Combining smoke ventilation and natural ventilation gives cost-effective solution for multi-storey apartment development

SE Controls, natural ventilation, smoke control
Combining smoke and natural ventilation in this apartment block in Hackney has improved thermal performance and reduced costs.

The provision of smoke-free escape routes and day-to-day temperature control on communal areas and corridors of a apartment block of 108 homes in Hackney of Notting Hill Housing Group is achieved by a system from SE Controls. The 6-storey building was originally designed with a mechanical ventilation system and a dedicated environmental shaft to help cool the building and address the heating effect of routing heating distribution pipework in building voids to optimise space.

SE Controls was invited to evaluate that system by conducting a thermal-modelling analysis on the building. SE worked closely with the design team and contractor Ardmore Construction to engineering a combined smoke-control and environmental solution. The solution is based on SE’s Shevtec system, which uses the building’s existing smoke shafts for natural ventilation. Significant improvements in thermal performance were achieved, along with major cost savings on the project.

The approach involved the use of 0.5 m2 permanently open louvres at roof level and in the stairwell, while also using the automatic smoke dampers on each floor to vent heat into the smoke shaft. Dedicated smoke-ventilation roof vents were also installed, which automatically over-ride the natural-ventilation system in the event of a fire.

In normal day-to-day operation, cooler air enters the building via the main doors, which are held open by electro-magnetic devices. The airflows across the lobby and is then exhausted through the ventilation system’s roof vents. Lobby temperature is controlled by a tamper-proof thermostat.

In the event of a fire, the lobby doors and smoke dampers on unaffected floors close automatically. The smoke damper on the affected floor opens automatically, allowing smoke to be drawn from the corridor into the smoke shaft and away from the stairwell to maintain a smoke-free escape route.

The entire system is controlled by networking the smoke dampers on each floor with SE’s OS2 controllers incorporating OS link network cards.

For more information on this story, click here: Nov 2014, 134
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