The Place, London Bridge Quarter

Fire Design Solutions (FDS) has completed work on a prestigious commercial project within the Southbank’s new London Bridge Quarter, developed by Sellar in partnership with the State of Qatar.

Standing next to one of the capital’s most iconic new buildings, The Shard, The Place – now known as the News Building and occupied by News UK – is an innovative headquarters building that provides 40,000m2 of premium office space across 17 storeys.

The Place is an architecturally stunning building, featuring natural light and outstanding views which were created using a range of innovative building processes, including the complicated cantilever structure of the building, which required the installation of one of the largest piles of its type in London, at 2.4m diameter.

FDS was brought on board by main contractor Mace to provide a comprehensive smoke venting solution for the Renzo Piano designed building.

CFD modelling was undertaken to justify the concept as part of a smoke management report for submission and approval by the approving authority and fire service. FDS also developed design drawings for the system, highlighting the necessary details and key interfaces to meet Building Regulations approval.

FDS’ designs incorporated two mechanical smoke venting systems, serving the building’s West and East cores, providing means of escape and firefighting access. Both cores feature 0.75m2 smoke shafts, which span 19 levels (basement to 17th floor) in the West core and 20 levels (basement, ground, mezzanine to 17th) in the East.

As well as providing designs, FDS’ team also managed the supply and installation within an agreed programme of works. The programme ensured that FDS had to commission the system within tight timescales that were achieved through careful project management.