Saintfield Community Centre

Ganson transforms two vacant warehouses into energy- efficient facilities for the Saintfield Community


Ganson has helped turn a long-term dream into a reality for the people of Saintfield with the development of an impressive new community centre.

In a project driven forward by Saintfield Development Association and funded by Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Rural Development Programme and Peace IV, two vacant warehouses have now been converted into effective facilities for use by the local community.

The introduction of the long- awaited facilities has been further enhanced by the fact that the new centre incorporates leading energy-efficiency features that will make it cheaper to run in the long term.

The two former warehouses have been transformed by Ganson, with the building designed and constructed to create a new indoor sports facility and community centre on existing council-owned premises at Belfast Road, Saintfield. This includes a new 3G sports pitch which can be used for a range of sports along with associated shower and changing rooms. The second warehouse has now been converted to include new facilities such as meeting rooms, a studio, a small kitchen and a welcoming entrance area.

To create these areas, Ganson had to carry out the demolition of existing internal and external walls, construct new internal partitions, new windows and doors, and carry out works to convert these industrial buildings for community and leisure use. In line with the modern requirements of the building, new IT infrastructure has also been installed.

Externally, works involved new line marking to the Belfast Road to provide a right turning lane, the upgrade of the existing road access onto the site, provision of additional car parking, landscaping, fencing, gates and foul and storm drainage works. Cathal McClelland, Site Manager for Ganson UK on this project, said, “It is great to be involved in a project that means so much to the local community. It is a forward-thinking facility, particularly in terms of the energy efficiency, which means it will include reduced running costs for users.”

The energy-efficient aspects of the project include an innovative full floor underfloor heating solution, air-source heat pumps, PV solar panels and low-energy lighting. This was complemented by high levels of insulation in the building fabric to make the facilities as energy efficient as possible.

Just as the new Saintfield Community Centre is clearly forward-thinking, the project also fits in neatly with Ganson’s forward-thinking philosophy. In recent years, Ganson has earned a reputation for high quality education projects, highlighted by the work on St Bronagh’s Primary School in Rostrevor which was named as Northern Ireland’s Building of the Year and winner of the prestigious Liam McCormick Prize at the RSUA Design Awards 2018. But, as Saintfield Community Centre and a host of other projects prove, Ganson is capable of delivering high quality buildings that meet the specific requirements of the client. Ganson offers a full range of construction services including management contracting, design and build partnerships in addition to traditional building arrangements.

Client: Newry Mourne and Down District Council
Main Contractor: Ganson
Architect: RPP Architects
Project Manager: Conor Mallon CEng, MIEI Assistant Director of Estates and Project Management
ME Consultants: Ian Crothers, and Andrew Campbell of Troup and Bywater’s and Anders
Mechanical Contractor: MJ Plumbing Contracts
Electrical Contractor: JD McGeown Ltd

Ganson UK Ltd, Clarmont Avenue, Castlewellan, Co Down, BT31 9BX.
T: 028 4377 1022

Sub Contractors

The relationship between JD McGeown Ltd and Ganson Construction proved the perfect partnership at the new Saintfield Community Centre. The two highly experienced companies teamed up for this project to create state-of-the-art facilities for the local community. With energy efficiency high on the agenda, JD McGeown Ltd worked closely with the main contractor to deliver an all-encompassing electrical solution.

As part of the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Short Contract, this work incorporated meeting the necessary power infrastructure; internal and external lighting; PV solar array; and fire and security requirements. David Geddis, Senior Projects Manager at JD McGeown Ltd, explained, “We’re delighted to have teamed up with Ganson on this successful project. We didn’t face any specific challenges and the project ran smoothly, mostly due to the successful co-ordination between the two companies.”

He added, “Energy efficiency was important for the client, so we delivered a low-energy solution that incorporated lighting controls while we were also closely involved with the installation of the PV solar array.”With experience of projects across the commercial, residential, Public Sector, healthcare, hospitality, sports, leisure, heritage and arts, education and industrial sectors, JD McGeown has a wealth of knowledge.

This is combined with a partnership approach that has led to high levels of repeat business for JD McGeown Ltd over the company’s 55 years in business. During that time, JD McGeown Ltd has grown steadily thanks to an ongoing commitment to investment in new staff and the latest technology and techniques, including the use of Building Informational Modelling (BIM). This is reflected in a series of accreditations held by JD McGeown Ltd, including ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 in quality, environment and H&S respectively.

