What are the options for smoke control when changing the use of a building?

Posted by Paul Compton on 09/02/16 12:00

Owing to the different types of occupancy patterns, the Building Regulations rightly provide differing guidance for commercial and residential buildings.

So, when a building changes use, assuming that the developer is not prepared to alter the layout of the stair, it is likely that Building Control will insist on a fire engineered solution leading to the highest degree of protection in terms of the smoke control system

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Topics: Webinar, Pressurisation, Smoke shafts, Residential Buildings

Smoke and environmental ventilation in high-rise buildings: useful design resources

Posted by Paul Compton on 28/07/15 11:30

Smoke is the biggest killer in a fire, and an effective smoke control system is critical to preserving life and property. On the other hand, the pursuit of energy efficiency has led to increasingly airtight buildings, which poses new challenges in preventing overheating in common areas.

It is possible to address both smoke and environmental ventilation with one solution: for example mechanical shaft systems have seen great developments in recent years and are now capable of providing a highly effective performance while taking up less space than other types of shaft system.

The complexity of product and design standards relating to smoke and heat control systems, which are in constant evolution in response to regulations and experience in the field, may seem daunting, but help is at hand!

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Residential Buildings

Sprinklers in residential buildings: don’t compromise on smoke ventilation!

Posted by Conor Logan on 20/01/15 11:30

There has been a trend towards fitting sprinklers in residential buildings, driven partly by the fact that this can enable the relaxation of other fire safety measures, including the extending of travel distances.

We are also aware of a couple of incidences where sprinklers have been used to justify omission of smoke control in residential corridors. We believe this to be a dangerous trend.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Residential Buildings, Sprinklers

How to design in energy-efficient ventilation systems webinar

Posted by Paul Compton on 09/09/14 11:30

M&E consultants, facilities managers and building occupiers all want buildings that consume less and less energy and cost as little as possible to run. Set against this is the need to maintain a healthy internal environment which has adequate ventilation. How do we reconcile the opposite requirements of air tightness for energy efficiency and ventilation for air quality? How do we minimise installation and operational costs in our designs?

Join me, from 12.30-13.30 BST on Friday 19 September 2014, as I present a free webinar on how to design in energy-efficient ventilation systems in new and existing buildings. 

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Topics: Webinar, Energy saving, Overheating, Residential Buildings

The Lakanal House inquest and Local Authority tower blocks

Posted by Conor Logan on 10/04/13 09:31

Photo: Channel 4 News

The inquest into the Lakanal House tragedy concluded last week and the published verdict and recommendations raise important concerns regarding fire safety in local authority tower blocks, and particularly in aged housing stock.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Regulations, Residential Buildings

Fire safety: protecting local authority tower blocks

Posted by Conor Logan on 13/09/12 10:20

The fire that broke out at Lakanal House in 2009 with tragic consequences put the spotlight on the issue of fire safety in local authority tower blocks.

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Topics: Fire Containment, Regulations, Residential Buildings