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FDS Consult UK has applied their expert fire engineering knowledge to provide a fire strategy at the Elizabeth Garratt Anderson School (EGA), a secondary school for girls with specialised language facilities situated in Islington, North London. Fragmented modification of the buildings over the years had led to a collection of buildings that were no longer suitable for modern teaching. Redeveloped within Islington’s ‘Schools for the Future’ initiative it now provides an exceptional learning environment. Due to the size and complexity of the building, FDS Consult UK was appointed to apply its solutions-driven approach to the fire strategy and address design issues. Based on the recommendation of BB100, the basement sports hall in EGA required natural vents providing a free area of 15m2. FDS Consult UK were able to reduce the smoke vent size to 4.4m2 via smoke calculations and validated these by undertaking CFAST Zone Modelling that demonstrated tenable conditions were achieved with the reduced smoke vent size. This approach resulted in reduced construction and installation costs as well as diminishing the visual impact. One of the lecture theatres featured aisle widths lesser than those suggested by the guidance, but the building design could not enable them to be extended. FDS Consult UK resolved the design issue by justifying the reduced aisle width with the undertaking of an ‘evacuation time assessment’ for the area and proving that the evacuation time was acceptable. For this type of building, BB100 recommends the inclusion of a ‘life safety’ type of automatic sprinkler system in accordance with BS EN 12845. FDS Consult UK designed an enhanced property protection sprinkler system in collaboration with the approving authorities that was appropriate for the school and provided an equivalent standard of reliability to that of a life safety sprinkler system. This achieved not only a high standard of safety but cost savings for the client. The sprinkler costs were further reduced by justifying the omission of sprinkler heads within the air plenum. FDS Consult UK’s solutions-driven approach also succeeded in achieving: • Justified extended travel distances within the classrooms, laboratories, plant room and roof areas • Justified the omission of fire rated glazing from corridors which were located within 1.8m of the staircase wall Thanks to the creative thinking and fire engineering experience of FDS Consult UK, high levels of safety were achieved for the school, as well as reduced costs and realisation of the architects design.


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