FDS Group Provides Complete Fire Safety Solution for Fairview Homes

Located just over a mile from Canary Wharf in the heart of London’s thriving East End, Phoenix is the latest collection of new 1, 2- & 3-bedroom apartments by Fairview New Homes.

Having been appointed to the project by Fairview Homes, FDS Group, comprising of Fire Design Solutions and FDS Consult were tasked with providing a full fire safety solution which would see the utilisation of a full fire strategy and CFD modelling to adhere to the fire safety Building Regulations.

As part of the project, FDS Group designed and supplied a natural code compliant ventilation solution, corridor environmental systems and mechanical car park ventilation systems, as well as providing a complete installation, commissioning and maintenance service.

FDS Group were able to justify the specification of a mechanical smoke ventilation system for the car park area with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling. The report was intended to document the proposed smoke clearance conditions as required by Approved Document B (ADB) and the environmental conditions as required by Approved Document F (ADF).

In this case, Fire Field (CFD) Modelling was carried out to show some of the typical worse case scenarios that could be experienced in enclosed Car Parks and the effectiveness of various mechanical ventilation systems in mitigating the effects of both fires and CO exhausts within the structure.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling

CFD Modelling

The smoke ventilation on the residential development was by natural means providing a reliable and cost-effective solution which met the requirements of Approved Document B. The system utilised a natural smoke shaft system with an Automatic Opening Vent (AOV) at each level.

Activation of a smoke detector signalled the AOV on the level on the fire floor to open and the system was designed to lock out ensuring AOV’s on all other floors remained closed. A louvered ventilator at the head of the smoke shaft opened to allow the escape of smoke. In addition, a penthouse louvered ventilator at the head of the residential stair ensured the escape route remain ventilated.

The smoke ventilation system was also utilised to provide improved environmental conditions within the corridor by drawing heat from the corridor and introducing comfort ventilation through the corridors. Replacement fresh air is introduced via the penthouse louvred vent at the head of the stair, which allows fresh air to enter to the building.

The advantage of this system is the cost efficiency in utilising the smoke ventilation system to create a healthier and more comfortable environment whist still meeting all the life safety requirements of the Approved Document B (ADB).

The project was started in January 2017 and finished in March 2019, taking a little over two years before full handover. Overall FDS Group were able to provide a full smoke ventilation solution, bridging the gap between concept design and practical system installation.

“Your team (FDS) are viewed by Fairview Homes as one of the best subcontractors on Phoenix Place”

Fairview Homes

For more information about this project please download the case study or contact us on 01322 387 411 / email [email protected]

When it comes to specifying, installing and maintaining fire systems, it is important to remember the purpose and importance of smoke control. This mini guide looks at the options and professional support available when it comes to smoke control specification.

What is smoke control and why use it?

Essentially, smoke control is about redirecting and removing dangerous smoke and fumes from a building in the event of a fire. Keeping smoke away from escape and access routes, such as corridors and staircases, prevents occupants from succumbing to the potentially fatal effects of smoke, helps them to get out and assists time-critical access for the fire-fighting services.

Clearly, the safety of the people in the building is the priority but a well-designed smoke control system also delays or prevents a smaller fire in its early stages becoming a bigger one. Furthermore, it can reduce the risk of damage to the building as well as the property and contents inside it.

What determines which smoke control system to specify?

A building’s design will often determine which Smoke Control systems is most appropriate. For residential buildings for example, the British Standard (BS) requirements vary depending on a building’s height and the distance from the furthest apartment entrance door to the nearest escape route.

These requirements state that in residential buildings that stand four storeys or more in height (i.e. contain a floor over 11m from the access level), maximum travel distances of 7.5m are permitted. To achieve code compliance the corridor should be provided with either a 1.5m² automatic opening vent (AOV) window or a 1.5m² natural smoke shaft to provide a safe, protected escape route for a building’s occupants by safeguarding its staircases from smoke ingress.

What is a mechanical smoke ventilation system?

Powered smoke ventilation systems or Mechanical Smoke Ventilation Systems (MSVS) are based on mechanical extraction through fans and comprise a mechanical extract shaft that serves the common corridor and/ or lobby.

When smoke is detected within a protected lobby, only the fire damper to the smoke shaft on the fire floor will open – all other dampers will remain locked shut.

In turn, the vent at the head of the staircase will open allowing the smoke to be removed and make up air for the smoke extraction system. The fan at the top of the mechanical smoke shaft extracts the smoke and prevents its migration into the adjacent compartments.

Download our FREE PDF Guide to Smoke Ventilation in Residential Developments

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Why install a mechanical smoke ventilation system?

There can be distinct advantages to installing a mechanical smoke ventilation system in place of a natural one, a technique which is permitted under British Standard 9991:2011, which provides guidance on fire safety in the design of residential buildings.

– Substantial space saving benefits, creating more saleable space

The standard states that mechanical smoke shaft systems can be used, provided they offer equivalent performance to their 1.5m² natural counterparts. Due to the greater efficiency of mechanical systems, this can enable the use of shafts as small as 0.25m² in some circumstances, although typically these are 0.5m² or 0.6m², providing substantial space saving benefits over natural systems, creating more saleable space within a property.

– Suitable where common corridor travel distances extend over 7.5m

Protecting the building’s staircase, these systems can also be implemented in buildings that contain travel distances in the common corridor that extend over the code recommended 7.5m. This is because they offer greater performance for means of escape, assisting in clearing smoke from the building’s common corridors, mitigating this non-compliance.

