Fire engines at one of the UK’s most remote airports have a new home that is weather and corrosion resistant as well as low maintenance, thanks to Eternit Building Materials.

Eternit’s fibre cement profiled sheeting has been used to roof and clad the four-bay fire station at Kirkwall airport on the Orkney islands that is operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd that does just what it says on the letterhead – operate airports through the Scottish highlands and islands.

Their brief to Orkney-based MT Austin, consulting civil and structural engineers, planning supervisors, project managers and land surveyors was to provide a modern airport fire station with all relevant statutory requirements including Health and Safety law, aerodrome licensing and Scottish building standards.

The building also had to be maintenance free and MT Austin specified Eternit’s Profile 6R fibre cement sheeting because it is just that as well as resistant to the corrosive atmosphere and salt spray of the exposed coastal location.

More than 700m² of the sheeting, that was pre-painted brown, were installed by Heddle Construction of Kirkwall on the roof of the 37mx19m building. Profile 6R was also used to clad the whole of the rear elevation and one gable end as well as the top halves of the front elevation and the gable end of the offices.

Eaves bend sheets helped the roofline to merge seamlessly into the elevations while external corner plain wing cover trims joined wall to wall pieces. Stainless steel fasteners complemented the corrosion resistance of the fibre cement sheets.

Work on the structure and fabric of the fire station at what has been a regional airport for the Orkney islands since the 1940s took three months, with fitting out another seven. The profiled sheeting was installed in accordance with Eternit’s Highlands and Islands fixing specification that was specially developed for the high winds in the north of Scotland.

MT Austin has used Eternit’s profiled sheeting on numerous commercial, industrial and agricultural projects for more than 25 years.

Karl Cooper, technician with MT Austin, said: "It provides corrosion-proof, maintenance-free, weathertight cladding to the sides and roof in a colour to match adjacent buildings. The client is happy that the exterior cladding is maintenance free, guaranteed for 30 years, and the paint system is guaranteed for 10 years."

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