Saffron Square

FDS Provides Complete Fire Safety Solution For Saffron Square

When Berkeley Homes (South East London) constructed its modern development Saffron Square, Fire Design Solutions (FDS) was able to design, supply and install a compliant and effective solution.

Situated in the heart of Croydon, Berkeley Homes’ Saffron Square development offers contemporary residential apartments, convenient transport links into London and landscaped rooftop gardens.

Standing 43 storeys tall, the tower has an impressive presence on the Croydon skyline, and this height required significant expertise to provide an appropriate level of fire safety in accordance with Building Regulations and Local Authority.

Appointed directly by M&E contractor A&J Ryan Mechanical Services Ltd, FDS designed and supplied mechanical smoke ventilation and corridor environmental systems, as well as a complete installation and commissioning service. The works for this project were completed in August 2017.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling

The specialist team at FDS were responsible for the creation of the system drawings and the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling. The drawings showed the elements being installed, while the CFD models illustrated the ways in which they would affect the movement of heat and smoke in the event of a fire.

Mechanical Smoke Ventilation

Due to the scale of Saffron Square, mechanical smoke ventilation systems were recommended, as they offer greater efficiency over natural smoke ventilation systems. The system consists of a mechanical extract shaft, which is connected to a fan mounted at roof level, with fire dampers on each floor.

The mechanical smoke ventilation system activates automatically if smoke is detected, clearing common corridors of smoke. Crucially, this allows occupants to evacuate safely when instructed by the fire services and clear access for emergency services.

Saffron SquareBerkeley Homes

Berkeley Homes (South East London) constructed a single 1m2 smoke shaft that serves all 43 floors into which FDS fitted a louvered damper at each level. An Automatic Opening Vent (AOV) door was also installed on the 1st floor to supply air in the event of a fire, with an AOV window on each floor from the 2nd to 43rd storey.

Finally, with smoke ventilation systems, regular inspection and maintenance is as important as the initial installation and commissioning. FDS’ expert team has also been awarded the contract to carry out ongoing service and planned preventative maintenance to ensure optimal operation in the event of a fire.

For more information about this project please download the case study or contact us on 01322 387411 / email


Understanding how fire safety systems will perform in practice is key to designing an effective solution. Techniques such as CFD Modelling (Computational Fluid Dynamics Modelling) allow detailed analysis of the building and more accurate planning of systems.

CFD Modelling

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling uses computer analysis to show how fluid or air moves over a surface or within a space, and is used in a variety of industries including aerospace and automotive design. When applied to fire design, the CFD modelling software uses a detailed virtual representation of the building created from the plans to simulate and map the spread of fire and smoke. It shows how the proposed layout and features of the building will affect the spread of the smoke and also highlights any areas of concern, such as where fire may spread more quickly or areas where smoke is hotter or denser.

This enables the creation of an informed strategy and once the safety systems have been incorporated into the virtual model, the simulation is run again to evaluate the effectiveness of the fire safety systems in their proposed positions and configurations. This allows any areas of development or improvement to be identified and implemented. Importantly CFD modelling can also be used to prove the effectiveness of a strategy and compliance with building regulations.

The superior level of accuracy and detail that CFD Modelling provides allows smoke ventilation and fire suppression systems to be optimised. This provides a greater degree of design freedom and there is often scope to expand room sizes and corridor lengths beyond what is suggested in the fire regulations by demonstrating that the safety of occupants is maintained. However, this is most effective if completed earlier in the project when changes can be made more easily. For this reason, it is important to involve fire safety specialists during the initial phases of the project.

Digital analysis and simulation techniques such as CFD modelling allows a more reliable and tailored approach to designing fire safety systems. This not only prevents costly additional work by ensuring compliance but also allows the building layout to be optimised.

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Located in the capital’s most exciting new commercial quarter, the 25-storey Stratford Plaza development in Stratford, East London, boasts 220 impressive one, two and three bedroom apartments across 20 floors. As well as its close links to the city centre and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the development also benefits from 2,000m² of commercial office space within its first five floors.

Stratford PlazaAppointed to the project by property developers Telford Homes, FDS designed, supplied, installed and commissioned mechanical smoke ventilation systems for the mixed use development. By keeping staircases and common corridors free from smoke in the event of a fire, the ventilation system will provide a safe escape route for residents, while also allowing access for fire fighters.

Having reviewed the building’s design, FDS installed a corridor environmental system, which utilises the mechanical smoke ventilation system to provide day-to-day ventilation in order to prevent overheating in its corridors.

By making use of the existing mechanical system, costs were minimised, while also reducing the system’s impact on the space available in the building.

As well as managing temperatures, the environmental system will revert to fire safety mode in the event of a fire, ventilating smoke and returning the corridors to tenable conditions.

Along with the office and residential space, FDS was also tasked with installing an enhanced car park ventilation system for the development’s three levels of car parking space.

Through the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling, FDS was able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the car park ventilation system, which will exhaust unwanted pollutants from vehicles, and provide smoke clearance in the event of fire, maximising safety for the occupants.

The Stratford Plaza development was completed in November 2014, while its car park was completed in March 2015.

For more information about this project please download the case study or contact us on 01322 387411 / email

Developed by award-winning developer London Square and designed by architects Stanford Eatwell, London Square Eastcote is a residential development set in the Borough of Hillingdon. Comprising 45 stylish new one, two and three bedroom homes, as well as a secure underground car park, the development also benefits from being just 300 metres from Eastcote underground station.

Appointed to the project by developer London Square, FDS designed, supplied, installed and commissioned a number of its systems including mechanical smoke ventilation systems.

Keeping staircases and common corridors clear from smoke ingress in the event of a fire, FDS’ mechanical smoke ventilation systems provide a safe escape route for the development’s residents, as well as a clear access route for fire fighters.

The smoke ventilation contractors also installed car park smoke ventilation systems. As the car park for this project was located below ground, FDS was tasked with installing a ventilation system that could rapidly extract smoke in the event of a fire. The design of FDS’ car park ventilation system will clear smoke efficiently, while also extracting pollutants produced by vehicles during day-to-day use.

To validate the efficiency of the car park ventilation system, FDS carried out Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling during the design stage. The results were then submitted in a report to building control as part of the approvals process.

FDS started work on Eastcote in June 2014, and both FDS and the development had completed all work by December 2014.

For more information about this project please download the case study or contact us on 01322 387411 / email