Natural Smoke Ventilation

What is a natural smoke ventilation system?

In the event of a fire, Natural Smoke Ventilation System open airways, using natural airflow dynamics to remove smoke.

A natural smoke ventilation system can be designed using opening windows or vents, an automatic opening vent (AOV) or, where there is no external wall, a vertical smoke shaft.

Why choose a natural smoke ventilation system?

If the property’s common corridor has an external wall, natural smoke ventilation systems are a particularly cost-effective method of achieving compliance as existing windows can be used for this purpose.

– Aesthetic, space, maintenance and cost efficiency

Whilst remaining sympathetic to the architect’s aesthetic vision, as well as offering maximum floor space efficiency and cost savings, natural systems also offer the advantage of easy maintenance due to the small amount of mechanical parts included, often simply consisting of fire doors and an actuator.

This lack of required maintenance makes natural systems ideal for use in multi-occupancy properties where maintenance budgets are limited, or where systems may be vandalised.

Fire Engineering UK

Why is it important to enlist specialist support when it comes to smoke control specification?

Achieving the right level of smoke control using the correct systems can be a complex and challenging task. Although developers, architects and contractors are all aiming for the common goal of achieving the best smoke control solution, each discipline has slightly different priorities.

For developers it’s a case of fulfilling fire safety obligations whilst maintaining a commercial approach. Architects and fire consultants look beyond the industry standards to introduce those more innovative fire safety solutions whilst fitting spatial, aesthetic and budget requirements. For contractors, whilst of course being mindful of time and cost, it’s about making sure the systems being installed and maintained are fit for purpose.

By working with experienced fire engineers from a project’s early stages, the most suitable system, or combination of systems can be selected, forming a bespoke solution which produces the best possible result for the individual property in question satisfying everyone’s needs. But, especially those of the building’s occupants.

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To ensure your project meets fire safety standards call FDS on +44 (0) 1322 387411 or email [email protected]

An impressive new suburban residential development in Dartford, Kent, is set to benefit from the experience and expertise of award-winning smoke ventilation contractor Fire Design Solutions (FDS), following the company’s appointment to the project.

Developed by Weston Homes, the Langley Square development will feature a total of 400 one, two and three bedroom apartments, overlooking the picturesque Mill Pond and the River Darent.

To maximise safety for the development’s future occupants, FDS has been appointed by Weston Homes to install a number of fire safety systems in Block F of Langley Square.


Langley Square - Smoke Ventilation System


Smoke Ventilation System

FDS’ team of engineers will install corridor detection systems, which will operate a mechanical smoke ventilation system (MSVS) in the event of a fire.

Consisting of a total of seven 0.5m2 ventilation shafts – five spanning from the 2nd to 8th floors and two from the 3rd to 8th floor – the MSVS will use fans fitted at roof level to quickly and efficiently remove smoke build-up from the block’s common areas. This will provide a safe escape route for residents, as well as access for attending fire fighters.

In addition, FDS has also been appointed to supply, install and commission a smoke clearance system for the development’s lower ground level car park. Although the car park’s first level makes use of natural ventilation, satisfying the requirements of Approved Documents B & F of the Building Regulations, a lack of ventilation in the lower level requires the installation of a thrust ventilation system to remove harmful exhaust gases produced by vehicles, and smoke in the event of fire.

Linked to a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector, the system will activate once CO levels above 30 parts per million are detected, once this level is reduced the system will automatically de-activate. The system will also activate if a smoke/detector is activated, indicating the presence of a fire, or if attending fire fighters activate the fire service override switch.


Langley Square


Speaking on the appointment, Gerard Sheridan, Chairman at FDS said:

“In any development, safety is of the utmost importance, however this goes beyond fire detection and smoke ventilation. By installing our systems in the car parking area we’re also able to remove pollutants, providing an additional level of reassurance for both Weston Homes and the development’s future residents.”

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.

Combining a hotel with residential and retail units, the St James Group’s One SE8 mixed-use development provides high-end living spaces for both residents and visitors of Greenwich.

Initially brought on board by St James to carry out computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling, Fire Design Solutions identified and designed the most suitable fire safety system for the building, which comprises of a Travel Lodge hotel flanked by two residential wings including 103 apartments, a 24 metre lap pool, on site restaurant and convenience store.

Returning to the site after being appointed by electrical contractors GW & E Wright Ltd., FDS installed both natural and mechanical smoke ventilation systems, as well as a GSM auto dialler system at the client’s request. In the event of fire this notifies building managers and concierge in the hotel, sending a text to a nominated manager to alert them before calling all other nominated persons if the system is not reset within a defined time constraint.

FDS installed a total of three 0.5m² fan assisted smoke venting shafts in the building’s residential wings, with one serving ‘Wing A’s 1st to 6th floors, joined by a make up air shaft which was installed for environmental purposes. Two further 0.5m² shafts, fitted in ‘Wing B’ served the upper ground to 6th floors, while an additional 1.5m² natural smoke shaft supplemented this. Corridor detection systems were installed in both of the wings to trigger the fan-assisted smoke venting systems in the event of fire.

The 90 bed hotel was also fitted with a mechanical smoke venting system including a 0.5m² shaft, serving the 1st to 6th floors with fans being fitted at roof level.

