Saving energy and better facilities for troops training in Wales

Soldiers using a military training area inWaleswill benefit from more comfortable and energy-efficient accommodation – thanks to the latest phase in a Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) improvement programme.

Building refurbishment work at Sennybridge Training Area (SENTA) completes next month (July). Work started in February on the third and final stage of the project to improve facilities for visiting troops, reduce running costs, and improve energy efficiency. The programme has seen a total of 51 buildings refurbished at a cost of around £1 million.

When complete, the work should deliver fuel cost savings of around 90% - some £35,000 per year. The improvements will also cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 98% - around 26 tonnes of the greenhouse gas per year.

The SENTA camp has the capacity to accommodate some 1,100 troops, but was developed during the Second World War and was in need of modernisation. Timber hut accommodation buildings were, by modern standards, extremely energy inefficient.

Major (Retd) Eddie Mahony, Senior Training Safety Officer, DIO Ops Training Wales & West, said:

“DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces in living, working, training and deploying at home and overseas. Refurbishment work at SENTA allows us to save energy, cut costs and make the accommodation more comfortable for visiting troops.

“The refurbishment scheme will pay for itself in just over 10 years, whilst the heat pumps have a design life of at least 15 years. The structural improvements to the buildings themselves have added at least another 15 years to the life of the camp, which will provide extremely good value for money on our investment.”

To reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, a combination of improved insulation and efficient modern controllable heating were the most viable options.

The insulation work has involved stripping out the existing internal wall linings and suspended ceilings, carrying out remedial works, constructing plasterboard ceilings and insulating both walls and ceilings.

In addition the old heaters fuelled by Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) have been replaced with air-to-water heat-pumps which are run on mains electricity.

The heat pump is a low carbon alternative to traditional boilers and works by using heat from the air and converting it to a higher temperature through gas compression. The process is very similar to how a refrigerator works, except it is in reverse, producing useable heat.

The third and final stage of the refurbishment project was project-managed by Landmarc Support Services and the building works were delivered by MSH Building and KH Hughes Plumbing.


Further information:

Press enquiries to Tony Moran, Communications Manager on 0121 311 3879 or email

DIO website:

Notes to Editors


1. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is part of the MOD. We are responsible for managing and maintaining land and properties, as well as providing related support services, to meet the current and future needs of the MOD and personnel at home and abroad, and to support current operations.

2. Our work includes providing, supporting and improving: operational units; single living and service family accommodation; training areas and historic military sites. DIO actively manages these and supporting services, such as soft facilities management and guarding, to ensure the needs of Defence are met, value for money is achieved, heritage protected and environmental goals achieved.

3. Sennybridge Training Area (SENTA) is the 3rd largest military training area in theUK consisting of nearly 15,000 hectares. SENTA is located on the Mynydd Epynt, a plateau that lies between the Brecon Beacons to the south and the Cambrian Mountains to the north. The camp provides the administrative base for units conducting training, and the headquarters of DIO’s Operations Training Wales and West, as well  as live firing and dry training. It has the capacity to accommodate 1151 soldiers at any one time.

4. Picture caption: Please credit ‘Crown copyright/MOD 2013’:

Newly refurbished accommodation at Sennybridge Training Area (SENTA)





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