In order to keep the balance, a traditional underground plant room didn’t seem like the best option for this project as explained by Laurie Pomeroy, the sales manager for Dutypoint:
“One of the challenges of the underground system is this confined space – it is the challenge. You’ve got to be fully confined space trained to even go down into the room.”
This adds significant cost to the project, hiring specially trained engineers and the required equipment quickly adds up, especially when you have to do this 4-5 times a year for maintenance.
“It’s not only maintenance! If your booster set failed or if you suddenly had no water to the houses, you couldn’t even send anyone down there. You’d have to wait to book a visit for two people and all the equipment”
Taking these dangers and costs into account, Hill considered the alternatives and options, asking Dutypoint to consult on the challenges being faced with the plant room.
The solution was a new type of underground packaged plant room that removes the need for confined space working, making it a safer and more cost-effective solution in the long run.
Dutypoint’s Optimise™ product, an underground packaged plant room, includes specific safety features to mitigate all risks, including:
- A full-length entry hatch
- Full-size integrated staircase
- Safety warning beacons
- Emergency floodwater storage
The integrated staircase is a major element for overcoming the common health and safety issues of underground plant rooms and when combined with the built-in raised floor (which acts as an emergency water storage tank known as a ‘bund’) Optimise™ is a safer option than any other off-site manufactured underground plant room.