By protecting the means of escape and fire fighter access for the development, FDS’ systems provided safety benefits, while also operating on a day-to-day basis to provide ventilation for the common corridors. FDS was also able to interface its mechanical smoke venting system with a fire alarm installed on site by a third party.
For more information about this project please download the case study or contact us on 01322 387411 / email [email protected]

Award-winning fire safety system design and installation contractors Fire Design Solutions (FDS) has completed work on one of London’s most prestigious large scale residential projects.

Working with developer Galliard Construction, FDS provided the design and installation of a number of smoke venting systems, including the pioneering Firesmart intelligent control system, across the Greenwich development.

Unusually for a development of this size, the project was not delivered in phases – meaning that FDS had to deliver across all 12 blocks within the same tight timescale.

FDS was tasked with designing, supplying, installing and commissioning mechanical smoke venting systems within each block, along with corridor environmental systems that alleviate the common corridor overheating issue.

The BS 5839 compliant ‘FireSmart’ control panel system installed as part of the project provided a great deal of flexibility and simpler installation for the FDS team on site, as all fire systems were included in a single loop. Utilising the system also enabled installation teams to add or extend systems much more easily than is usually the case.

FireSmart will produce status reports and commissioning logs at New Capital Quay, making it an integral part of the building’s ongoing fire plan.

Further variations were added to the project in the form of a smoke clearance system within the underground car parking area of each block, which utilises a thrust ventilation system to clear smoke quickly from the enclosed area in the event of a fire. FDS was able to not only install this in line with the original project schedule, but also conduct a phased handover of the car park, requested halfway through the project.

Gerard Sheridan, Chairman at FDS, said: “The key to the successful management and completion of this project was co-ordination with the developer, with whom we’ve worked before, and our fellow contractors.”

The mixed used development boasts more than 1,000 individual dwellings along with shops, offices, leisure facilities, underground parking and a health centre.

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

Located adjacent to Tottenham Hale tube station, the Hale Village mixed-use development provides 1,193 student accommodation units alongside 1,000 private and affordable residential units, a 132 bedroom hotel and substantial commercial space.

Initially brought on board by United House to install mechanical smoke ventilation systems for one of the development’s affordable housing blocks, Fire Design Solutions (FDS) was asked to install systems for a further two blocks, plus an underground car park that runs beneath the site. A further appointment by Willmott Dixon saw FDS take on work at two of the development’s ‘Pavilion’ private residential blocks.

Working with multiple clients and their architects, FDS installed three different systems within the development, consisting of natural and mechanical smoke ventilation systems and corridor environmental systems.

FDS was also required to design, supply, install and commission the car park smoke clearance system utilising a Thrust Ventilation system, carbon monoxide detection system, fire alarm system and attenuation. Once on site, FDS carried out assessments and tests to determine the smoke flow rate likely to be created from a two car fire, in line with British Standards for car parks (BS7346 Part 7). Using the data gathered, FDS’ specialists engineered a smaller venting system for the car park than was originally included in the designs. This was justified by demonstrating that the required 10 air changes per hour could still be achieved in the area affected by smoke.

The assessment and subsequent system design led to large reductions in the fan size needed, which in turn reduced the size of associated cables and controls, necessitating a smaller plant room. As a result of this space saving the end client was able to create more saleable car parking space whilst minimising costs. The works also saw FDS retrofit an existing fire alarm system to the car parking area.

As the work on site took place over the course of three years, the car park was handed over in stages. This introduced a challenge for FDS, as the areas of the car park which were completed earliest were situated next to sections that were still undergoing work. This issue was overcome through intelligent programming of the detection systems, and by disabling it in certain areas to ensure that the installed system was not affected by ongoing work.

In addition, Fire Design Solutions was awarded with the service and maintenance contract for the site.
For more information about this project please download the case study or contact us on 01322 387411 / email [email protected]

As part of the extensive urban regeneration of Stratford, close to the Olympic Park, Galliford Try created a substantial mixed use development at Rick Roberts Way.

The project saw the creation of 173 homes across a mixed use scheme of three apartment blocks, a crescent of terraced houses and 1,000m2 of commercial space with the intention of producing a varied and sustainable community of properties ranging from one bedroom flats to four bedroom townhouses.

Fire Design Solutions (FDS) was initially appointed to design, supply, install and commission a residential sprinkler system for the project by Woodford Heating Limited. The system serves 90 apartments across 13 floors in line with British Standards (BS9251:2005), which focuses on domestic sprinkler systems installed for life safety purposes.

Through taking a value engineered approach and offering a residential sprinkler system capable of utilising the blocks’ boosted cold water mains service, FDS was able to bring significant cost and space savings to the project by removing the need for an additional water tank to feed the system – allowing Galliford Try to make better use of the site’s plant room.

FDS was also contracted by electrical engineering contractor O.C.B. Electrical Limited to provide a natural smoke venting system for the project’s three apartment blocks, to allow smoke clearance for firefighting access and means of escape.

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

Fire Design Solutions (FDS) was called upon to apply its smoke ventilation design and installation experience on the prestigious site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Athlete’s Village provided high quality accommodation to over 17,000 athletes participating in the summer games, before being converted into residential apartments for some of London’s key workers.

FDS designed, supplied, installed and commissioned mechanical smoke ventilation systems for a number of the village’s residential apartment buildings, the first such solution to meet the required approvals of the Athlete’s Village.

