Strabane Academy, Co. Tyrone

Vaughan Engineering delivers a sophisticated building to create the perfect learning environment...

Vaughan Engineering’s outstanding electrical expertise brought the £18m Strabane Academy to life by supplying, installing and commissioning the complex building services to this new build project.

The two-storey building consists of classrooms, school meals kitchen, dining space and drama rooms to cater for 700 pupils. The project also comprised, BMS, LED lighting, PV, pitch lighting, fire and intruder alarms, AV and domestic water services incorporating a rainwater harvesting system.

As with most construction projects, coordination and programming were key to the smooth running of this project, as Gavin Toman, Construction Director for Vaughan Engineering explained, “We always operate with a collaborative approach, and communication was vital in establishing the extent of the requirements of the design team and the client’s expectations.

“We led meetings with our specialist supply chain involving the main contractor and design team along the way, agreeing milestones for key information to be available to other trades and allowing time for design team approvals. A detailed programme was produced and monitored regularly. Where any challenges arose – and had the potential to cause delay – these were discussed and solutions agreed so as not to impact on the overall completion of the project.”

In the absence of any BIM models and due to the complex shape of the building, Vaughan Engineering’s BIM team developed a 3D model of the entire building, which formed the basis of the installation approach.

When it came to identification, monitoring and rectification of post-handover defects, Vaughan Engineering employed the latest tech.

“We used a quality monitoring software to record defects and allocate responsibility. The software was linked to the building model and sent reminders to the responsible sub-contractors. This ensured all defects were recorded and rectified.”

Long history
Vaughan Engineering Services is based in Newtownabbey, with offices in Manchester and Newcastle. Celebrating 60 years in business in 2020, it is now a third generation family business. Many members of the team have trained with the company and risen through the ranks to management positions. Several members of staff have worked their entire working life with the company some retiring after 50+ years’ service. Brankin Engineering also falls under the Vaughan Group.

Vaughan Engineering is driven by a responsibility to engineer sophisticated buildings that meet the needs of the people who live and work in them. They do this by providing high quality, safe and best value building engineering services through their commitment to operational and technical excellence.

“We have delivered some of the most technically complex buildings in the country,” said Gavin. “We embrace these types of projects where we can investigate and implement the latest working practices and technology to enable us to enhance our knowledge and the end product for our clients

“Our dedication to this industry and our core values of integrity and quality have remained unchanged since the founding of our company in 1955.

“We are proud of our history and look forward to continuing our legacy; delivering for our customers, our partners and our industry. And being involved in the iconic buildings in our country which provide healthcare, education, training, employment and activities to our population.”

Social impact
The family firm embraced the project’s social clause with the construction team providing work placement and training, which was advertised and sourced through local agencies, jobs and benefits offices.

“We have a sense of pride, having been part of the build and completion of this state-of-the-art facility which will continue to service the pupils, staff and local community for many years to come,” said Gavin.

“It was a pleasure to work with the Woodvale team and we would welcome the opportunity again on another venture.”

Project team…
Client: The Education Authority
Main Contractor: Woodvale Construction Company Ltd
Electrical Contractor: Vaughan Engineering Services Ltd
M&E Consultant: Mott McDonald
Architect: Samuel Stevenson & Sons
Project Manager: Samuel Stevenson & Sons

Vaughan Engineering Services Ltd,
Aercon Works,
556 Antrim Road,
Co. Antrim,
BT36 4RF.
T: +44 (0)28 9083 7441


Leading European products, expert design and technical back up delivers high quality lighting projects…

Malone Lighting worked with Vaughan Engineering on the prestigious Strabane Academy project, creating a partnership to deliver a complete lighting solution including lighting controls and emergency lighting.

With lighting from Trilux and controls from Ex-Or, Malone Lighting provided full technical back up and site assistance from the outset. An in-depth knowledge of the site and layout ensured a seamless commissioning process, completed in house.

Malone Lighting have been servicing the electrical industry for over 35 years, with a varied range of products from Europe’s top manufacturers.

“We pride ourselves in offering our customers a first-class service from concept to commissioning,” said Mark Wilson, Design Engineer for Malone Lighting. “Our team is happy to assist with project coordination in all aspects of lighting, lighting controls and emergency lighting.”

