Royal Engineers take on ‘Falklands factor’ to deliver accommodation
Project Anemoi is a huge Royal Engineers task to replace former RAF accommodation at the top of three mountains on the Falkland Islands. They have had to endure temperatures persistently below zero – even the winter snow only made way for spring’s moderate four degrees.
The project is now in its penultimate phase with complex and concurrent works at three independent remote locations separated by huge distances that require construction materials and tools to be shipped by land, sea and air.
The project has had to account for the Falkland Islands factor: everything from movements of sheep on ferries slowing logistics, to helicopters being cancelled by weather.
Bar aggregate, all construction equipment and tools must be shipped out from the UK, which can take nine weeks, so it is no good finding that material is missing from the design or stores list.
Also, solutions that work in the UK may not be satisfactory in the austere mountain top locations in the Falklands, with moisture able to penetrate the smallest of gaps, incessant high winds and highly variable temperatures.
The wear and tear on the equipment is relentless with rough, uneven roads. With more than 160 vehicles, six troops worth of issue tools and three troops worth of specialist tools, effective and proactive G4 (logistics and quartering) is vital – as well as having to account for them, and reconfigure for onwards movement around the islands.
Effective and proactive G4 (logistics and quartering) is vital
Much of the ductwork is in place, full height walls built and ceiling installed over the future bedrooms
The ME resources specialists are a crucial element of the project, dealing with up to 400 shipping containers and thousands of items.
In addition to the usual project construction challenges, coordinating and supporting the additional (but highly appreciated) workforces from 32 Engineer Regiment and 21 Engineer Regiment tested SHQ for many months. There is also the persistent challenge of losing competent personnel due to assignments and promotion.
This is particularly important due to additional civilian accreditation being required for fire certification, ductwork installation and plumbing works.
The deployment of additional Clerk of Works from across the Corps who have conducted design assurance to iron out conflicts and design problems, has been vital.
With the arrival of fairer weather the sites made progress with external works such as landscaping and door remediation.
Byron Heights is now the lead site with much of the ductwork in place, full height walls built and ceiling installed over the future bedrooms.
The future looks bright at Mount Kent with the concreting gang working with a local concrete contractor to lay a fibre reinforced over-slab in place of the previous screed floor. Mount Alice is close behind with works progressing well.
Completion is expected by October 2018 when it will be handed over to 36 Engineer Regiment who will be deconstructing the existing accommodation.