Ebrington Hotel, Derry

AM Electrical successfully delivered its largest project to date, the electrical package for the £15.5m, four-star deluxe Ebrington Hotel renovation and new build project in Derry. The milestone project also marked the County Tyrone firm’s first hotel venture from the ground up.

Ebrington Hotel is located on the site of a former naval base that first opened in 1841. Known as HMS Sea Eagle during WWII, it was an important part of the North Atlantic Command. The 29-acre site continued to operate as a military barracks until 2003. 

The redevelopment project led by main contractor, McKelvey Construction, involved the restoration of the existing Listed buildings – including the iconic Clock Tower building – and the construction of two new building extensions to deliver a deluxe hotel accommodating 91 bedrooms with the potential to increase to 152-room capacity. Also provided was an exquisite function room, contemporary 140-seater restaurant, a range of bars and lounges and opulent spa facilities including a hydrotherapy pool.

The unique and historic setting provided some challenges, as Anthony Feeney, Director at AM Electrical explained, “The project required us to modify the electrical services within two existing Listed buildings and incorporate the two new building extensions. We were installing 21st century systems and technology into a 19th century building structure, so naturally, there were challenges, primarily because the building’s Listed status prevented any alterations or modifications.”

The project scope covered several tasks, such as removing and modifying existing services, installing a steel containment system, setting up new distribution circuits, lighting and emergency lighting. Additionally, it involved small power distribution/adaptation, power distribution to mechanical equipment, CCTV, fire alarm, access control, intruder alarm, structured cabling, television systems, disabled refuge intercom, lightning protection, and the commissioning, testing and verification of installations.

Forward thinking

“This project demanded a high level of initiative and timely pro-action to pre-empt and deal with issues as, or before, they arose to maintain the project’s successful momentum,” said Anthony. “There was a tight timeframe to deliver to, as the hotel had to open on a specific date to meet licensing requirements.”

As with all contracts, clear, on-going communication between main contractor and client is paramount. Anthony explained how AM Electrical fulfilled this, “We always ensure that we firstly identify the true vision and requirements the client has for the project, and secondly ensure the works and materials are being installed in line with the timeframe, quality level and stipulations of both the contract specification and of the client’s overall demands. 

“We employ a mechanism of regular contact with the client and their representatives to address or advise on any issues as they arise. We believe that by employing the above system to our projects, it allows us to be fluid, responsive and effective in the delivery of services. It also monitors and maintains project schedules and costs.”

Commenting on the completed project, Anthony said, “We are delighted to have completed our largest project to date and the first hotel we have been involved with from the ground up.

“We have worked with McKelvey Construction for more than 10 years over a number of diverse projects and have established a close working relationship with them.”

Since opening for business in 2007, AM Electrical has become a valuable asset to both main contractors and customers throughout the UK and Ireland.

For the full feature on Ebrington Hotel, check out Ireland’s Electrical Magazine Issue 99 Oct-Nov here.

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