CCG and Falkirk Council have successfully regenerated ‘The Old Police Station’, a brownfield site formerly the home to Larbert Police and Registry Office through a stunning development of affordable housing.
‘The Old Police Station’ was formed by replacing the two-storey Victorian sandstone former police building, built in 1901, which combined the Council’s Registry Office and Police Station on Main Street, Stenhousemuir. The site spans just 0.4 acres but given its town centre location, and proximity to amenities and services, including a health centre, it presented the ideal opportunity to be included as part of Falkirk Council’s development programme for new build Council Housing.
The building had historical significance to the local community therefore many options were considered to retain as much as much, or as little of the building as possible. After in-depth consultation it was established that there was significant support for the retention of the existing stone façade, however, the data captured from the feasibility assessment indicated that the façade was in a very poor condition, and therefore determined that it would be more cost effective to rebuild the existing front elevation in new stone. It was important to Falkirk Council and laterally during construction for CCG to maintain as much of the building’s character as possible as such, the newly formed residential development comprises 18 one and two bedroom apartments specifically designed to meet the needs of the elderly and those with decreased mobility.
The aim for ‘The Old Police Station’ was to replicate the existing building as much as possible, including the original detailing and features. The stone from the demolished façade was cleaned and dressed and used to build a new stone boundary wall along the frontage on Main St. The original police station signage and date stones were also incorporated in this wall, and provided a continuity of the original building within the new development. Brand new, locally sourced sandstone now resides in place.
The original window arrangement of the façade was used as the generator for the new flats, and incorporated the original 3.0m floor to ceiling heights on the ground and first floors, whilst the additional third floor has been designed to the standard 2.4m ceiling heights. The third floor has been stepped back from the main stone elevation, and a low pitched zinc roof has maintained the ridge line within the ridge of the original Victorian building. The windows of the flats to the gable and south elevations have been made as wide as possible to provide a contrast with the proportions of the originals
CCG adopted a Fabric First approach for the construction with the CCG OSM closed panel timber system being specified ensuring a Bronze Standard of accreditation. The use of this system, complete with insulation, internal wall linings. service zones, windows and doors (all internal doors were also manufactured by CCG) brings enhanced efficiency and energy savings to the new residents, a key element in reducing fuel costs to the residents. Further savings are achieved through the use of underfloor heating and solar PV panels.
Efficiencies were also felt at site-level. Given the site size constraints and town centre location, it was important to minimise the impact of construction works as much as possible. CCG was able to adhere to this notion with reduced vehicular movemements and rapid site erection: the timber superstructure was installed wind and water tight in just 7 weeks contributing to completion five weeks in advance of the 62-week contract programme.
Falkirk Council were able to include the community in as much consultation as possible prior to construction so naturally during the works, CCG wanted to do the same. A total of 3 general labourers from the FK postcode region were employed as a direct result of the project. Also, CCG was able to provide a work placement to Amy Rodgers of Denny High School who was based at CCG’s HQ in Cambuslang, and provided a site tour to students of Stirling University.