Case Study: CCF helps to insulate the Falkland Islands

When project ANEMOI, an initiative led by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to replace accommodation at the top of three mountains in the Falkland Islands, needed the right technical expertise, product availability and swift delivery service – they turned to Rexel UK Ltd and leading building products distributor CCF to get the job done with military precision.

To get started, representatives from the MOD visited CCF Peterborough and outlined the building requirements. This included a need for high performance and impact resistant insulation and plasterboard products that would meet British Standards. Following detailed discussions, British Gypsum’s range of metal, fibreboard and plasterboard products were chosen for excellent durability, fire protection and acoustic performance. Screws, jointing products, absorption poles and lifters were also supplied as part of the package.

The Varying Factors

Just 500 miles short of Antarctica, in a wind chill of minus 40 degrees, the supplied materials had to withstand the extreme and freezing weather conditions experienced in the Falklands. This was also a key consideration when CCF was preparing the required products for dispatch.

Rexel UK Ltd specified ISPM 15 compliant pallets, meaning that all 300 pallets used had to be heat treated. CCF and Rexel UK Ltd also adhered to the strict clearance rules of the MOD, by making sure all products were packaged at the barracks in Woodbridge, Surrey, for fast delivery to the Falklands.

Overcoming Obstacles

The size of the delivery pallets was also an initial problem, due to being too thick to be moved by the forklifts stationed at Woodbridge barracks. This meant that the pallets had to be redesigned and re-quoted to increase the gap underneath from 75ml to 90ml – before being redelivered to the barracks.

Additionally, the implications that a four to six week shipment would have on the packaged goods was a huge obstacle when taking on the project. This was down to not knowing how the plasterboard would react, particularly in the extreme weather, so it was essential that measures were put in place to ensure the materials were not damaged during transit.

To safeguard the shipment shrink wrap, bonding strapping and polythene sheeting protected the products from moisture, particularly the Soundbloc and Rigidur materials. A test package was also delivered to Woodbridge barracks direct from CCF Peterborough, to ensure the MOD were happy before the entire order was delivered.

In order to further guarantee quality, CCF used £15,000 worth of absorption poles – an impact resistant water collector that aggressively removes moisture from the air. Although absorption poles are regularly used for long shipments, CCF sampled this technique on the test package to ensure that they would work.

All Hands on Deck

Project ANEMOI is the first time the military has taken on a full design and build project from start to finish outside a conflict zone. To help prepare the Royal Engineers with working in the harsh Falklands environment and assist in upskilling the personnel in areas of construction, a test project was constructed in the UK. Installation and product training was also delivered by CCF and British Gypsum.

John Yewman, Branch Manager at CCF Peterborough, said: “It has been fantastic to work closely with Rexel UK Ltd on this prestigious project for the MOD. Project ANEMOI presented a number of logistical problems for the client, which we went above and beyond to resolve – from environmental issues to shipping requirements. If CCF were unable to find a solution to the packaging issue it would certainly have gone back out to tender.”

Christine Duffy, Business Development Manager for the MOD at Rexel UK Ltd, commented: “CCF truly stepped up to the mark and worked very effectively with us to resolve any issue that was encountered during the project. The training they provided to the Royal Engineers was also pivotal in the smooth operation of Project ANEMOI.”


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