In addition, FDS installed an enhanced ventilation system in the site’s car parking areas. Incorporating an innovative hybrid natural and mechanical solution, the system provided extraction to remove day-to-day pollutants as well as smoke clearance in the event of fire.

Successfully completed on time, the fire protection systems installed by FDS achieved Building Regulations compliance within the client’s timescale.

Poised to be one of the most desirable addresses in Westminster, 10 Rochester Row is a seven storey residential scheme with basement car parking in the heart of the City. The prestigious development includes a total of 34 privately owned apartments ranging from large one-bedroom apartments to £multi-million, 2,000 ft2, three-bedroom duplex penthouses, all of which are arranged around a central atrium that provides a private courtyard for the scheme. The development also includes 21 social housing apartments. To address the fire safety needs of such a prestigious and high profile development, in particular those posed by the atrium, the developer enlisted the help of FDS to design and implement cutting edge fire safety systems.

The biggest challenge presented by the building was the large central atrium which made effective smoke venting essential but the architectural design meant that there was no available space to install fans for a venting system. Instead, an ETFE (Ethylene TetrafluoroEthylene Co-Polymer) foil roof was specified which had to be linked to the smoke detection system. This advanced roofing material is durable, provides excellent natural light levels and can burn away harmlessly and completely to open up the roof area as a large natural vent in the event of a fire. Using this technology and the company’s fire systems expertise, FDS integrated the ETFE roof with a sophisticated control system linked to smoke detectors which will activate heating elements in the roof, enabling it to burn away and open up the roof space in the event of a fire. As an essential part of the system design, the experienced FDS team also incorporated an innovative ‘triple knock’ activation system to ensure that the ETFE roof cannot be destroyed unnecessarily due to a false alarm.

Across the remainder of the scheme, FDS used the company’s creative approach to fire system design to enhance safety with the installation of:

  • A smoke extraction system in the basement car park
  • Automatically Opening Vents (AOV windows) integrated with the smoke detection system to provide smoke venting from the social housing apartments into the atrium
  • Individual smoke detection and fire alarm systems for the penthouse apartments

Thanks to FDS’s CFD modelling expertise, the company was able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the systems specified and the company carried out all design installation and commissioning of the fire systems at 10 Rochester Row, ensuring that the building received full building regulations approval and met the exacting standards expected by both the developer and future residents.

FDS were appointed as they have proven their expertise on a number of projects with Barratt Homes previously. As part of a collaborative effort to ensure the build deadlines were met, FDS overcame a number of fire safety challenges on this complex scheme in the centre of Westminster. This included developing solutions to overcome issues presented by the architecture of the building such as the central atrium which was addressed by specifying an ETFE foil roof linked to a sophisticated smoke detection system. FDS carried out the design, installation and commissioning of the fire systems, ensuring that the building received full fire service approval. Barratt Homes

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

Part of a regeneration scheme to redevelop an existing housing estate in Edgware, Greater London, the Evolution project saw Barratt West London, the London Borough of Barnet and Family Mosaic Housing Association working together to deliver a 999 unit residential scheme.The development included a mix of private and social housing and the development team enlisted the expertise of FDS to design a turnkey package solution which included a fire strategy and the design and install of smoke venting systems.

Throughout the development there was a lack of natural ventilation so, using the company’s in depth understanding of fire engineering First Principles and its proven technologies, FDS addressed this issue by:

  • Installing two full smoke shaft extraction systems which provided mechanical smoke clearing for the taller blocks thanks to fans located on the roof
  • Designing an ambient airflow venting system for the taller blocks that utilised the mechanical smoke venting system to extract heat from the ceiling voids
  • Using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modelling to aid in the design of the smoke venting and ambient airflow venting systems and to demonstrate their effectiveness

In the basement car park, FDS worked with the design team to rationalise the basement venting requirements.

Thanks to the expertise and solutions-driven approach of FDS, the fire safety installation provided substantial value engineered savings, whilst offering high levels of safety.

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

A 19th century office building with ground floor retail units, 8-10 Hatton Gardens had contained small workshop units, used primarily by jewellery trade tenants, until a major refurbishment transformed it into contemporary, open plan offices.

Most of the internal walls were removed to create large open floor plates and office space was also created in the basement and on a mezzanine floor installed in the roof space. In addition, the refurbishment also involved the installation of a new lift shaft but phased construction allowed occupants of retail spaces to operate on a business as usual basis throughout the construction programme.

Such wide-ranging changes to the internal space required a creative system design to answer the new fire safety needs of the building and, having relied on FDS’s innovative approach to fire engineering on previous projects, Wallis Special Projects called on the company’s expertise again.

Thanks to the solutions-driven expertise of the FDS team, the fire safety strategy and installation addressed the means of escape and extended travel distance issues. Furthermore, FDS made extensive use of advanced computer modeling techniques to demonstrate the effectiveness of the specification and gain all mandatory approvals.

Consisting of one of Europe’s largest Tesco stores, 6 blocks of residential properties and a multi-level car park, the Woolwich Central development forms part of the ongoing regeneration works in South-East London.Recognising the complex fire safety considerations that need to be made for large mixed-use projects, Willmott Dixon appointed award-winning smoke ventilation system contractors Fire Design Solutions (FDS) to provide its design and installation expertise.

Following a design and build appraisal, including CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) Modelling, FDS was able to justify the retail space’s large compartment size by specifying the use of a smoke extraction system.

