Portlethen Fire & Rescue Centre
Brick Manufacturer: Forterra PLC
Architect: Gauldie Wright & Partners
Brickwork Contractor: Lesterose Scotland Ltd
About the project
These three buildings perform differing functions.
One, a replica commercial/industrial building used to replicate a commercial building that can be used for many roles, including, but not limited to: garage/industrial, offices, accommodation and shipping, that would normally be entered by multiple fire crews in the early intervention stages. The best way to meet this was to utilise a multi-use approach and themed floors. As such, the building was required to be at least four storeys high to replicate a large industrial unit, with the internal fixtures and fittings replicating that of each theme in look and feel. The building allows crews to train in ship firefighting and rescue techniques, but in a simulated manner with the additional requirement of a basement.
Two, a replica domestic building used to replicate a standard domestic dwelling house, that would normally be entered by two fire crews in the early intervention stages. The internal fixtures and fittings replicate that of a domestic house in look and feel. The building also allows crews to train in ladder techniques and working on roofs. As such, the building is two storeys in height to replicate a standard three-bedroom domestic dwelling house.
And three, a Technical Rescue building encompassing Safe Working at Height, Rope Rescue and Confined Space. The building also provides the opportunity to utilise and hone skills and techniques required at Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) and some Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) incidents.
As it was set within a rural context, it was important that the site integrated with its surroundings. This included ensuring that the three buildings were visually linked. It was decided that using the same clay facing brick across all three buildings would provide the cohesion required. The brick selected also needed to satisfy the structural engineer’s requirement for compressive strength.
Forterra’s Butterley Granite Ash fulfilled each of these requirements. It provided the water absorption and compressive strength required, while its rougher texture with a consistent finish helped to integrate the buildings with the rural context.