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Smoke extraction and control solution specified for historic theatre

  • 29 Apr 2015

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With fire and safety regulations frequently undergoing changes, it is important that public buildings update their fire safety systems to meet the current requirements.

Buxton Opera House is a Grade II Listed theatre that needed to adapt.

Although the majority of its fire safety systems were compliant, its original smoke ventilation system was deemed a hazard.

Located above the stage, the spring-operated system could not meet the requirements for a ‘free ventilation area’ to provide smoke control.

Advanced smoke control systems can be fitted without compromising the protected status of a Grade II Listed building, such as Buxton Opera House

An advanced smoke control solution

To solve the problem, a mechanical smoke ventilation system from SE Controls has been installed.

The system was specified to ensure that the necessary smoke extraction rates could be achieved without modifying the historic building.

The system consists of a duplex fan set, which allows for duty and stand-by operation.

1,000mm in diameter, it is partnered with an automatic fan louvre, fan systems ductwork and an efficient control panel.

Fire-rated cabling has also been incorporated.

Installation in a historic building

As a Grade II Listed building, Buxton Opera House has a historic and protected status that could not be affected by the installation.

Considering this, SE Controls was careful not to impact on the building’s interior and exterior when fitting the system.

The fan and ductwork was fitted within the Opera House roof space, whilst the external roof mounted smoke louvre was installed below an existing parapet wall facade.

It was finished to match the building’s slate roof aesthetic.

Optimised fire safety

The new solution has been integrated with the theatre’s existing fire and smoke detection system.

In the event of a fire, the detection system initiates the opening of the roof mounted louvre; the mechanical smoke ventilation system then begins to operate.

With the ability to extract 8 m3/sec, the new solution ensures that Buxton Opera House has an adequate ‘free ventilation area’, as required by the current fire and safety regulations.

As well as providing smoke control, this area will allow the theatre’s audience, cast and musicians to exit the building swiftly and safely if a fire should occur.

Contact:

SE Controls,
Lancaster House,
Wellington Crescent,
Fradley Park,
Lichfield,
Staffordshire,
WS13 8RZ

Visit SE Controls's website

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