A 32-storey, five-star hotel located in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf, the Marriott Hotel West India Quay is a striking high rise tower that offers truly world class accommodation to both guests and conference delegates. Sitting at the heart of London’s banking sector and only a stone’s throw from City Airport, the hotel mirrors the aesthetic of its commercial tower neighbours. Whilst its original fire design was code compliant, it was not physically suited to the hotel’s structure. As a result, FDS Consult UK was brought in to provide systems advice and rationalise the original design.
Drawing on the company’s knowledge, experience and solutions-driven approach, FDS Consult UK reviewed all the specialist fire systems, including all the services to the building, and identified some fundamental complexities in the M&E specification. The most significant issue was the inclusion of a potentially problematic pressurisation system in the original venting solution. Not only was this an extremely expensive approach, it was also totally impractical for the application and the experienced FDS team immediately identified the dangers it could pose. With flow rates of up to 45m/second, the fan system would not have been able to cope and there was a serious risk of injury to staff or guests. Using the team’s expert knowledge of fire systems and applying the company’s innovative approach FDS responded by:
- Overcoming the issue of undersized shafts by changing the design philosophy. Amending the design parameters by increasing the size and position of the inlet louvers to reduce the flow rates to a maximum level of 10m/second
- Rationalising the original design to ensure that it worked and enhanced safety for staff and guests
FDS examined every aspect of the original fire design and provided advice to the specialist M&E contractor across the scheme to underpin a practical approach to the fire strategy for the building. This included:
- Rationalisation of hotel floors to improve the efficiency of fire fighting shafts
- Specialist consultancy for the services package
- Assisted to justify the extended travel distances in the upper storeys
The end result was a fire design that both reduced development costs and improved safety.