How your building can help in the fight against COVID-19

Posted by Paul Langford on 19/11/20 13:00

As we all get to grips with the latest lockdown, businesses have to explore new ways of working in a COVID-19 secure manner. So how can you ensure that your workplace, be it a factory, warehouse or office, is properly prepared to reduce the risk of the spread of Coronavirus amongst your workforce.

In our previous blog we explored some of the latest scientific theory surrounding the potential for the airborne spread of COVID-19 through building ventilation. For building managers it is very important to be fully aware of every step they can take to limit the transmission of contaminants in the workplace.

In this blog we aim to suggest some practical steps you can take to make your building COVID-19 resilient – it’s important to remember that where viruses are concerned the realistic goal is to make your building ‘safer’ rather than ‘safe’. It’s simply not possible to eradicate completely the potential of a COVID-19 outbreak in a typical workplace as there are other factors, beyond your control, which come into play.

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Topics: Climate Control

How good ventilation can help to combat COVID-19 in buildings

Posted by Paul Langford on 09/10/20 10:00

As the scientific knowledge around the spread of the Coronavirus continues to develop, it is important to know which information is both correct and relevant for ventilation systems. The airborne potential of COVID-19 is high according to a recent report by the British Medical Journal which stated that microscopic respiratory droplets containing COVID-19 can hover in the air for minutes or even hours, and potentially drift many metres horizontally. Therefore, it is necessary for the air ventilation industry to be fully up to date with the latest theory around the capability for the airborne transmission of COVID-19.

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Topics: Climate Control

What do Fire Curtain Certificates EN 16034 and EN 13241 mean?

Posted by Conor Logan on 02/10/20 10:00

Why do these standards exist?

The need for a harmonised set of regulatory standards in relation to fire curtains is a necessity to ensure that all products meet a clearly outlined list of safety requirements. The standards mean that those selling or buying products such as fire curtains, can be absolutely sure that their products are fit for purpose. Many companies do not currently adhere to these new certificates, and will be continuing to sell products that do not in fact meet the new legal requirements.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Curtains, Fire Safety

What the Draft Building Safety Bill Will Mean for Service and Maintenance of High-risk Buildings

Posted by Conor Logan on 25/09/20 10:15

Last month I wrote a technical review of the latest Fire Safety Bill, where I outlined the specific details of how the Fire Safety Bill legislation will be implemented and enforced.

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Topics: Smoke Control, service, smoke control maintenance, Fire Safety

Pressurisation to productivity: clearing the smoke in F1 wind tunnels

Posted by Laurence Cockman on 11/09/20 13:30

Planes, trains, speedboats, racing bikes and Formula 1 cars might not have been what they are today if it wasn’t for a key technological advancement - wind tunnels.

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Topics: Climate Control

Corridor ventilation: smoke and temperature control

Posted by Conor Logan on 03/09/20 14:00

When it comes to corridor ventilation, two things must be taken into consideration: effective smoke evacuation in the event of a fire and preventing overheating, for day-to-day comfort ventilation.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Pressurisation, Residential Buildings, Fire Safety

Technical Review of Approved Document B (Fire Safety)

Posted by Conor Logan on 26/08/20 14:00

Back in April I wrote about the consultation that the Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick MP released inviting comments on the plans for the future of construction, encompassing the recommendations of the Building a Safer Future recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt i.e. the forthcoming Building Safety Bill which has now had is second reading in the House of Commons.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Safety

NO₂ vs CO – what you need to know?

Posted by Laurence Cockman on 13/08/20 10:00

Not all vehicle emissions are made equal. First, the pollution created in buildings by cars, vans and lorries must be detected. Once detected, we must understand which pollutants will be present in the air as a result of how the building is used. A qualified engineer can then install the optimal system to avoid the health risks associated with Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide.

