Key considerations for smoke shaft systems: 6. Extended travel distances

Posted by Paul Compton on 12/08/14 11:30

In the sixth article in our series about designing smoke shaft systems, we discuss systems intended to compensate for extended travel distances.

How long can my dead end be?

How long is a piece of string? There is no definitive published answer to this. Approved Document B allows 7.5m in residential buildings. BS 9991 allows between 7.5m and 15m, depending upon the building and its fire precautions.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Smoke Shaft Series

Key considerations for smoke shaft systems: 5. Noise

Posted by Paul Compton on 05/08/14 11:30

In the fifth article in our series about designing smoke shaft systems, we discuss noise and attenuation requirements.

Usage

When considering noise, shafts can be split into two types, those with and those without day-to-day comfort ventilation provision.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Smoke Shaft Series

Key considerations for smoke shaft systems: 4. What type of shaft vent?

Posted by Paul Compton on 22/07/14 11:30

In the fourth article in our series about designing smoke shaft systems, we discuss the choice of the vents between the lobbies and the shaft.

Types 

The choice is short and sweet as there are only 3 basic types available:

  • A smoke damper mounted behind a grille
  • A bottom hung motorised flap
  • A motorised fire door.

Seems a simple choice, but there’s more to it than aesthetics, as you’ll see.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Smoke Shaft Series

Q&A from 'Protecting Escape routes: Smoke shafts v pressurisation' webinar

Posted by Paul Compton on 03/07/14 11:30

During my recent webinar on smoke shafts v pressurisationI received a large number of questions. Here you can see my answers to these questions, slightly edited for clarity. 

If you missed the live webinar, then a recorded version is available here.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Webinar, Pressurisation, Smoke shafts, Corridor ventilation

Key considerations for smoke shaft systems: 3. On the roof

Posted by Paul Compton on 24/06/14 11:30

In the third article in our series about designing smoke shaft systems, we look at the rooftop equipment.

Natural shafts

All you need is 2 or 3 roof ventilators

This bit can be short and sweet as all we need at roof level are 2 (or sometimes 3) roof ventilators – one at the head of the stair, one at the head of the shaft and, for residential buildings, sometimes one as an AOV to separately ventilate the top floor lobby to minimise the height above the roof of the top of the shaft.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Aerodynamic Performance, Smoke Shaft Series

Key considerations for smoke shaft systems: 2. Natural or mechanical?

Posted by Paul Compton on 17/06/14 11:30

In this article, the second in our series about designing smoke shaft systems, we will look at the choice of natural vs mechanical shafts.

Smoke shafts in multi-storey buildings take up potentially valuable space, so keeping the shafts as small as possible is beneficial and has led to mechanical shafts becoming a popular choice.

But are they always the best choice? We look at some of the issues.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Smoke Shaft Series

Key considerations for smoke shaft systems: 1. The builder's work shaft

Posted by Paul Compton on 10/06/14 11:30

Over a series of articles we will analyse the most important considerations when designing smoke shaft systems. We will cover a variety of topics including noise, power, extended travel distances, natural vs mechanical shafts, smoke ventilation only and dual purpose systems – beginning with today’s article on the builder’s work shaft.

Smoke shafts in multi-storey buildings are invariably builder’s work as no-one wants to go to the unnecessary expense of installing a steel duct which will end up being enclosed by builder’s work anyway.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Smoke Shaft Series

Questions and answers from Paul Compton's 'The General Principles of Smoke Control' webinar

Posted by Paul Compton on 08/10/13 10:38

First of all a big thank you to all those who attended my webinar last Friday on 'The General Principles of Smoke Control'. If you missed it or would like to watch it again, a recorded version is available here. Many questions were asked after the presentation and I decided to post them here for everybody’s benefit.

 

  1. How does smoke clearance and smoke control differ from smoke management?
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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, Car Park Ventilation, Smoke shafts

Magnets and smoke shaft systems: a dangerously unpredictable combination

Posted by Conor Logan on 10/10/12 11:55

Smoke shaft systems are very effective solutions to ventilate lobbies and corridors in the case of fire. A ventilator is installed at each level of the building leading into the smoke shaft in order to evacuate the smoke. Many of the early smoke shaft systems rely on electro-magnets to hold the ventilator flap closed, rather than installing motorised ventilators.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, Smoke shafts

Is pressurisation really necessary for fire fighting stairs above 30m?

Posted by Paul Compton on 02/08/12 09:00

The publication of BS 9999 and BS 9991 has been a breath of fresh air in some ways, but of course not everything new is perfect.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, Smoke ventilation, Pressurisation, Smoke shafts

Door magnets on shaft systems: An accident waiting to happen?

Posted by Paul Compton on 13/07/12 08:53

The purpose of smoke shaft systems is to ventilate lobbies and corridors in the case of fire allowing an easier escape or more effective fire fighting due to reduced smoke levels.  It is therefore necessary to provide a ventilator at each level of the building leading into the smoke shaft and to be positive that in an emergency each part of the solution will work as intended.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Regulations, HVAC, Smoke shafts