A major scheme for Barratt Homes East London, the St Andrews Hospital project will see the site of a redundant Victorian hospital redeveloped as six buildings of residential apartments, each with integral parking. The development also includes a day care centre, a dental surgery and retail units, all situated around a central courtyard.
The proposed size, location and partial commercial use of three of the buildings meant that they would be subject to the requirements of Section 20 of the London Building Act, which requires a more stringent level of fire safety to mitigate the risk of fire spread. In many cases, this would necessitate higher construction costs but, systems developed and installed by the expert team at FDS not only kept costs to a minimum but also enabled justification of extended travel distances, reducing the number of staircases by 20 to provide valuable additional floor space.
The experienced team at FDS was able to achieve this by:
- Installing an enhanced mechanical smoke venting system in the car park which meant that the installation of a sprinkler system in the car park in Block D and 5 and commercial areas could be avoided, thereby saving more than £500,000.
- Developing the smoke venting and integrated environmental corridor cooling system, which enabled justification of extended travel distances and removed the need to specify fire shutters.
- Reducing the space required for smoke shafts thanks to the installation of smaller mechanical smoke shafts, maximising saleable floor space.
The creative team at FDS developed a bespoke solution for each of the buildings in the development to maximise safety whilst minimising costs. In Block B the expert team custom-designed the smoke shaft system and designed and installed the sprinkler system. The team used the FS1 Double-Knock Floor Sprinkler System, which utilises water supplied from the Boosted Cold Water Supply in the common riser on the floor. This approach omitted the requirement for a separate sprinkler tank and pump, and will also minimise the risk of water damage caused by vandalism. Thanks to the team’s computer modelling expertise, FDS was then able to justify this innovative approach to fire safety in Block B using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modelling.
CFD modelling was also used extensively in Block C to help inform and justify the design of a bespoke smoke venting system and in Block A, FDS designed and installed a fan-assisted smoke venting system. Thanks to the technical understanding and value engineering expertise of the FDS team, the fire safety installation at the St Andrews Hospital development saved significant costs by reducing the specification, reduced the amount of time required on site and yielded additional floor space.
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