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Topics: Climate Control

Fire curtains: What you need to know

Posted by Conor Logan on 23/07/20 10:00

Of late, there have been some high-profile news stories focusing on the fire safety of commercial buildings. During a fire, heat can cause parts of the building to collapse which can lead to secondary fires. This makes it difficult for victims to escape from the building and challenging for the emergency services to fight the fire. This is why buildings are designed with limited compartment sizes, so that there is a barrier, through the use of fire rated walls, floors and ceilings, to prevent fire spread throughout the building (amongst other fire safety provisions) – this is a branch of what is generally known as passive fire protection. Different building types have different limitations. Where the building owner, developer or designer would like to relax these limitations and have a more open plan building design, fire curtains can be used as an active form of passive fire protection – allowing unrestricted vision and movement across the space during normal building use, but dropping to floor level to seal the room off in the event of a fire to contain the heat, flames and smoke to a limited compartment, much the same as a wall or fire door would.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Fire Safety

The complementary duo: Enhancing AHU’s with a natural ventilation solution

Posted by Andrew Wright on 14/07/20 10:00

Sometimes, even a good HVAC system can be improved.

The effectiveness of a centralised air conditioning system is dependant on a number of factors and can change over time. Upon assessment, it may be the case that a system no longer operates optimally in its environment, and could be combined with another system to enhance its efficiency.

In this post, we illustrate this point, and explain how sometimes enhancing existing systems can be a great solution for industrial buildings.

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Topics: Factory Survey, Climate Control

Smoke ventilation servicing: what to expect during a visit

Posted by Tom Archer on 02/07/20 10:00

In our last post, we outlined everything you need to know about smoke ventilation system maintenance. Now, we will explain what you can expect when you set up a service contract with Colt and call out our engineers for smoke ventilation servicing.

We truly understand how valuable your time is. That’s why our smoke ventilation servicing process has been designed to efficiently ensure that your buildings are safe and legal. Knowing exactly what to expect before, during and after a visit, will put your mind at ease and help you to plan your time accordingly.

Firstly, we will outline some of the types of buildings and smoke control systems we maintain, then we will explain what to expect from a visit, and list some common issues we find during visits. Finally, we will explain how to set up a servicing contract with us.

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Topics: Regulations, service, smoke control maintenance

The impact of door size on smoke control design

Posted by Conor Logan on 24/06/20 10:00

One of the biggest challenges in the design of smoke control and pressurisation systems currently is the relatively recent trend towards installing full height doors which extend all the way to the underside of the ceiling, and/or very wide single leaf doors.

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Topics: Smoke Control, CFD, Pressurisation

Colt’s Ventilation Solutions Resolves Factory’s Excess Heat build-up

Posted by Andrew Wright on 18/06/20 14:00

The key to delivering great ventilation services is to not only focus on the functionality and efficiency of the system but to also consider the challenges unique to each company.

Through working with Cross Manufacturing, we illustrated how we can tailor solutions to resolve ventilation issues whilst taking the wider community into consideration.

In this post, we share how we delivered a ventilation service to Cross Manufacturing’s factory that efficiently resolved their excess heat build-up problem, whilst honouring their duty of care to the local residents.

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Topics: Factory Survey, Natural ventilation, Climate Control, Noise reduction

Smoke ventilation system maintenance: what you need to know

Posted by Tom Archer on 11/06/20 10:00

The failure to maintain smoke ventilation systems can be dire. After all, as we’ve mentioned before, whilst fire grabs more headlines, smoke is the real killer.

In fact, twice as many people die from smoke inhalation than they do from burns. Often smoke incapacitates so rapidly that victims are unable to make it to an otherwise accessible exit.

In this post, we will outline everything you need to know about smoke ventilation maintenance, including legislation, frequency, smoke ventilation maintenance services and more.

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Topics: smoke control maintenance

7 reasons why you shouldn't use HVAC control systems for smoke ventilation

Posted by Conor Logan on 02/06/20 10:00

Smoke ventilation systems today require sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation. HVAC control systems could be seen as a viable solution, as they can be extremely flexible and offer a high degree of programmability. However, while they may be adequate for simple applications, there are a number of issues that mean they do not deliver on all the functionalities needed for more complex schemes.

Here are 7 reasons why:

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls