Beetham Tower

Main photo for Beetham Tower

SE Controls, the UK’s leading developer of smoke and natural ventilation systems, has reached for the sky after successfully completing a project to design and install a networked smoke ventilation system to the tallest new residential building in the northwest.

Designed by architects Aedas for developer Beetham and built by contractor Carillion Plc, Beetham Tower, situated on Liverpool’s changing waterfront, is a 29-storey 133-apartment block featuring a 4/5 star Radisson SAS Hotel and a new office block.

The building combines the concept of luxury city centre apartments linked to a five star hotel and health club facility in a sleek, modern design that is more at home on the waterfront of Hong Kong. To ensure maximum safety for residents, SE Controls designed, installed and commissioned the smoke ventilation system for the communal areas of the building.

SE Controls, working with the M&E contractor, installed their OSO control system on each floor of the building, linked to adjustable vertical louvres, situated in the common corridors that serve the apartments. The louvres feature spring operated actuators, which are powered by the OSO control system, interfaced with the building’s fire alarm.

In the event of a fire, smoke detectors communicate with the OSO control system on the floor on which the smoke has been detected and open the louvres, dispersing the smoke from the floor to atmosphere via a vertical smoke shaft. If the smoke moves to adjacent floors, detectors on those levels will open the corresponding vents. This method of natural smoke ventilation is consistently proving to be more cost-effective and maintainable when compared to mechanical extract systems.

SE Controls’ ability to design such a simplistic networked system of individual floor based controllers has provided significant savings in terms of cabling for the project and is testimony to the company’s experience in providing effective solutions for large and often complex projects.

Each OSO control system is supported with a battery backup providing integrity for up to 42 hours in the event that power to the building is cut. The system also includes an override allowing fire fighters to open and close the louvres at will. Offering total peace of mind, all of SE Controls’ smoke systems are scrutinised by the Fire and Research Centre at Warrington and are tested to the highest standard.

Now complete, the smoke ventilation system will enable residents of the luxury apartments to sleep well in their beds, safe in the knowledge that in the event of a fire, smoke will be quickly dispersed from the building, providing them with a safe escape passage.

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Smoke Ventilation, in residential buildings

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