The store’s loading bay was also fitted with an engineered mechanical smoke extraction system. By detecting carbon monoxide levels the system provides day-to-day extraction, meeting Approved Document F (ADF), as well as clearing smoke in the event of fire.

In the development’s residential areas, FDS’ specialist contracting team installed mechanical smoke ventilation and corridor environmental systems, removing excess heat from common areas throughout the development whilst still protecting the building’s staircases from smoke in the event of fire.

Within the car park FDS provided full mechanical and electrical installation of a smoke/heat detection and clearance system to provide environmental extraction and smoke ventilation. The system was interfaced with the development’s Building Management and fire alarm systems.

Due to a tight schedule and project variations, FDS was set a challenging five month deadline to carry out all works, a target which was achieved, allowing the store to open on time.


Kennington Park Square situated in South-East London is a Barratt development of 120 one- and two-bedroom apartments and private car parking. Due to the company’s significant track record in the residential sector, FDS was able to provide a total solution for a fan assisted smoke venting system and associated smoke detection system for the residential section of the building, along with a car park ventilation system in the underground car park. The team’s innovative fire engineering and fire safety systems expertise enabled the company to provide substantial value engineered savings by:

  • Significant cost savings in the materials and systems used
  • The removal of unnecessary sprinklers, vent ducts and fire shutters from the building design saving substantial building and materials costs
  • Cost minimisation because FDS was able to achieve a fast turnaround on quality solutions and provide seamless installation
  • Reduced smoke shaft sizes, allowing significantly more floor area and, therefore, higher value properties for the developer
  • Reduction of the fire rating of the ground floor slab from 4 hours to 2 hours he removal of fire shutters to all basement lobbies

In addition the FDS methodology also resulted in:

  • Improved design flexibility for the architect by reducing shaft sizes and removing sprinklers, vent ducts and fire shutters
  • Design assurance throughout the non-code based project thanks to a thorough understanding of the approving authorities and processes
  • Improved environmental credentials – the Impulse system installed in the car park removes cars’ carbon monoxide emissions from the immediate atmosphere, improved fire access and the fire service can gain access within 10m of a fire

By utilising FDS’s technically advanced CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modelling techniques and working from fire engineering first principles, our experienced team was able to achieve these area and cost savings and other benefits whilst complying with Section 20 (London Building Act). The companyís innovative approach minimised building costs for the client and contractor, met their needs to maximise area in both the residential space and the car park, and improved design flexibility for the architect, whilst meeting and exceeding the requirements of building approval authorities. In addition, the project was completed within the agreed timescales, allowing FDS to maintain its enviable track record of zero missed deadlines.

The FDS developed Fan Assisted System (FAS) is proven to outperform standard code based systems, in the event of a fire it will rapidly remove smoke to aid the means of escape and provide clear access for fire fighting services. The Impulse system installed in the underground car park was designed to meet an enhanced smoke control standard as detailed under the BS7346 part 7. This enhanced standard met the needs of the fire service to all the removal of sprinklers under Section 20.

I would very much like to take this opportunity at thanking your Company for the help and co-operation extended by both your Operatives and Managers, during your subcontract works, of which helped to produce the successful conclusion of this award winning scheme. – Barratt Homes

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

Situated around the historic dock just north of Chelsea Bridge, Grosvenor Waterside is a landmark residential development that comprises a series of exclusive apartments.

The new mixed use scheme provides over 600 studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments, and single and two storey penthouses with a range of amenities and services including fitness centre, spa, restaurant, retail suite, concierge and security services, and private underground parking. Surrounded by the picturesque scenery of tree lined promenades, the river and a city skyline, it is a prestigious place to be.

Fire Design Solutions designed, supplied and installed a comprehensive turnkey fire safety package. This included the company’s Fan Assisted Smoke Venting System (FAS) and impulse car park ventilation system.

Faced with a short timescale, Fire Design Solutions rationalised the original design on one of the blocks, using the existing 1.5m2 natural smoke shafts as the basis for the FAS, which was more cost effective. On other blocks, the engineered system’s efficiency allowed the number of smoke shafts to be halved and achieved significant cost savings over a natural concept.

For more information about this project please dowload the case study or contact us on 01322 387411 / email [email protected]

Queen Street is a landmark residential development in Portsmouth. The FDS Group were originally appointed to value engineer the scheme, however this highlighted various issues with the fire strategy and FDS Consult were enlisted to overcome these issues to ensure the development would gain approval, avoiding any penalties associated with fire approval failure. FDS was then appointed to carry out the installation works.

The FDS Group offers a groundbreaking approach to fire safety, combining end-to-end fire consultancy and in-depth building regulations knowledge with expert system design and installation. As a result the company was able to:

  • Overcome the issues and enhance the existing scheme to bring it up to the level required for building regulations approval by resolving the main fire safety issues associated with the as-built atriums within one of the cores. A mechanical ventilation concept was shoehorned into the fabric of the building without the need to modify the existing structure
  • Rectify the issues within a very short timescale so that no penalties were incurred
  • Deliver on time and within budget

By using a scientific approach to designing fire safety solutions based on the team’s understanding of fire engineering first principles, FDS carried out a thorough CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis to the atrium. FDS’s experienced team also consulted with the building control authorities to overcome their concerns and to gain approval within the necessary timescales.

