We were appointed in December 2019 to undertake the design of the fire detection and alarm systems, Smoke ventilation systems and sprinkler monitoring systems within blocks A-E of the new Merrielands Development in Dagenham.
The development consists of 5 multi stairwell blocks the smallest being 6 floors and the largest being 9 floors. Blocks D and E share a common car park for which we were contracted to design the mechanical smoke extract systems for this area.
We have been contracted to complete the design of the system and are hopeful of securing the installation works for the successful contractor.
Introduction to the Challenge:
The Fire strategies for the blocks dictated that the fire detection and alarm systems were to be installed in compliance with BS 5839-1 2017. This requirement meant using equipment that is certified to EN 54 is the only way for compliance. This requirement also meant using a standard non-EN 54 compliant smoke vent system, such as those from the majority of competitors within the industry, would not meet this requirement.
Not only did the fire strategies for the project dictate compliance with BS 5839-1 2017. but it also dictated the edition of detection within the cupboards along the escape corridors, detection and sounder devices in the ground floor ancillary areas, and the use of interfaces to ground the lifts and open the access-controlled doors.
For the EMTECT system, this is a simple achievement for our single panel solution. Still, for many others within the industry, this can only be achieved by using separate contractors to install separated systems.
Currently, the client is considering the implementation of a BS 8629 Evacuation Alert Control System. We propose to integrate this into our existing proposed control equipment.
Role of CFD Modelling:
The residential corridors smoke control systems provided compliant travel distances to those stipulated within BS 9991 2015, and, as such, did not need CFD modelling to justify the system performance.
The covered car park did not meet the requirements for natural ventilation. As such a mechanical system was proposed, it was justified by the CFD modelling that we undertook for the project.
The LYFE Solution:
Lyfe has proposed our EMTECT control system throughout the development, each of the blocks shall have a single system that shall combine the functions of the following separated systems
- Fire Detection and Fire Alarm System
- Residential Corridor Smoke Control System
- Car Park Smoke Control System
- Sprinkler Monitoring System
- Optional BS 8629 Evacuation Alert Control System
Each of the blocks shall be wired in a number of 2 core detection loops (anticipated to be 1-4 loops) which originate from the control panel at ground floor level. All devices are wired directly upon the two core detection loop with the exception of the EN 12101-8 Certified smoke control dampers and the EN 12101-2 certified top of stair and top of shaft vents. These dampers/vents are wired to our Vent Interface Units, which are wired onto the loop and provided with a mains connection for the primary supply and a battery for the standby secondary supply.
The ground floor entrance points will be provided with a SINGLE Control Panel that provides a complete system status of all connected devices and manual control of all of the vents within the system. The system shall also incorporate an auto dialler device so that signals can be transmitted off-site for an immediate fire brigade response.
The major benefits of this combined system are the reduction in system cabling. A single control panel provides seamless integration between the systems, which results in more straightforward maintenance and usability of the system.
What Competitors Would Have Done:
The competitors would generally install a separate system to perform each of the different functions bulleted above. This results in the wiring required for each system to follow the duplicated routes of all of the other systems, again because of the multiple control panels maintenance is more complicated as to perform a full system test multiple service providers need to be present at the same time to ensure that all relevant cause and effects are tested and proved to operate.
In some cases, competitors will actually install detection devices onto the Non-EN 54 certified control equipment, and then seek a variation (dispensation) whereby the client is asked to accept the non-conformances of the already installed system without much opportunity to propose any changes to the design.
Generally, most other systems do not monitor the integrity of the damper/vent cabling, EMTECT does which highlights any system failures early so they can be remedied immediately.
The LYFE Difference / Why Choose LYFE:
Lyfe made this project different with the single panel and single system approach inherent to the EMTECT system. The client was insistent to ensure full compliance with the Fire Strategies and Performance briefs hence was not willing to accept variations and potential compromises to the required fire safety required for the project.
The significant difference with this project was that this design work was separated from the construction works, which meant that any design developments were dealt with without the pressures of simultaneously progressing the site based construction activities, as such it meant that competitors tenders could be evaluated on an “apples for apples” basis.