We were approached by UK Power Networks Services (UKPNS) with an urgent request for temporary works design for the switchroom upgrade at Greenford substation. As a longstanding client, and a project that WCS has been involved with for a number of years, we were keen to deliver despite a very short timeframe.

To enable the upgraded switchgear to be installed in the substation, it was necessary to increase the opening of an existing doorway which otherwise would not have been wide enough to accommodate the new equipment. The proposed switchgear had to remain upright so it was not possible to lay it on its side to try and pass through the opening, meaning a safe and robust design solution to accommodate the client requirement was sought.

The original permanent works design required CAT 2 level checks, which WCS was engaged by UKPNS to deliver. As the works progressed, it transpired that some Temporary Works design was also required, for which UKPNS came directly to WCS. A number of existing cracks in the wall were causing concern, meaning that the design had to be given careful consideration.

The design needed to continue to adhere to UKPNS and London Underground’s strict standards which, with the volume of experience that WCS has with both, we were able to maintain and accommodate.

One of our Principal Engineers attended site to review the situation and proposed initial suggestions as to possible routes to approach the new elements of work. We were invited to submit costs and timeframes, for which two different timescale submissions were proposed (albeit at the same budget) and offering the WCS workforce over a weekend to complete design works, ensuring key milestone dates were achieved for our client’s project delivery.

Given the timeframes that UKPNS were working to themselves, they gladly accepted the quickest route to a resolution, and we agreed scope of works on 7th December 2021.

The designs were delivered by WCS within a short timeframe, ready for review by the UKPNS Project Manager in time for their proposed site visit in the following days.

A temporary PFC lintel was proposed as part of temporary works, together with a proprietary RMD propping system designed to ensure the roof and floor loads were loaded to the temporary structure from the existing wall. At the permanent state, two steel UC lintels were proposed, achieving the required long-term support.

Having the relevant experience regarding these processes before the start of the project was vital in this instance, as it prevented inappropriate or unsafe solutions being put forward, which could put both UKPNS and London Underground at risk of not delivering in line with key programme timelines.  With WCS’s ongoing commitment to training and professional development, as well as having worked on such a large number of projects in the rail, underground and power environments before, we are well versed in the relevant requirements.

This project is one of many examples of how the broader team working on a project pulls together for a common goal, working collaboratively and drawing on their individual experience and knowledge for a collective solution.

On receipt of the drawings, the UKPNS Project Manager, John Maxwell, said: “Congratulations on turning the designs out so quickly. I can see a lot of work and effort has been undertaken in such short timescales.”

Asa Whitfield, Managing Director at Whitfield Consulting Services commented, “Working in environments such as rail, we need to ensure that safety remains the top priority when we are all wrestling with key elements like programme, buildability and cost.  Being able to support UKPNS with a rapid response ensures that they are able to move the project forward with the best outcome for all, with a constructable solution that is fit for purpose.”

Whether it’s a temporary or a permanent design solution you are looking for, get in touch to see how we can help you to achieve your objectives. Contact us by emailing info@wcs-consult.co.uk or calling +44 (0)20 3581 7847.