Redwood tree to tower over new army HQBy Amy Taylor
December 19, 2012
A REDWOOD tree was planted outside what will be new military headquarters, marking the start of a £15.2m building project.
The Wellington Sequoiadendron will sit on the approach to the Support Command Headquarters in Aldershot when the site is finished and handed back to the army in 2014.
The tree is a member of the Redwood family, said to be the largest plant on the planet. When fully mature they can reach heights of 300ft and live up to 3,000 years.
It was also chosen for its name, linking it to the Duke of Wellington, who was the commander-in-chief of the British Army.
The building will house around 300 staff when completed and is in the final phase of building under Project Allenby/Connaught (PAC), which has seen some 550 buildings either completely refurbished or purpose built.
It will be one of the largest buildings under PAC, the regeneration of Aldershot and Salisbury Plain garrisons, and will set new standards in energy efficiency and green credentials.
Solar panels will heat its water and LED sensors will control central lighting levels, while the building will be heated by pumps with 300% efficiency, meaning every unit of heat used produces three times as much.
Support Command will share the building with 29 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Group, both of whom will move into the new premises by April 2014.
Major General Colin Boag, general officer of Support Command, said: “This building will fit the way we want to operate – we are currently in a grand old and distinguished Victorian headquarters.
“Although it too was purpose built, it was for the army of then and not today. Investment such as this in the British Army helps to attract people, and soldiers can see the improvements being made to their accommodation, leisure and sporting facilities through Project Allenby/Connaught.
“It has been a great success as will this building and I can’t wait to move in.”
The building is currently being managed by contractors Aspire Defence Ltd.