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Upsizing Security - and the Rise of Off-site Assembly

Focus on cost, innovation and collaboration brings new meaning to outside-the-box thinking

Upsizing Security - and the Rise of Off-site Assembly

Water’s current focus on cost efficiency, innovation and supply chain collaboration is bringing new meaning to ‘outside the box’ thinking.

Since the distant days of AMP 2, when certificated secure access covers for potable water reserves were de rigueur, asset hardening in UK water has reached many more areas.

Twenty years on, security engineering in AMP 6 is flexing to even bigger challenges. The super-size kiosk is now emerging as the new king of the water site.

Demand is growing for ever larger, modular enclosures to upgrade the protection of ever larger installations, both new build and existing. These typically include water treatment plant, telemetry, chlorine dosing, valves, switchgear and power supplies, where disruption from unauthorised entry, criminal attack or terrorist activity could have serious impacts on operational efficiency and customer service.

Suppliers like Technocover have evolved versatile supply options for modular buildings, helping contractors to overcome difficult site constraints, keep programmes on track and, above all, demonstrate the cost-efficiencies required in the era of Totex.

Early collaboration is essential in screening site logistics, operational needs and the construction schedule to pinpoint which type of build - offsite, onsite and even the option of prefitted M&E – will be most cost-effective.

Some applications are seeing ready-built kiosks being craned straight over existing plant or buildings: precision-engineered ‘tea cosies’, providing fast track hardening of the asset with minimised downtime.

Carefully planned, prefabricated structures can shave days, even weeks, off site build time, helping to keep construction programmes on track or even ahead of deadline.

Installation of UltraSecure 'Over-the-top' Kiosk

Photograph 1: UltraSecure solutions reduced off-line time on security upgrades at this water treatment site from around four weeks to just one day.

Completed Installation of UltraSecure 'Over-the-top' Kiosk

Photograph 2: This preassembled enclosure was designed to fit snugly over the existing unit with minimal extension of footprint.

'Over-the-top' Kiosks

Prebuilt UltraSecure steel security enclosures significantly reduced operational downtime during asset hardening on a recent utilities project (see Photographs 1 & 2).

Technocover designed and assembled the LPCB approved kiosk and cabinets for craning directly over existing installations, fast-tracking security enhancements at the water treatment works. 

With the largest at 8.7m long by 5.3m wide by 3.0m high, each unit was 3D modelled and precision manufactured to fit snugly around infrastructure with minimal extension of footprint.

The ‘drop-on’ solutions helped main contractor and integrated consulting and construction company, Black & Veatch, to reduce off-line time of upgraded installations from around four weeks to just one day. While minimising operational impact for their client, it avoided both the time and cost to dismantle and dispose of existing housings, and strip out and reinstall internal equipment.

Technocover delivered and assembled components for the large kiosk away from the asset. It was then lifted into position for fixing to the foundation and fitting with compatible LPCB approved doors and locking systems. 

This simplified required works on site to the addition of a narrow concrete slab around the existing kiosk and reinstallation of alarm systems to the new structures. The prebuild also removed the need for scaffolding for in-situ construction, with all the attendant work at height issues and finding suitable flat ground to stage it.

Colin Miller, project manager for Black & Veatch, said: “Technocover’s solution reduced the potential outage time spent on the asset to one day, so that the upgrade work could progress with minimal risk and intrusion on normal operations.”

Technocover has previously supplied other LPCB certificated security products to the same site, including UltraSecure doors, access covers, louvres, barsets, grilles and mesh gates.

Steel Versatility

Early collaboration also provides opportunity for the security specialist and contractor to consider features that can enhance operational efficiency during service life, and deliver long term returns for Totex accounting.

In this case, the modular steel kiosk offers most scope to adapt aesthetics and functionality within the realms of LPCB certification.

Internal dividing walls and doors can be incorporated within the design, if required, along with outward opening single or twin doors with optional security matched vision panels and louvre vents. Numerous certified door entry and exit control options are available, as well as other operational features such as roof access covers or hatches.

For some applications, ‘flat-pack’ kiosks which are assembled from scratch will remain the best option. This will be most likely where access is difficult, typically at remote, unmanned sites or locations where installation space is hampered by other structures. Such scenarios may preclude the possibility of getting the delivery vehicle close enough to crane lift large kiosk sections or complete units.

Installation of LPCB Level 3 UltraSecure Mesh Cage System

Photograph 3: Super-size mesh enclosure provides cost- and time-efficient security upgrade of existing asset without the need to dismantle structures and disrupt site operations.

Installation of LPCB Level 4 UltraSecure Mesh Cage System

Photograph 4: LPCB approved mesh cages provide anti-climb, naturally vented security of plant.

UltraSecure Mesh Cage System With Sliding Gate

Photograph 5: The innovation of a sliding door on this security cage accommodated very specific site management criteria.

Modular Mesh

Also growing in use are modular steel mesh enclosures, allowing many different permutations of anti-climb protection. These range from a simple two-sided structure against an existing building, to a full, stand-alone five-sided structure (with roof) providing secure encapsulation of existing buildings or processes (see Photograph 3).

Mesh cages have the advantage of providing visibility of the protected asset at all times, and excellent free airflow around vented installations (see Photograph 4). They are equally suited to internal or external use, with options for single or twin gates to accommodate the movement of plant or materials in or out of the enclosure.

Being constructed of steel, they also provide greater scope for adaptation, such as the option of sliding doors (see Photograph 5), a feature exclusive to Technocover (LPCB certification pending).

Due to site management needs, vehicles making deliveries were required to park directly alongside the kerb closest to the asset. With the cage bringing structures closer to the road, and with no scope for an inward opening door, a sliding door was devised.

This was an innovation dictated by site logistics and management protocols, identified early on thanks to a detailed survey and pre-planning. Without this, untold programme and cost impacts would have resulted.

Plug and Go

Offsite prefabrication engages the project team and supplier in a more holistic view of the site, logistical and programming considerations that need resolving in achieving successful, right-first -time outcomes.

When M&E is also part of the offsite build, it provides an opportunity to better coordinate elements vital in achieving a fully operational facility. Construction design and services fit-out are usually procured separately, with a greater risk of mismatches and error.

Hence the increased demand for factory-assembled, ‘plug and go’ security kiosks which are fully fitted-out prior to delivery with all required M&E.  On site, they simply need bolting to the slab and connection to mains power, saving labour and programme time.

This sees the management and certification of complex fit-outs transferred to the quality-controlled environment of the factory, under the responsibility of one supplier. It also relieves some of the burden of site health and safety.

Delivery of UltraSecure Factory Assembled Kiosk

Photograph 6: Technocover has recently completed a two-year £1M investment in production and delivery fleet to meet the bigger challenges of the water site.

As much as 95% of the build can be done in the Technocover factory (see Photograph 6). This includes power, lighting, heating and ventilation, louvre vents, secure cable feeds, aerial brackets, doors, plus internal insulation and lining.

The company has just completed its biggest enclosure to date: a kiosk for measuring 6.0 m by 6.75 m by 2.6 m high, delivered in three parts.  

This super-size capability offers unprecedented scope for supply chain partners to push the envelope in security engineering, and harness every advantage in delivering slicker construction and Totex cost-efficiencies.


Project Specs

Design and assemble kiosk and cabinets for craning directly over existing installations.

Minimise operational impact for client.


The modular steel kiosk offers most scope to adapt aesthetics and functionality.

Modular steel mesh enclosures allow different permutations of anti-climb protection.

Flat-pack kiosks are assembles from scratch and are the best option where access is difficult.

Need to Know

The first phase of the CIP programme in 2011.

Carefully planned, pre-fabricated structures can shave days, even weeks, off build time.

The pre-build removed the need for scaffolding for in-situ construction.

As much as 95% of the build can be done in the factory.

The Verdict

"The solution reduced the potential outage time spent on the asset to one day, so that the upgrade work could progress with minimal risk and intrusion on normal operations"


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This article was published in Wet News, January 2016. Reproduced here with the permission of the publisher.