Commercial and industrial buildings very often undergo a number of alterations over the years. Here are some examples of changes which could make a big difference to the way the ventilation and smoke control system functions and whether it is able to provide the service it was originally designed for:
- If a change to the purpose to which the building is used affects the design fire size, the existing smoke ventilation system might become inadequate to ventilate the volume of smoke created in a fire.
- If the building layout is redesigned and internal walls are moved, this can split smoke zones or cut off access to inlet air.
- If a mezzanine is added, it is necessary to ensure that people using it are protected from the effects of smoke.
- If new plant is installed, this can change the design fire size.
- If the height of racked storage is raised, this may increase the design fire heat output, and also sprinklers may be required.
- If a new and taller building is built right next door, this could cause adverse wind pressures, thereby reducing the efficiency of the natural ventilation system.
So, when altering, remodelling or refurbishing a commercial or industrial building it is important to consider the effect such changes will have on the ability of the existing ventilation and smoke control system to perform as it should.
To learn more about some of the considerations you should make in these cases, join me from 12.30-13.30 GMT on Friday 4 December 2015, as I present a free CPD webinar on this topic.
There will be the chance to ask me questions at the end of the session, and for those who register but can't make the webinar at the last minute, the session will be recorded and made available online.
Paul Compton is Technical Director for Colt, experienced in smoke control, HVAC, solar shading and louvre systems.