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The redevelopment of Colchester Garrison was planned and executed with military precision.

  • Thumbnail of Colchester Garrison
  • Thumbnail of Colchester Garrison
  • Thumbnail of Colchester Garrison
Image of Colchester Garrison

General Information

The redevelopment of Colchester Garrison is one of the largest defence accommodation Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects to date.

Built in two phases, our contract included the design and construction of more than 110 buildings across the 185 hectare site.

Home to the 16th Air Assault Brigade, the scheme provides the Garrison’s 3,500 military personnel and 700 civilian staff with greatly improved living and working accommodation.

Fast facts

Ministry of Defence
2004 - 2008
London & South East

In one of the largest construction projects of its kind in the UK to date, more than 3,000 of the rooms that make up the garrison’s new accommodation blocks were prefabricated off site.

The modules, the result of a joint venture with Terrapin, are designed to be stacked up to three storeys high. They arrived on site fully furnished and were craned into position. The blocks were then roofed and the elevations clad with brick.

Our on-site Corporate Responsibility team ensured environmental and community issues were strongly represented. Benefits to the community included improvements to fencing and footpaths, our involvement in the local alternative curriculum programme and work experience opportunities.

An on-site Building One Stop Shop, a partnership between us, Jobcentre Plus, Colchester Institute and other training providers, helped hundreds into employment.

Our site team and supply chain adopted a joint approach to health & safety, going on to pass the safety milestone of one million man hours worked without a reportable accident.

The site was subject to a full environmental appraisal and wildlife protection included the creation of new habitats for newts, badgers and bats and nesting boxes for birds.

We worked closely with our project partners to develop buildable designs that were fully compliant with the requirements of the MoD.

As a member of RMPA Services, we will continue to operate and provide facilities management of the Garrison including catering, cleaning, staff support and transport for a period of 35 years.

Our partners in RMPA Services are Sodexho, Atkins and HSBC Infrastructure.

This project won Gold in the Considerate Constructors Scheme in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The judges said: “Commitment to the requirements of the Considerate Constructors Scheme has been sustained throughout the programme, ensuring that the impact on the community and the environment of this large and potentially intrusive project was kept to a minimum.”

Our Garrison team received an Investing in Communities Award from the Haven Gateway Partnership in recognition of the contribution the site has made to helping hundreds of people into employment.

Paul Howlett, Haven Gateway Construction Initiatives Development Manager, said: “This award recognises the commitment of Sir Robert McAlpine in working together with local public sector organisations to make a tangible contribution to training and recruitment for the local community and industry.”