Robertson construction of quad emergency services station

Barnard Castle Emergency Services QUAD


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Blue light services
Barnard Castle
Co. Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue
February 2017
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The first of its kind in the UK

At the new £3.4m Barnard Castle Emergency Services QUAD Station, we came up with an innovative technique to protect mature woodlands owned by the neighbouring Bowes Museum.

"It is good to be working with Robertson again, because they understand our organisational needs."
Andy Bruce
Estates Manager from Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue

The first of its kind

The station is the first of its kind in the UK, combining four Emergency Services - Fire, Ambulance, Police, and Mountain Rescue. This collaboration enhances the partnerships and relationships between the Services.

The project provides modern facilities in the heart of a rural community, replacing four existing 50-year old buildings and delivering revenue efficiencies through a reduction in lifecycle, maintenance and utility costs.

Mechanical, electrical and plumbing services

Robertson North East England constructed the facility with Robertson Engineering Services providing M&E. In tandem with this project, we also provided M&E services to an existing facility at Sniperley Fire Service & Mountain Rescue station.


  • Mains sectionboard and distribution boards
  • Internal lighting with automatic control
  • External lighting
  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire detection system
  • Intruder alarm system
  • Access control system
  • CCTV system
  • Disabled WC alarm system
  • Lightning protection system
  • Induction loop
  • Data and TV systems


  • LTHW heating system installation
  • Domestic hot and cold water installation
  • Mechanical ventilation installation
  • Sanitary and above ground drainage installation
  • Sprinkler installation
  • Comfort cooling installation
  • Access ramp electric heating
  • Utility services

Sensitive to the environment

The team has come up with an innovative strategy to protect and preserve mature trees nearby: we introduced a transfer slab solution within the piling installation, which avoids the need to load onto the tree root protection zones. This means the new building is effectively supported on stilts.

This process is used alongside installing a unique tree protection matting system, which has seen our team of 10 construction workers carefully manoeuvre on designated, purpose laid paths that weave through 30 metres of mature woodlands to ensure tree roots are not damaged during construction. We are also providing protection for the existing Grade II listed boundary wall belonging to the Bowes Museum.

"This job is a delicate one, which is why we're going to such great lengths to deliver it on time while remaining sympathetic to the historic surroundings."
Garry Hope
Regional Managing Director of Robertson North East England

A bespoke solution

Garry Hope explained more: "We collaborated with NAPPER Architects and KYOOB Consultants very early on to come up with a bespoke solution because we knew there would be some obstacles. And our preparation has paid off. The QUAD is the first of its kind in the UK, so we're delighted to be the ones delivering it. I am confident that it will lead to more stations of this type once it's up and running at the end of this year."

Once complete, the QUAD will be a multi-use station for four major first response units, including the Police, Fire and Rescue, Mountain Rescue and Ambulance. This modern approach is expected to revolutionise the way the emergency services collaborate, and to result in improved services overall.

"Robertson delivered the build of our accommodation centre for day crews in Seaham and Newton Aycliffe last year, and we were very happy with the end result. They won this particular job following a competitive bid process. It is good to be working with them again because they understand our organisational needs. This is a compact site that sits within a residential area, so there was a lot to consider when planning this work. Robertson's sympathetic approach to the neighbouring community is standing them in good stead."
Andy Bruce
Estates Manager from Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue