What are AOVs?

Posted by Conor Logan on 21/01/22 10:00

If you have become newly involved in the world of smoke control, you may hear or see the term ‘”AOV” quite frequently and be wondering what it means and what AOVs do. In this blog, we aim to give you a good understanding of what AOVs are and when they might be required in a building.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Using smoke control systems in multi-storey residential buildings to avoid overheating in common corridors

Posted by Conor Logan on 07/12/21 10:00

The ongoing quest for energy efficiency has led to very good insulation in residential buildings. This is very good for the environment and energy performance, but it also has an unintended consequence on stair lobbies, corridors and entrance halls, in the form of overheating. This results in unpleasant conditions for residents and possible issues maintaining cold water supply temperatures.

Heat build-up in corridors or lobbies of residential buildings is a common problem with a simple solution. If there is a risk of overheating in buildings where they already exist or are part of the design, use the smoke shafts. These are typically positioned in a way that can also provide effective environmental ventilation (the use of natural or mechanical ventilation to create better internal conditions). Therefore, they can serve a dual purpose of evacuating smoke in case of fire and providing day-to-day ventilation to extract any excess heat as required.

However, the design and controls need to be well thought through and there are some pitfalls to avoid for the solution to deal with overheating effectively.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Using CFD to design effective smoke and ventilation systems in power generation and energy from waste facilities

Posted by Conor Logan on 09/11/21 10:00

Power generation plants and energy from waste facilities, whatever their size, present several design challenges in relation to ventilation and smoke extraction.

With over 85 years in ventilation and smoke control design, manufacture and install, Colt has worked with numerous power generation and energy from waste facilities. To help us navigate the challenges presented by these complex projects, one of the key tools we use to assist with designing effective systems in power generation, is in-house computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Before we explain the benefits of CFD further, let’s take a look at some of the most common problems a designer working on a power generation project might encounter.


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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

The anatomy of a smoke control system

Posted by Conor Logan on 14/10/21 11:00

While it’s often understood that the basic function of a smoke control system is to control the movement of smoke in a fire to help keep buildings and their occupants safe, we also frequently get asked what components go into designing an effective smoke control system.

To answer that question in simple terms, we can compare a well-designed smoke control system to a human body, as all the same basic elements are needed to keep each functioning properly:

  • Decision-making control panel (brain)
  • Sensors and detectors (eyes/ears)
  • Equipment and devices (muscles)
  • Cable Network (nervous system)
  • Power Supplies (cardiovascular system)
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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke and fire curtains. What they are, how they work and the UK regulations surrounding them.

Posted by Conor Logan on 09/09/21 10:00

What are smoke and fire curtains?

Smoke and fire curtains are both components that can form part of a fire safety system, but there are distinct differences in their roles and how they operate.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Specifying, commissioning and testing smoke ventilation systems.

Posted by Conor Logan on 27/08/21 10:00

Smoke control is a ‘wide science’: it requires in-depth knowledge of the building layout, the technical aspects and the bewildering array of building regulations in force. Each type of building has its own peculiarities and some have specific regulations and guidance on smoke ventilation.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke Control in buildings with atria

Posted by Conor Logan on 30/06/21 10:00

Many residential and commercial buildings feature atria as a design feature to create a light well or to incorporate lifts or stairs into the design in a visually aesthetic way. However, they also provide a passage whereby smoke and fumes resulting from a fire could easily spread up through the entire building and affect multiple floors. Therefore, having effective smoke control and suppression systems in place in buildings with atria is essential.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke control in shopping centres: design approaches and challenges

Posted by Conor Logan on 08/06/21 10:00

In retail premises such as shopping centres, the Building Regulations have a strong emphasis on the provision of life safety systems such as smoke control.

A well-designed smoke control system should be able to maintain smoke free escape conditions at low level to allow the building to be evacuated with minimum risk of smoke inhalation, injury or death.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Smoke control requirements in educational buildings: what you need to know.

Posted by Conor Logan on 26/05/21 10:00

While smoke control is vital in any type of public building where people gather, it is perhaps even more so in schools and other buildings the more vulnerable members of society assemble. In this blog, we will cover the regulations around smoke control requirements in educational buildings and share some design considerations that are vital when configuring fire safety systems for buildings with children as the main users.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

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

Evaporative cooling or traditional air con? Which is best for your business in 2019?

Posted by Paul Langford on 07/03/19 10:22

Evaporative cooling or ‘adiabatic cooling’ is a mouthful, we know. That’s why a lot of building owners and operators still don’t know about the effectiveness of these systems and the cost and environmental benefits they can deliver.

Many people don’t realise that if you manage a large industrial or semi-industrial facility where pinpoint control of temperature isn’t crucial, evaporative cooling can actually be a more effective choice than traditional air conditioning. Plus, have a look at the pros and cons associated with the different system types below – not only is evaporative cooling cheaper and more efficient, it introduces fresh air from outside avoiding poor health issues often associated with traditional systems.

Read on to find out what evaporative cooling is and why it could be better for your business than a traditional air conditioning system.

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Topics: Factory Survey, HVAC, Energy saving, Climate Control, Overheating, Evaporative cooling

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

Posted by Conor Logan on 10/01/17 12:00

 


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 5 reasons why:

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Car Park Ventilation: How much attenuation should a design include?

Posted by Conor Logan on 31/05/16 12:00

As a designer working on a car park project, there are important considerations you will need to make about ventilation to ensure good air quality. Approved Document F (ADF) stipulates that sufficient ventilation must be provided to enclosed car parks to avoid an excessive build up of carbon monoxide (CO). 

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Topics: Regulations, HVAC, Car Park Ventilation

Choosing a cooling solution for a factory: Total Cost of Ownership

Posted by Paul Langford on 24/03/15 11:30

When choosing a cooling solution for a factory, it is important not to focus only on the initial investment, but to consider all the elements that make up the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the system.

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Topics: Productivity, HVAC, Energy saving, Evaporative cooling

Dual ventilation in residential common corridors: an interesting solution

Posted by Paul Compton on 26/11/13 11:30

Overheating in common corridors in residential buildings has become an increasingly vexing problem, which can be addressed by using a two-shaft smoke control system for day-to-day ventilation. One of the major issues is how many floors we can ventilate concurrently while still achieving a reasonable air flow balance between floors.

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Topics: Webinar, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Overheating, Corridor ventilation, CPD