When it was announced that a new industrial estate was to be built in the London Borough of Hounslow, Selco Builders Warehouse was keen to secure a prime position.
Given the size of the space available at the Hanworth Industrial Estate site, the building had been deemed Purpose Group 4 under Part B (Fire Safety) Approved Document B (ADB). Within this Purpose Group any building with a compartment between 2,000m² and 4,000m² in area needs to feature a commercial sprinkler system. Selco’s new property featured an extensive warehouse acting as a retail space, with an extended compartment size of 3640m².
FDS Consult UK’s experts were enlisted to assess the building and recommend a value-engineered system that met building regulations while saving costs where possible.
After a thorough assessment, the FDS team found a number of designs and systems that could be utilised in order to extend the compartment size without the provision of an automatic commercial sprinkler system, reducing costs dramatically for the client while maintaining the safety of occupants and members of the public.
Taking a Comparative Approach to various solutions and utilising Fire Engineering Analysis software, FDS Consult UK concluded that the building did not strictly fall under the ‘Shop and Commercial’ category as defined by ADB. The analysis of the space found that upon evacuating members of the public from the site, the life safety aspect of the building met with Building Regulations.
Further tests found that the maximum evacuation time (RSET – Required Safe Egress Time) from the warehouse was 228 seconds – less than four minutes. To ensure safe evacuation within this time, FDS Consult UK proposed a natural smoke control system be used in the warehouse area to ensure that the smoke layer is controlled during the escape period. During CFD Modelling assessments this process was proven to allow ample escape time during evacuation.
By removing the need for a commercial sprinkler system through the use of natural smoke vents, FDS Consult UK was able to offer high cost savings and maximum safety at the Selco Builders Warehouse branch.