CASE STUDY - WKK ELECTRICAL
WKK ELECTRICAL’S COMPLETE REWIRE OF THE BALLYCOPELAND WINDMILL BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO THE LAST WINDMILL OF ITS KIND IN THE WORLD… A second wind for a historic gem
W KK Electrical is a family- run business specialising in the installation and maintenance of electrical contracts and is proud to feature in its portfolio buildings that mean a lot to the local community. Among them are The Gateway in the Antrim Loughshore, the Assembly Buildings in Belfast, and the Copeland Distillery in Donaghadee. More recently, WKK was awarded the electrical contracts for the Ballycopeland Windmill and the Larne Fire Station refurbishment works.
with a coffee shop, a new access road with car parking facilities, and refurbishment of the existing miller’s cottage and kilnman’s house. WKK relied on its own work history to plan the rewiring. “We have rewired quite a few historical buildings in our time, including a complete rewire of The Argory in Moy, and experience has taught us to carefully plan ahead, agree on all requirements with the building owners, and take extreme care to prevent any damage to existing finishes,” WKK’s contract director Chris Kennedy explains. He also highlights the fact that nowadays electrical makeovers include much more than the installation of power. “We need to think about lighting and emergency lighting, data cabling, AV cabling, backup power with PV, solar and battery storage, and standby generators. The new modern-day buildings normally have space allocated for all these services, which makes installation a lot more straightforward,” Chris compares. The rewiring was an integral part of getting the site ready for the public, but when it comes to historical
buildings, the best electrical installations are those you can’t see. “We met with the client’s conservation architect to agree on positions of various electrical and AV outlets within the miller’s cottage and the windmill, as these needed to be hidden as much as possible and to blend in with background colours,” WKK’s contract director Chris Kennedy explains. “As back in the day when the cottages were inhabited there was no electricity available in most rural areas, we needed to keep the surroundings exactly the same”. WKK Electrical couldn’t be more satisfied to be part of this huge transformation. “We were very pleased to be involved with this project as it allowed us to showcase our skills and expertise in a different type of building,” Chris says.
The company has delivered several rewiring projects for
historical buildings, but the electric refurbishment of the Ballycopeland Mill in Millisle is literally one of a kind. The 18th-century building is the only hooper roller-reefing windmill left in the world, and it still retains its original machinery and ancillary buildings, elevating the site to international importance. The rewiring done by WKK was part of a £1.7m development to restore and preserve the monument for future generations. The project also included the construction of a visitor’s centre
T: +44 (0)28 9030 8881 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.wkkelectrical.com
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