Contracts offers a design-to-completion service.”
Client: Vita Student Management Ltd
Main Contractor: McAleer & Rushe
Electrical contractor: Fox Electrical Contracts
Architect: TODD Architects
Ian Black Consulting
Project Director: Mark McCormick
M&E Consultants: Caldwell Consulting
For the full feature on Little Victoria Street, check out Ireland’s Electrical Magazine Issue 101 Feb-Mar here.