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:

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Are fire alarm control systems any good for smoke ventilation?

Posted by Conor Logan on 08/11/16 12:15

The upsurge in large-scale residential schemes and commercial towers with fire fighting shafts has created the need for much more sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation for their smoke ventilation schemes.

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

Open or Closed Protocol in Fire Systems: which is best?

Posted by Conor Logan on 18/10/16 13:30

The debate on the pros and cons of open or closed protocols in the fire alarm and smoke detection controls market has been ongoing for many years. What is it all about and why does this subject provoke so much discussion in our industry?

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation

7 key features of a smoke ventilation control system

Posted by Conor Logan on 11/10/16 12:00

As a property owner or developer, when you have to make a decision on the best control system for smoke ventilation in your building, you are faced with a bewildering amount of information and conflicting opinions as to the most effective approach. Should you opt for a fire alarm control system, an HVAC/BMS control system or one specifically designed for smoke ventilation? Should you choose open or closed protocol?

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

Testing and commissioning smoke control systems: what to watch out for

Posted by Conor Logan on 04/10/16 12:00

As a designer, specifier or building owner, you will want to be sure that your smoke ventilation system will provide fire safety in all situations.

Design on paper versus the practical realities of construction

It is all very easy to design on paper a system that provides a certain duty and airflow, but this often does not take into consideration the practical aspects of constructing a building. There are some potential pitfalls to avoid to ensure that your smoke shaft or pressurisation system will function as intended.

Read More

Topics: Smoke ventilation, Pressurisation, Smoke shafts, commissioning

What type of vent do you need for a smoke shaft system?

Posted by Paul Compton on 05/07/16 12:00

When designing smoke shaft systems, which type of vent do you need?

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.

Read More

Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts

Designing a smoke control system to achieve extended travel distances

Posted by Paul Compton on 28/06/16 12:00

When designing ventilation schemes for common corridors in residential developments, it is now possible to go beyond simply creating a building design that is compliant, by allowing corridors to be extended beyond the travel distances permitted in ADB.

Read More

Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts, Smoke Shaft Series

Do you need natural or mechanical smoke shafts?

Posted by Paul Compton on 21/06/16 12:00

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.

Read More

Topics: Smoke ventilation, Smoke shafts

When is smoke control needed in a car park?

Posted by Conor Logan on 24/05/16 12:00

Let me make it clear. I’m talking here about systems providing smoke control, not just smoke clearance as recommended in Building Regulations. These systems are much more complex and costly than compliant smoke clearance systems, so why would anyone choose to use them?

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, CFD, Smoke ventilation, Car Park Ventilation

Why are actuated windows a bad idea for smoke control systems?

Posted by Conor Logan on 26/04/16 12:00

You may think that fitting an actuator on a window instead of using a smoke ventilator will make a cost effective solution for smoke and natural ventilation, but unfortunately it is not that simple.

Here are some of the ways in which a window/actuator combination can be a poor substitute for a smoke ventilator:

Read More

Topics: Natural ventilation, Smoke ventilation

How to select modulating controls when specifying glass louvred ventilators

Posted by Graeme Clark on 22/03/16 12:00

Following our recent article on the “Top three considerations when specifying glass louvred ventilators” we have been inundated with questions about modulating controls. Clearly this is a topic that resonates with many in the industry, and in this article we aim to provide some guidance on how to modulate louvred window ventilators.

Read More

Topics: Natural ventilation, Smoke ventilation, Controls, Louvre

The top three considerations when specifying glass louvred ventilators

Posted by Graeme Clark on 08/03/16 12:00

Glass louvred ventilators, or louvred window ventilators as they are commonly known, are becoming increasingly popular for use in natural and smoke ventilation systems. There are several suppliers on the market, offering products that vary widely in terms of performance and controls. How can you make sure you will get exactly what you need when specifying or purchasing one of these ventilators?

There are three critical considerations you should make when preparing to specify a glass louvred ventilator:

Read More

Topics: Natural ventilation, Regulations, Smoke ventilation, Louvre

BMS and smoke ventilation systems: what the control system must deliver

Posted by Conor Logan on 01/09/15 11:30

Part 3 - Opening up the Closed Protocol Debate

Control systems for smoke ventilation need to meet the demand for increasing complexity of modern building complexes, such as large-scale residential schemes or high-rise tower buildings. As a property owner or developer, when making your choice of a fire alarm control system for your building, you will have to decide between an HVAC/BMS control system or one specifically designed for smoke ventilation, and between open or closed protocol.

As you make your considerations, it is important to keep in mind the key requirements your control system has to meet.

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

BMS and smoke ventilation systems: reducing complexity in smoke ventilation systems controls

Posted by Conor Logan on 25/08/15 11:30

Part 2 - Why are there more complex demands these days?

The debate about the relative merits of open and closed control protocols is relatively recent. It has arisen because of the evolution of the smoke ventilation market towards more complex systems.

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls

BMS and smoke ventilation systems: what are controls protocols?

Posted by Conor Logan on 18/08/15 11:30

Part 1 - Selecting the right solution to control smoke ventilation systems

As a property owner or developer, when you have to select the best solution to control your building’s smoke ventilation system, you will most likely encounter the debate about the pros and cons of open and closed control protocols. This is the first in a series of articles that I hope will help you navigate the bewildering amount of information that is available on the subject.

I will start with the basics: what is a protocol and what does it mean when we say it is open or closed. 

Read More

Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, Controls