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Commercial Sector

Some examples of our commercial sector expertise

Project – High Bay Warehouse, Wales.

Key Issues:

To develop and agree with the design team and client a means of escape strategy

To develop and agree with the design team and client a fire strategy that included, sprinkler protection and smoke ventilation.

To agree the foundation principal of holding down piles with 500mm thick pile cape acting also as the buildings floor structure.

Project – New Church, Lancashire

Key Issues:

Ground conditions on the site were very poor, this once being a household landfill site, in addition a deep 1500mm diameter concrete ringed culvert run under the proposed building carrying a surface water

The land had very serious contamination, with elevated levels of methane still being produced; a strategy was developed whereby the soil would be retained on site, but generally covered in a substantial layer of compacted granular material up to 500mm thick.

With such contamination on site geotechnical problems existed in so far as the bearing strength of the ground was very poor. A piled solution was adopted after carrying out on site exploratory trial holes resulting in the site being vibro-compacted resulting in allowable bearing pressures of 100 kN/m² under pad foundations and 35kN/m² under strip foundations and 15kN/m² under ground bearing slabs being achieved.

A risk assessment for the whole site was carried out, with majority of the site covered with the building and hard standing in the form of car park and paths. Small areas of soft landscaping left would be treated with a capping layer of clay up to 1m thick under the top soil.

Due to the high levels of methane still being produced from the landfill a passive system of ventilation was adopted for inclusion under the building. This comprised a proprietary product developed by CMS Geotechnical Solutions. The product Geoflow 25 is specifically designed for situations like this and comprises a 26mm thick egg-box (sealed on the top side) which allows any methane to be transported to the building perimeter where it is dispersed to the atmosphere via periscope ventilators


Project – New Hotel, Cheshire

Key Issues:

To develop a Building Regulation Fire Strategy to satisfy IHG brand standards

To advice design team on the provision of fire fighting facilities including smoke control under BS9999.

To advise the design team on the suitability of a colt system of smoke extraction to the fire fighting lobby.

To consider means of preventing smoke passing compartment floors via lift doors / lift shaft when not provided with a protected lobby on the ground floor.

To advice the design team on the possible consequences on means of escape if a future additional storey is added.

To advise on the possible use of smoke curtains in ground floor open plan areas when occupier wanted on open plan staircases.

The building was land locked on two sides and in areas over looked adjacent properties, causing un-protected area issues; this was overcome with a high degree of horizontal and vertical compartmentation and limiting non insulated glass.


Project – Government Building, Gloucestershire

Key Issues:

To consider Travel Distance against British Standards either to a compartment lines or to protected staircases.

To consider appropriate compensatory precautions within the design when Travel Distances recommended in British Standards were exceeded by 13m.

To consider in the design that affective means of escape principals are employed for Disabled people under British Standards.

To consider an appropriate level of automatic fire detection and alarm system to BS5839 Part 1 within the building design.

To consider appropriate emergency lighting provision against BS 5266 Part 1 within the building design.

To consider level, design and location of fire safety signage within the building against The Health and Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 and BS5499.

To consider the Proposed Buildings Fire Strategy including any delay to full house fire alarm to allow Fire Marshall Investigations.

To consider Phased evacuation and Places of relevant Safety in an event of a Fire including considering tenants fire safety management and evacuation Policy.

To consider potential movement of smoke plume within the atrium around the bridge links.

To consider the suitability of the smoke management system within the atrium against British Standards.

To consider the evacuation of the building that will also conflict with security arrangements of the client /operator i.e. security turnstiles, sliding doors and other automatic devices.

To consider the level of smoke containing glazing within compartment walls against British Standards.

To consider the design and number of Fire Fighting Shafts within the building and against British Standards.

To consider the appropriateness of mechanically ventilating Fire Fighting Staircases using a fire engineering solution.

To consider the effectiveness of rising and falling dry mains in accordance with the recommendations of British Standards.

To consider the effectiveness of a pre-action sprinkler to OH3 standard in accordance with British Standards in basement conditions.

To consider a smoke clearance strategy within basement conditions by the use of a Ring Road and Smoke/ fire Dampers under the control of the Building Management System.

To consider the appropriateness of providing a dedicated Fire Telephone between the Fire Control Centre and Fire Bridge Access Points.

To consider the appropriateness of Fire Brigade communications between Fire Service Access point and Basement areas.

To consider and witness the cause and effect matrix for the Fire Alarm system, including audibility of Voice announcement System throughout the premises.

To consider that safe integration of the Fire Alarm System is achieved in phased signal situations.


Project – Entertainment Pavilion, Somerset

Key Issues:

To Consider a Fire Safety Engineering approach to the Pavilion.

To consider the proposed design against British Standards on the means of escape from the Pavilion to meet B1

To consider Calculations on Internal Spread of Flame within the Pavilion to meet B2 and B3.

To consider Calculations on the external spread of Flame of the Pavilion to meet B4

To consider Calculations on Fire Fighting Access to the Pavilion to meet B5

To consider the proposed design in conjunction with interface between the Pavilion and the perimeter buildings.

To consider the provisions of means of escape and zonal separation for the perimeter buildings in relation to the requirements of the Pavilion.

To consider the proposed design against British Standards relating to detection / alarm systems within the perimeter buildings.

To consider the proposed design smoke control strategy in order to control fire loads.

To consider within the design proposed Gas Radiant Heaters within the Pavilion against the Fire Strategy and Gas Safety Regulations.

To consider ad-hoc tests to demonstrate the surface spread of flame characteristics of the PVC Coated Polyester Pavilion Roof to equal British Standards.

To consider within the proposed design compensatory measures to control fire growth under British Standards.

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