Smoke ventilation and natural ventilation for Salford Royal Hospital
28 November 2011
Designed by architects HKS and constructed by Balfour Beatty, as part of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s £200 million redevelopment programme, the five storey Hope Building houses a new A&E department as well as providing 242 beds, an emergency assessment unit and critical care facilities.
SE Controls developed the fire engineered smoke and natural ventilation solution around the original fire specification and worked closely with the consultants to create an effective and reliable system that maximises comfort, safety and energy efficiency by linking in to both the building management system (BMS) and the separate fire alarm system.
Within the hospital, the smoke and natural ventilation system is split into two zones to allow maximum control over the temperatures and ventilation needs in both the main concourse and the atrium areas of the building, by using a series of louvres, roof vents and atrium vents controlled by the BMS.
In normal operation, localised sensors throughout the building monitor the temperatures and their patterns of change, feeding constant information to the BMS, which manages the proportional opening and closing of the vents and louvres. This not only ensures that temperatures remain within specified limits but also that the building has a constant flow of fresh air.
SE Controls’ solution also takes account of adverse weather conditions, such as excessively high winds or rain, to ensure that vents are automatically closed to stop the ingress of water and limit any possible damage.
In the event of fire, the alarm system over-rides the BMS, which instantly opens the smoke vents and louvres fully to create a smoke free escape route and access for fire services.
The potential for false alarms and accidental triggering is also addressed by the SE Controls system, as any manual activation by a Manual Control Point (MCP) or individual smoke detector requires a secondary confirmation signal from the aspirator monitoring system. However, if the aspiration system detects a fault, then it switches to ‘fault mode’ where no confirmation signal is required to activate the smoke ventilation if triggered manually or by a smoke detector.
Further fail-safe back up is provided by a separate fully monitored battery back up system in compliance with the requirements of EN12101 standard, as well as a further supply taken from the hospital’s own secondary power system, which effectively provides the entire system with two independent back up supplies.
Mark Hargreaves, SE Controls’ Commercial Manager, explained: “Fire safety is a critical aspect of any building design and in hospitals where there are a large number of people with limited mobility, it is vital that escape routes are kept clear for extended periods to enable them to escape. By combining fire engineered smoke ventilation with highly effective natural ventilation as an integrated solution, the system not only provides failsafe protection, but also provides a comfortable environment for the building’s occupants.”