RNLI All Weather Lifeboat Centre, Poole, UK. Ramboll
Following concerns about lifeboat building supply chains, the All-weather Lifeboat Centre (ALC) will secure a supply of Shannon all-weather lifeboats for future generations of lifesavers.
The ALC will give the RNLI greater control of costs and quality by bringing production, maintenance and refit of its fleet of all-weather lifeboats in-house, under one roof, for the first time.
In-house production is expected to save the charity in excess of £3m a year over the next 20 years and has also created 90 new employment opportunities in Poole, including apprenticeships in marine engineering and boatbuilding.
The facility officially opened on 21 August 2015, and when fully operational, it will produce six new Shannon-class lifeboats a year and maintain the entire fleet of all-weather boats.
Ramboll provided all engineering services for the ‘RNLI Conventina’ scheme supported by architects Ellis Belk. The first phase of construction, executed by BAM Nuttall, involved replacing quay walls and raising site levels to future proof the site against flooding. This was followed by the construction of the two manufacturing buildings by Bouygues subsidiary Leadbitter.
Each of the two buildings consists of large clear span boat-halls, workshop areas and offices. The courtyard between the two buildings is joined by a high level canopy to give a flexible external workspace with protection from inclement weather. The buildings have been specifically designed and fitted out to enable lifeboat manufacturing using the latest composite boat building technologies and also the application of lean production principles.
Luke Bradley, Ramboll Design Manager, for the scheme commented that the project has been ambitious and challenging but that is has been immensely rewarding to be part of the team securing in-house lifeboat construction for the RNLI.
The All-weather Lifeboat Centre (ALC) at the RNLI Headquarters, Poole is a modern life boat manufacturing facility that has secured the charity’s lifeboat building supply chain for the next 30 years.