Fire-free technology for Library of Birmingham
Fire will be prevented from breaking out in several areas of the new Library of Birmingham by Wagner UK’s OxyReduct system. Continuously reducing the oxygen in closed rooms by adding nitrogen to the air creates an atmosphere in most combustibles do not inflame, and an open fire is impossible. This £189 million project will open in 2013. It is one of the most significant developments and cultural projects in the UK in the past decade.
OxyReduct will protect the library’s internationally renowned archives in five areas ranging from 200 to 8000 m2 as well as equipment in the plant room on the eighth floor.
Unlike traditional fire-protection technologies, OxyReduct ensures that the valuable archives will not be damaged by smoke or water/gas from extinguishing systems.
David Bishop, development manager, archives and heritage, explained, ‘We chose OxyReduct because it give us complete fire protection for the library’s unique collection of archives, photographs and rare books. The system also allows regular staff access to storage areas, a vital part of running Europe’s busiest public library.
‘OxyReduct also does not compromise the storage space or significantly reduce overall storage capacity, which is important for the long-term development of our collections.’