HEAD OFFICE: Windsor Business Park, 16/18 Lower Windsor Avenue, Belfast BT9 7DW
T: 028 9068 1176

Energstore’s TLA (Thermal Lightweight Aggregate) provided the perfect foundation for the ultra-efficient underfloor heating systems at Saintfield Community Centre. For an underfloor heating system to provide optimum comfort it needs to be installed on a consistent, level and stable structure, and, at Saintfield Community Centre, the combination of energystore’s TLA and Giacomini’s Spider underfloor heating system provided a seamless solution for a quick, accurate and efficient installation. This clever combination has been shaped by extensive experience of the construction industry to deliver a wide range of benefits, including a quick and simple installation process; greater overall floor structural integrity; and a reduced risk of floors cracking.

Connor McCandless, Director, energystore Ltd, explained, “Our TLA is a unique, pumpable insulation that evenly disperses EPS beads within a cement and water mixture. This significantly reduces the weight of the screed and provides exceptional thermal and acoustic insulation levels.” Used as a modern replacement for traditional EPS/PIR insulation, energystore TLA is designed to eliminate inconsistencies in the floor build-up, which can lead to a reduction in thermal performance. Compared to insulation boards, energystore TLA removes the labour-intensive work required to cut, fit, join and seal each individual board.

Jim Laird, Business Development Manager, added, “This reduces on-site wastage and offcuts and, with different floor levels to contend with at Saintfield, it meant for a more straightforward solution.

“This meant that Ganson saved around 10 days in installation time and didn’t have the added expense of disposing of waste. As the perfect solid thermal slab on which to put an underfloor heating system, TLA avoids the traditional problems of the UFH mats piercing the board which, in turn, makes for an inefficient underfloor heating system. Instead, it provides the perfect foundation to create a thermal seal that forces the heat up through the floor instead of being lost going downwards.”

The reduced floor mass also makes the underfloor heating system more economical to heat, which improves the system’s overall efficiencies.

“The main advantage of this joined-up system is speed,” said Gerard McClellan, Director, Ganson. “It is less labour intensive but it also gives us the opportunity to have other trades on site at the same time. The thinner screed means less drying out time and less risk of cracking.”

energystore, 42 Barnfield Road Lisburn, BT28 3TQ
T: 0044 (0)2890 301500

Bedwin Soft Furnishing Ltd surveyed, supplied and fitted Mova Track cubical rails with shower curtains in all the wetrooms and changing rooms at the new Saintfield Community Centre.

The Mova system of maintenance-free privacy track systems provides enhanced personal welfare for projects in the commercial, healthcare and public sector and met the needs of Saintfield Community Centre perfectly. This is just one part of the range on offer from Bedwin Soft Furnishings for the residential and commercial sectors that includes curtains, blinds and bedding, among other items.

T: 028 4176 3284

Belfast Insulation Company Ltd installed the cavity wall insulation at the new Saintfield Community Centre.

Energy efficiency was essential for this project and this high grade bonded bead insulation will keep the cost of heating the centre to a minimum.

The insulation is blown into the cavity wall so it is suitable to be used for retro-fitting houses as well as new buildings.

T: 028 9042 4411

With energy efficiency at the top of the agenda at the new Saintfield Community Centre, MJ Plumbing Contracts adopted a collaborative approach to meet these demands.

The leading mechanical contractor works across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to deliver solutions for both the commercial and private sectors and, at Saintfield Community Centre, this industry experience paid dividends.

Two air-source heat pumps are at the heart of the low-energy heating and hot water system. These units have been combined with a unique underfloor heating system, heat recovery units and a solar PV array to ensure running costs for the facilities are kept to an absolute minimum.

“In terms of the funding for this project and also looking ahead to the future, ensuring the building was as energy efficient as possible was essential,” explained Martin Johnston, Director, MJ Plumbing Contracts. “We worked closely with the client, the consultant and the main contractor to find the best possible solutions.”

The unique underfloor heating system at Saintfield has impressed Martin so much that MJ Plumbing Contracts is now offering it to customers as a complete flooring system.

MJ Plumbing Contracts
T: 078 0809 9239