Project Description

The Overview

Project: GIS Substation
Contract: NEC 3 Option A
Project Value: £151,594.00
Programme: October to December 2020

Barking GIS Substation is Power Station. The project was to build a new 132,000-volt substation next to an existing National Grid site, including installing a new steel-framed building with new cables to connect the National Power Network.

National Grid will operate the new substation to secure power supplies for homes and businesses within the surrounding area. The new building involved designing and constructing a new 20-bay gas-insulated switchgear (GIS Substation) to replace, reinforce, and add resilience to the local network.

The whole site will be completed by February 2023, and the substation will form a key part of the local electricity infrastructure, which will be integral to the regeneration of the Barking and Thames river areas.

The Challenge

Gallaway Construction was contracted to undertake various elements within the building once fully constructed and on a live site with other contractors. The works included supplying and installing louvres, windows, internal timber fire doors and flashings to the glass windows.

The main challenge was working in and around a live building nearing its target “live power on” date, thus resulting in an extremely tight programme with very short lead-in periods. Access to this building was a challenge due to external works still being undertaken and bespoke internal equipment in the working areas. Another challenge was to work with National Grid with their extremely tight programme and key completion dates.

The Solution

Gallaway Construction arranged for a bespoke access plant to overcome the various internal and external access issues and specialised glass lifting equipment for the glass panes. The window frames were installed to pre-formed openings and allow other works to be completed by National Grid with the glass panes and then installed on separate visits. The louvres were installed around equipment protruding from the building, which was undertaken with skilled labour to ensure the integrity of the equipment and the louvres.

The internal timber doors had their bespoke installation programme to ensure that individual key dates were achieved via live programming and a dedicated resource team on site working to the agreed sequencing. Unplanned National Grid Shutdown threatened to affect the programme. However, due to Gallaway’s reactiveness to review and revise the programme, a resource was remobilised in areas to mitigate any overall programme completion date delay.

Further details of this project may be found at