Malone Lighting are based in Lisburn, providing easy access to all motorway networks in Northern Ireland. Over the past 10 years the company’s scope has developed geographically to include projects from the north of Scotland to the south of England.

“We have an extremely experienced internal team dealing with sales, design and technical back up,” said Mark. “In addition, we also make use of our main partner, Trilux Lighting, based in Chelmsford, to assist with project completion throughout GB.”

Malone Lighting has been a partner with Trilux Lighting, the third largest lighting company in Europe, for over 30 years. As a result, they have become accustomed to, and recognise the importance of, delivering high quality products to their end users All products are manufactured in Europe, which provides great confidence in the reliability, sustainability and success of the projects they deliver.

Commenting on the finished school project, Mark congratulated Vaughan Engineering on the work carried out at Strabane Academy.

Malone Lighting,
3 Ava St,
BT27 5EN. T: +44 (0)28 9266 9277
T: +44 (0)7721 746761


Pioneers in AV systems for Education sector…

Niavac carried out all Audio Visual systems for the Strabane Academy project, including adding digital signage to the CleverTouch screens in the classrooms.
The Belfast-based, province wide audio visual (AV) systems integration specialist provided 57 x 75” CleverTouch displays with wall mounts, main hall PA system, music room audio system and digital signage displays placed throughout the school.

While Niavac were involved in the project for some time before their engineers got to site, the actual AV installation took 17 days. A combination of project management and experienced installation team ensured the tight deadlines were met. Niavac has a great depth of engineering resource allowing project demands to be honoured fully.

In business for over 60 years, Niavac has grown steadily with a long and well-established reputation in the Education sector in Northern Ireland. Having pioneered concepts that have subsequently been adopted across the board, such as language learning solutions in the late 1990’s through to the data projector and interactive-whiteboard era. Niavac were amongst the first to introduce the use of interactive touchscreens in colleges and schools and as such have a long list of completed projects.

Commenting on the project, Terry McParland, Sales Project Manager for Niavac said, “After being appointed, Niavac worked closely with the Principal and his Music Teacher to redesign the AV sound systems in the main hall and music rooms. The result being, a state-of-the-art AV solution, which exactly meets the needs of the school.

“It was a pleasure to work with main contractor Vaughan Engineering on this project. From initial pricing with Keith McGarvey in the Estimation Department, right through to delivery on site with Project Manager, Peter Gormley, everything went smoothly and we look forward to working with Vaughan Engineering again in the future.”

Conlavon House,
5 Prince Regent Road,
T: +44 (0)28 9079 3000

WS Mercer

WS Mercer’s broad spectrum of quality product and daily delivery made all the difference on this project for Vaughan Engineering…

WS Mercer supplied a wide range of materials from first fix, lighting and containment right through to providing all Click Scolmore accessories for Strabane Academy.

Commenting on the project, Ken Gibbons, Sales Executive for Mercers said, “For us Click Scolmore played a major part in what we supplied and the service prior to, during and after sales was as always second to none. Although the project was over 80 miles away we were happy to provide daily deliveries when required.

“We take our approach to service extremely seriously, and will endeavour to always provide a first class service from a first class team.”

WS Mercer Electrical Wholesalers are located in Duncrue Industrial estate, Belfast – owned by Edmundson Electrical, the largest electrical distributor in the U.K.

WS Mercer’s strapline is ‘The electrical wholesaler for service’ and this was clearly evident on this project. “Not only do we carry a broad spectrum of product from across all the leading names in the industry, but just as importantly, we can get it to the customer as and when they need it. On this project with Vaughan Engineering our service was of particular importance,” said Ken.

Commenting on the finished building, he said, “We worked closely with the electrical contractor to ensure the job ran as smoothly as possible. The most satisfying aspect was seeing all of the hard work and time spent on the project pay off. The end result looks fantastic and it’s rewarding to know that pupils will benefit from the high quality electrical and lighting products that we have supplied.”

WS Mercer
Unit 11-12
Duncrue Industrial Estate,
T: +44 (0) 28 9037 1888