Based on the company’s knowledge and experience, FDS Consult then supplied a new fire strategy that incorporates a natural ventilation system, smoke detection and fire alarm system throughout the development, whilst incurring substantial value engineered savings. These systems were then installed throughout by FDS.

For more information about this project please fill in the request for information form to the right or call us on 01322 387411 or email [email protected]

At 10,000 square metres the Grand Canal Square redevelopment is set to play a significant role in revitalising Dublin’s Docklands area. Once complete, the unique space located at the west end of the Grand Canal Dock, will provide a bustling recreational wharf-like environment for the public to enjoy.

The luxury 5-star Le Meridien hotel will open onto the square alongside the dramatic new Daniel Libeskind designed Grand Canal Theatre. Designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus and developed in collaboration with McCauley Day O’Connell, the eyecatching
building comprises 189 bedrooms, together with 94 exclusive residential apartments. Restaurants, shops and cafes will be provided at ground level.

Working to the building code for fire safety systems, Fire Design Solutions designed, supplied and installed its Fan Assisted Smoke Venting System (FAS). Using smoke shafts of just 0.5m2, the FAS offers the greatest floor space efficiency of any mechanical smoke venting system available, and gained approval from Dublin’s fire services.

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

Elektron is a residential development situated on the north side of the River Thames directly opposite the Millennium Dome. The design includes three spectacular towers – one 25 storey building and two 22 storey buildings providing 437 apartments and will form part of the massive regeneration in the area initiated by the forthcoming 2012 Olympic Games.

Fire Design Solutions was responsible for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the fan assisted smoke venting systems utilising a vertical shaft on the development and AOV smoke detection system. Applying computational fluid dynamic modeling of the fire fighting space enabled us to obtain approval by the approving authority and fire service for the concept.

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

This new build residential accommodation block in Hackney, London, incorporates a number of retail units, a public library and basement car parking. It was the responsibility of Fire Design Solutions to design the fire safety strategy for the development in its entirety. This included a smoke detection and control system, and a corridor environmental system. Extensive understanding of fire engineering and system design with a value engineering approach realised a number of benefits for the Client, most prominently a value added saving in excess of £3.5 million.

This cost saving was achieved by:

  • Installing a higher standard of smoke venting system – a Fan Assisted Smoke Venting system (FAS) – which achieved extended travel distances enabling FDS to halve the number of stair cores and mechanical shafts required, and allowing cross-corridor doors to be kept to a minimum, resulting in significant cost savings
  • An enhanced smoke control system to the car park, permitting the removal of the sprinkler system and a corresponding cost recovery
  • Installation of manual smoke venting and BT Red Care System, which facilitated the removal of the sprinkler system to the retail units, resulting in value savings

In addition to the substantial cost savings, FDS were also able to provide:

  • An entirely seamless process via a thorough understanding of site construction issues, which also helped to facilitate a phased block-by-block handover
  • Total reliability and design assurance of compliance with Section 20 Building and Building Regulations
  • Increased habitable area in the accommodation block by enabling some corridor areas to be used for this purpose
  • The creation of an open staircase feature to the Duplexes by upgrading the fire detection system effectively, increasing the value of these properties
  • Reduction in the fire rating of the ground floor from 4 hours to 2 hours

These savings and other benefits were all fully justified via CFD modelling and the installation of higher grade systems; a result only achievable with a thorough understanding of fire engineering and an innovative approach. In addition, FDS maintained its uninterrupted track record of zero missed deadlines and 100% completion within budget.

Capital East is a new luxury development of waterside apartments and penthouses located at Royal Victoria Dock in East London. Nine buildings of heights varying from 9 to 18 floors provide one, two and three bedroom apartments. A three level car park extends below the buildings.

The residential buildings comprise a mix of naturally and mechanically ventilated lobbies, activated by an automatic smoke detection system. Fire Design Solutions designed and installed the venting systems and controls as well as the smoke detection system.

The underground car park includes three levels of car parking, each with an approximate floor size of 7,000m² and is ventilated by means of a thrust ventilation system which complies with ‘Approved Document F (ventilation)’ and ‘Approved Document B (fire safety)’ of the building regulations. The system was controlled environmentally by means of CO detection and in the event of fire, by means of heat detection. Fire Design Solutions (UK) designed, installed and commissioned all the systems.

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

A major scheme for Barratt Homes East London, the St Andrews Hospital project will see the site of a redundant Victorian hospital redeveloped as six buildings of residential apartments, each with integral parking. The development also includes a day care centre, a dental surgery and retail units, all situated around a central courtyard.

The proposed size, location and partial commercial use of three of the buildings meant that they would be subject to the requirements of Section 20 of the London Building Act, which requires a more stringent level of fire safety to mitigate the risk of fire spread. In many cases, this would necessitate higher construction costs but, systems developed and installed by the expert team at FDS not only kept costs to a minimum but also enabled justification of extended travel distances, reducing the number of staircases by 20 to provide valuable additional floor space.

The experienced team at FDS was able to achieve this by:

  • Installing an enhanced mechanical smoke venting system in the car park which meant that the installation of a sprinkler system in the car park in Block D and 5 and commercial areas could be avoided, thereby saving more than £500,000.
  • Developing the smoke venting and integrated environmental corridor cooling system, which enabled justification of extended travel distances and removed the need to specify fire shutters.
  • Reducing the space required for smoke shafts thanks to the installation of smaller mechanical smoke shafts, maximising saleable floor space.

