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NG Bailey uses offsite construction to speed up delivery time

NG Bailey used offsite construction and design innovation to deliver one of Europe’s biggest dairies in just seven weeks.

  • Sustainability and waste savings
  • Innovation in design
  • Creating a bespoke energy centre

Arla Foods’ new £150m dairy in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is one of the biggest in Europe and aims to be the first ever zero-carbon milk processing facility.

It is also the world’s first dairy with the capacity to process 1bn litres of fresh milk a year.

By using offsite construction methods, NG Bailey delivered the dairy’s main services distribution corridor project in five weeks – compared with the usual 12 weeks it would have taken using more traditional construction methods. 

Sustainability and waste savings

Offsite methods also helped deliver sustainability benefits by reducing site traffic and material wastage during construction.

NG Bailey was contracted to provide all mechanical and electrical work, as well as facilities management services, at the next-generation dairy, which spans a 70-acre site at Aston Clinton.

Completed over two phases, the initial stage involved the development and construction of the dairy’s main services distribution corridor.

To meet the brief, NG Bailey incorporated a variety of innovative methods into the design, which included special pipework made from materials such as thin-walled stainless steel.

Innovation in design

When it came to the corridor’s construction, NG Bailey used offsite manufacturing techniques to create 17 prefabricated modules to deliver the project as quickly and efficiently as possible.

These modules were bolted together on site to form a 204 m run of main services for the new dairy. This equates to close to 70 per cent of the total main services distribution required to operate the dairy.

“By using offsite construction methods, NG Bailey delivered the dairy’s main services distribution corridor project in five weeks”

Each module at the Arla site contains all process piped services, including chilled water; low-temperature hot water heating; steam and condensate; process ice water; and glycol circuits.

They also include high- and low-voltage distribution, as well as separate containment runs for data and building management system control cabling.

Pre-wired lighting trunking with plug-in rockrose connections are also included in every module. This enables the light fittings, which will provide the corridor lighting, to be easily installed. 

Creating a bespoke energy centre

The second phase of work saw NG Bailey deliver a high-specification energy centre, using offsite manufacturing techniques and 3D modelling.

The energy centre measures 90 m long by 60 m wide – equivalent to 20 tennis courts – and will generate the services required to operate and support the dairy. 

The purpose-built energy centre includes steam and low-pressure hot water. Using the waste heat from two combined heat and power plants, it can produce more than 14 MW of connected heat output, which is enough to heat more than 2,000 homes.

In addition, ammonia refrigeration provides iced water for the process and cooling of HVAC loads.

This delivers more than 7.5 MW of cooling capacity – enough to cool 150,000 fridges. Power equivalent to operating 130,000 televisions is provided by the 11 kV sub-station, which generates an electrical load of 6.5 MW for the energy centre alone.

Six heavy-duty plant skids, six high-level multi-service frames and two heavy-duty, floor standing, multi-service frames were also used in the construction of the energy centre.

The second phase of NG Bailey’s work was installed by a team of two operatives in less than two weeks.

Following the completion of the Arla dairy, NG Bailey’s Facilities Services division will now maintain the site for the next 15 years.

Adrian Woodhead is senior project manager at NG Bailey

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