FDS Consult, a leading expert on fire engineering in the UK, has provided a unique fire safety solution for one of London’s most recent luxury residential projects.
Developed by Galliard Homes and designed by award-winning east London-based architects, STOCKWOOL, Capital Towers is a high-end development located in Stratford. The scheme comprises two separate towers; the 14-level City West Tower and the 32-level Sky View Tower, with a combined total of 174 apartments.
Appointed to the project by design consultants Whitecode Design Associates, FDS Consult was asked to deliver an appropriate fire strategy to save space and minimise costs, whilst also meeting all relevant British Standards and regulation documents.
Through the creation of a fire design strategy which featured 0.5m² mechanical smoke shafts, FDS Consult’s engineers were able to save space within the building while providing the necessary levels of smoke-clearance required.
As the development includes a residents’ gym, crèche and private lounge on its first floor, FDS Consult also had to devise a cost-effective method of ensuring that a safe escape route was provided in the event of fire.
Having reviewed the facilities’ use and layout, FDS Consult classified them ancillary accommodations to the residential areas, requiring the extension of the mechanical smoke shaft from the levels above in order to provide the required levels of smoke ventilation.
By taking this approach, which took into account that these facilities were only to be used by residents who would be familiar with the building’s escape routes in the event of fire, FDS Consult was able to justify the use of the residential sprinkler system to be used within these facilities, avoiding the inclusion of costly and unnecessary additional systems (e.g. a commercial sprinkler system).
While it is required under Approved Document B for buildings measuring over 30 metres in height to include sprinklers throughout, FDS Consult was able to provide a solution which only included the residential areas, without the need to extend this coverage to car parking areas and the development’s standalone retail unit.
Speaking on the project, Nick Easton, Associate Mechanical Engineer at Whitecode Design Associates said: “By bringing FDS Consult on to this project it was possible to generate significant cost and space savings while ensuring that safety will be maximised for the future residents of Capital Towers.”
The Capital Towers project is set for completion by mid-2016.