The creative team at FDS developed a bespoke solution for each of the buildings in the development to maximise safety whilst minimising costs. In Block B the expert team custom-designed the smoke shaft system and designed and installed the sprinkler system. The team used the FS1 Double-Knock Floor Sprinkler System, which utilises water supplied from the Boosted Cold Water Supply in the common riser on the floor. This approach omitted the requirement for a separate sprinkler tank and pump, and will also minimise the risk of water damage caused by vandalism. Thanks to the team’s computer modelling expertise, FDS was then able to justify this innovative approach to fire safety in Block B using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modelling.

CFD modelling was also used extensively in Block C to help inform and justify the design of a bespoke smoke venting system and in Block A, FDS designed and installed a fan-assisted smoke venting system. Thanks to the technical understanding and value engineering expertise of the FDS team, the fire safety installation at the St Andrews Hospital development saved significant costs by reducing the specification, reduced the amount of time required on site and yielded additional floor space.

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

Standing on the bank of The Regents Canal, north London, The Lockhouse is a £30 million mixed use development, comprising two buildings – The Gate (five floors) and The Tower (eight floors).

The project combines modern offices, with a selection of 115 exclusive studios, apartments and penthouses. Set between the bars and restaurants of Camden Lock and the upmarket residential area of Primrose Hill, this cutting-edge new build sets a fresh standard for city living.

Following an extensive fire engineering consultancy by sister company, FDS Consult, Fire Design Solutions was appointed to design, install and commission a fully integrated turnkey fire and smoke safety package. The full scope of works included its Fan Assisted Smoke Venting System (FAS), AOV smoke detection, enhanced impulse car park ventilation and linked fire alarm systems.

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

The town centre development at Becket House, Brentwood consists of the refurbishment of the existing 1960’s office block for residential use and will provide contemporary one and two bedroom apartments.

The L-shaped building comprises two wings. To improve the viability of the scheme, two new floors are to be added to both wings taking the east wing to seven floors and the south wing to nine floors.

The building created a major challenge due to limited space and the structure allowed little modification. To satisfy building regulation requirements, two 0.5m2 smoke ventilation shafts were provided at the end of the corridor with fire service access provided from the centre of the building. Fire Design Solutions designed, supplied, installed and commissioned the fan assisted smoke extraction system including the automatic smoke detection system.

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

The Rise, situated on Atlip Road in Alperton was developed by Mount Anvil and is part of an extensive regeneration programme to transform the area. The £14 million, 13-storey tower comprises both commercial space and residential apartments and creates an iconic residential tower overlooking the Grand Union Canal.

As the residential tower is over 30m tall, a sprinkler system was required to satisfy fire safety requirements and enable the building to meet the Approved Document B (ADB) inspection. However, the client needed a solution that would be both cost effective and space efficient in order to remain within budget and maximise the usable space.

Fire Design Solutions (FDS) had already been appointed by Bowmite to install a natural smoke venting system on the development and, due to FDS’s ability to offer a cost-effective and innovative solution, they extended the contract to include the residential sprinkler system and FDS installed the ‘FDS AS01 Apartment Sprinkler System’, which branches off the boosted cold water supply to each apartment.
For more information about this project please fill in the request for information form to the right or call us on 01322 387411 or email [email protected]

Set on the site of an obsolete South London printing works, The Galleria is a shining example of mixed-use urban regeneration – the unique partnership scheme combines 50 artists’ studios with 98 private and affordable residential apartments.

The innovative 10 storey development, which overlooks Burgess Park, won an award in the Best Development category of What House? Awards 2006 and was highly commended at the Regeneration Awards in the Innovation of the Year category.
On completion of fire engineering consultancy, Fire Design Solutions provided design and installation services for its fan assisted smoke venting system (FAS).

Original designs for the building proposed a stair at both ends of the corridor to provide the building’s residential means of escape and natural smoke venting. Fire Design Solutions was able to demonstrate that the FAS would provide a higher level of means of escape than a standard code based system. The stair was repositioned and a 0.5m² shaft provided at the end of the corridor, allowing for an extended travel distance in one direction of 18m.

By halving the number of smoke venting shafts, Fire Design Solutions maximised the saleable floor space – gaining an average of 25m² per floor. This helped Barratt Homes realise approximate cost savings and saleable area in excess of £600,000.

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

An award-winning mixed-use development, the 12.8 acre Battersea Reach scheme has transformed a derelict brownfield site on the banks of the river Thames into a vibrant new urban quarter.

The 17-storey development is situated on the Thames and comprises residential apartments and around 30,000 sq ft of commercial space, including offices, shops, restaurants and bars. The complex has already become a striking waterside landmark, offering panoramic views across the Thames, and its 300 metre riverside walkway and award-winning landscaped gardens add to its aesthetic and lifestyle appeal.

Implementing a fire safety installation for such a large and multi-purpose development is a complex undertaking and Fire Design Solutions (FDS) was brought on board thanks to the company’s expertise in substantial mixed use schemes.

The company designed, supplied and installed a fan-assisted smoke venting system (FAS) to the main building comprising a single shaft for each core, serving 12 and nine lobbies respectively. In order to minimise the amount of space required by the FAS and deliver a flexible approach to the location of the shafts FDS adopted a creative approach and provided an effective solution that met all mandatory approvals.

