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Umow Lai engaged for the MFB’s new $109m Training Centre

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Umow Lai engaged for the MFB’s new $109m Training Centre

Building services consultancy; Umow Lai has been engaged as the engineering services and sustainability consultancy for a new, $109 million training facility for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB).

Having completed the design development phase in collaboration with the MFB, Major Projects Victoria and architects; Woods Bagot; Umow Lai is now working with Leighton Contractors to complete the design and the construction phase.

The MFB’s new specialised fire fighting training facility is located on an 18 hectare greenfield site in Cragieburn, near Melbourne.

The facility has been designed to replicate Melbourne’s urban landscape and includes a series of purpose built training props set within a streetscape environment that will enable firefighters to train in realistic scenarios. Training props will include full-scale city and suburban buildings, a dock area with a ship, road, rail and tramway facilities and industrial buildings.

At the start of the project, Umow Lai engineers (along with other consultants) visited a number of similar training facilities in Scotland and the Netherlands where they visited the factory and testing/research facility of Haagen, the appointed Fire Training specialist organisation who are based in Amsterdam.

Following this, the consultant team took part in extensive briefings with MFB representatives to develop a Functional and Technical Brief that forms the basis of the design of the Craigieburn facility.

“What is exciting for us is that this is a project that presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate our expertise and design capability” said Ken Loh, a director of Umow Lai, who is leading the firm’s project team. “The scope is varied with administrative offices, classrooms and purpose built training props and related infrastructure included”.

“We have employed innovative engineering principles based on functionality, sustainability and flexibility to ensure that this highly specialised facility will meet the challenges faced by fire fighters well into the future,” Ken added.

Umow Lai is providing mechanical, electrical, fire, communications, security, audio visual, LPG reticulation and vertical transportation design services.

Construction is set to start in coming months with the facility set to be operational in 2014.

About the Project

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) is building a specialised emergency services learning and training facility in Craigieburn, which will ensure a safer and more capable MFB and the ongoing protection of the Victorian community.

The new facility will further strengthen the MFB’s position as a leader within the emergency services industry in the adoption and promotion of new technologies, and the development of new training initiatives.

As a State Government resource, the facility will be an important training resource for other State Emergency Service Organisations, supporting agency interoperability and the shift towards an all-hazards all-agencies approach to emergency management in Victoria.

In addition to classroom learning environments, the specialised facility will include training environments that simulate real life hazards encountered by the MFB and other emergency service agencies, including those occurring in residential, commercial, and industrial areas, as well as marine and transport incidents.

The training facility will aim to ensure that all MFB firefighters acquire the skills expected of them by the community and government and enable the MFB to respond to increasingly complex situations.

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