SCS Group: 20 years of helping change Cardiff for the better

Since the early 1990s Cardiff has been through a complete transformation citywide – from the impressive changes across the Bay to the new rugby stadium and shopping/leisure facilities in the city centre.

SCS Group is proud to have played a part in helping to change Cardiff for the better, working on an array of smoke control projects. Here are just some of the many projects in Cardiff SCS Group has worked on over the years…

A map showing the locations of some of SCS Group's Cardiff projects

SCS2_BBCCymur_Cardiff_CaptionAs a passenger arriving at Cardiff Central Railway Station, you only have to look up to see the vents on the station roof that we installed approximately 15 years ago. These roof-mounted louvred ventilators can be seen from Platform 1 and were installed as part of a refurbishment. They were installed complete with battery-backed control system and fireman’s override control switch in the main ticket hall.

Step out of the station and you’ll find the impressive new BBC Cymru building where we’ve recently worked on the atrium smoke extract system, the protection of two firefighting shafts and a smoke extract system for the car park/loading bay.

UniJet system

SCS_MediaWales_Cardiff_CaptionJust over the road is the headquarters of Media Wales, where back in 2008 we provided our UniForce mechanical extract system serving the firefighting lobbies, together with our UniJet car park ventilation system.

And just down the road, we worked on the newly-built Admiral HQ, one of the city’s tallest buildings. There we installed our UniForce smoke shaft system and also created a suitable solution for ventilating the car park based on existing design.

Around the corner is Helmont House, home of a number of offices as well as the Premier Inn Cardiff City Centre. Here we provided two new UniForce extract systems to work in conjunction with the existing pressurisation system, serving the existing offices together with the new hotel, which itself opened in 2010 following the refurbishment of the building.

As you head out of the city centre you’ll see Holland House where we were brought in to be part of its redevelopment into a luxury hotel back in the early 2000s. We designed a staircase pressurisation system to protect the escape routes. It was a project that we decided to commission at night to ensure clear access, a practice that became standard for us on pressurisation systems.

Now head down towards Cardiff Bay, which itself has seen an incredible transformation from an industrial docks area, the hub of Wales’ successful coal and export industries. These days, following the building of the Barrage, Cardiff Bay offers restaurants, recreational activities and impressive shows at the Wales Millennium Centre, all surrounded by many new residential developments – several of which we’ve been involved in.

Back in the early 2000s we carried out work at what is now the Novotel Cardiff Centre, then the Cardiff Bay Hotel. There we installed a stairwell pressurisation system for the firefighting shaft.

Flagship developments

SCS2_Bayscape_Cardiff_CaptionMuch of our work in Cardiff Bay has been residential, including two flagship developments – Victoria Wharf and Celestia, both constructed around a decade ago. For both of these buildings we provided UniVent natural ventilation systems, covering a total of more than nine hundred apartments on these two projects.

Currently, we’re working on a new development – Bayscape – where we are installing a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) and smoke control. The site comprises two separate buildings, both of which will have mechanical smoke ventilation systems. We are also providing daily ventilation, to assist with the removal of excessive heat from corridors.

For the BEMS a central energy centre will supply the heating for the whole building, which can then be controlled by residents for their own individual apartments. We have used Trend for this part of the system. There will also be energy monitoring and for this we are using Tridium. A 4G modem will allow a user to dial in remotely to access the entire BEMS for the buildings.

Looking back at our work in Cardiff over the years, SCS Group Director Allan Meek said: “When we started the company in Cardiff back in 1992 it was the norm that we had to travel to find work in our field as there was nothing going on locally.

Allan Meek Photo

“But as you can see from all the projects we’ve worked on, our work in Cardiff increased rapidly as the city grew.

“In recent years our regional structure has developed and we now have project offices in London, Manchester and Portsmouth. Cardiff is second only to London and the growth looks set to continue with a strong order book and more exciting developments in progress.”

“It’s testament to the growth of Cardiff as a city that SCS Group has also grown.

“In recent years our regional structure has developed and we now have project offices in London, Manchester and Portsmouth. Cardiff is second only to London and the growth looks set to continue with a strong order book and more exciting developments in progress.”

‘Cardiff is close to my heart’

Chris Connolly PhotoContracts Manager Chris Connolly, one of SCS Group’s longest-serving employees, has worked on many of our projects in Cardiff and said: “I grew up in Cardiff, it’s close to my heart.

“Being able to work on so many projects in my home city as it has developed over the years has been great.

“Knowing that I’ve been part of Cardiff’s transformation as buildings have been built from scratch, as well as refurbished or updated, is really quite special.”

 Cardiffpics

Clockwise from top left: Admiral; Celestia; Helmont House; Holland House; Victoria Wharf; Media Wales; Cardiff Central Railway Station; Novotel Cardiff Centre (formerly Cardiff Bay Hotel)

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