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

Oxygen is an award-winning, waterside development of 240 one and two bedroom and penthouse apartments situated within “the golden Olympic triangle” – one of London’s newest growth areas. Overlooking the Royal Victoria Dock, the 19-storey development offers unparalleled views across Canary Wharf and the regenerated O2 centre. It is also just a short distance from the future Olympic Park.

On completion of a fire engineering consultancy, Fire Design Solutions (FDS) was awarded the contract to design, install and commission its advanced Fan Assisted Smoke Venting System (FAS) and impulse car park venting system.

Despite a 50% reduction in the working programme, FDS value engineered the scheme to provide significant cost and design benefits – while still delivering on time and within budget.

By allowing extended travel distances between shafts, the FAS meant FDS was able to justify the removal of one stairway through the height of the building. Furthermore, the number of AOV shafts was reduced from three to two, reducing the shaft area to just 0.5m2.

With the additional floor space gained, Fitzpatrick Construction was able to alter the building design to upgrade apartments from one bedroom to two, realising approximately £1.2 million in extra sales revenue. Drawing on its professional fire engineering consultancy and specialist system design experience, Fire Design Solutions designed a car park venting system that combines both induction and impulse methods. It is a solution that can remove costly elements and increase the structure’s fire resistance, while offering the highest levels of life safety.

Utilising main extract fans, which are vented to atmosphere, the impulse car park venting system removes air pollution. Jet fans assist in distributing and directing the air toward the main extract point. Due to space restrictions, slimline induction units were used at Oxygen to offer ample height clearance.

With a linked fire detection system, FDS eliminated any interface issues, both during installation and for subsequent
service and maintenance.

As part of Fire Design Solution’s turnkey package, Fitzpatrick Construction was able to draw on expert consultancy experience for immediate response to any building control or fire officer queries. The result is a riskfree solution with seamless design coordination and the highest levels of life safety

“The fact that you commissioned the project in such a short period of time is quite frankly astonishing. Your efforts have got the project back on line.”

Brian Fitzpatrick – Fitzpatrick Construction

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

Loampit Vale, constructed by Barratt Homes, is an extensive regeneration scheme that will transform the centre of Lewisham. The £150 million scheme, delivered in partnership with the London Borough of Lewisham, will deliver a state-of-the-art leisure centre along with 788 mixed tenure homes, commercial units and a new cultural quarter. Due to the company’s significant track record, FDS was appointed to provide a total end-to-end solution for a fan assisted smoke venting system and associated smoke detection system for the residential common areas, along with a car park ventilation system.

FDS utilised an innovative approach to system design and installation to provide:

  • Significant cost savings in the materials and systems used as a result of FDS’s end-to-end service
  • Improved environmental credentials – the Impulse system installed in the car park removes cars’ carbon monoxide emissions.
  • A venting shaft schematic that maximises the space available, assisting in meeting architectural aspirations and justified by utilising FDS’s technically advanced CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modelling techniques

For Block A the expert team from FDS designed a smoke venting system to serve all twelve storeys with fans fitted at roof level on the top of the shaft and a sliding smoke vent fitted at the head of the stair.

Meanwhile for Blocks B to D, the team designed an identical system, to serve eight, fourteen and nine storeys respectively, each with the same roof level fan and sliding door at the head of the stair.

For all of the four blocks the FDS team also used the company’s knowledge of fire risk and behaviours to design a smoke detection system and corridor environmental system, integrated with the fan-assisted smoke venting system and the building’s BMS (Building Management System). The mechanical smoke extraction system incorporated a smoke detection system in the common corridors which would activate the system automatically to operate on the affected level only.

The corridor environmental system was based on mechanical extraction of heat from the ceiling void into the smoke shafts using motorised dampers above the ceiling void that will be motored open whilst the environmental system is operational. This system is linked to both a timer and a thermostat ensuring that it is operational between the hours of 6am and 8pm during the summer and/or if the temperature reaches the pre-set threshold. Should smoke be detected in any level the environmental system would revert to the designed smoke ventilation system.

The FDS-developed fan assisted system is proven to outperform standard code-based systems: in the event of a fire it will rapidly remove smoke to aid the means of escape and protect the staircase for fire fighting services. The Impulse system installed in the underground car park removes air pollution and smoke via extract fans, providing more energy efficiency, space and cost savings than a traditional ducted system.

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

Fire Design Solutions ‘ahead of the curve’ with South London appointment

Award-winning smoke ventilation system contractors Fire Design Solutions (FDS) have been appointed to provide their design and installation expertise for a distinctive new South London housing development.

Brought on board by contractors Higgins Construction PLC, FDS will work on the Bermondsey-based Century House, a single curved block varying between six and nine storeys in height.

Owned and managed by the L&Q Housing Association, the 154 unit building combines private and affordable premises, including social rented and commercial spaces. The development features a generous public space, while residents are provided with a private communal garden at the centre of the scheme.

FDS’ work on the site, which is expected to conclude late 2014, will include the design and installation of mechanical and natural smoke venting systems to the building’s four cores, plus a car park extraction system.

Gerard Sheridan, Chairman at FDS, said: “We’re thrilled that Higgins Construction has appointed us to such a diverse project. By combining private, affordable and commercial units Century House will be a unique addition to the area.

“Our past experience of design and installation for residential projects will allow us to design an appropriate, value engineered solution in line with L&Q’s requirements.”

Century House

Century House