High-tech fire system protects £842m Scottish hospital campus

SPIE Scotshield installs high-tech fire detection and alarm system at New South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Scotland

System Hygienics carried out fire damper checks at the Royal Bournemouth and Poole hospitals

SPIE Scotshield has installed a new state-of-the-art fire safety system at the New South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

The opening of the new campus, set for this month, will be the first time a single site in the city has been able to provide access to maternity, children’s, and adult acute hospital and laboratory services.

Glasgow-based SPIE Scotshield secured the contract to deliver the fire safety system for the entire site in 2012. Following a year of preparation, working in partnership with Mercury Engineering, Brookfield Multiplex, and the NHS, SPIE Scotshield embarked on the project to deliver cutting-edge fire alarm technology at the site.

The £842m building will be one of the largest hospital complexes in Europe. Housing the biggest critical care and emergency departments in Scotland, it is expected that more than 110,000 patients will be treated there every year.

SPIE Scotshield’s role included scoping the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the overall fire solution for the hospital. The company incorporated a user graphics interface within the laboratory’s building control room to display all fire points. Four remote user stations at the ‘meet and greet’ areas have been put in place to control 181 air-handling units interfacing to vent off and purge HVAC fireman controls.

The fire detection and alarm system has been integrated into the main building management system controlling the smoke dampers. In the event of an alarm being activated, it will send information pertaining to the event location directly to the nurse call stations. These are located across each of the 352 nursing stations site-wide. The hospital’s robot porters will also be linked to the system. If there is a fire incident they will clear the area, returning quickly to their home stations.

Thomas Coupland, operations manager at SPIE Scotshield, said: “The successful completion of this contract demonstrates SPIE Scotshield’s capability to deliver complex, major-scale fire and life-safety solutions. The extent and nature of this task presented some unique challenges and we embraced each of these, overcoming them through the dedication and commitment of the whole team working closely with our supply partner, Gent-by-Honeywell.

“Together we meticulously designed and planned every element of fire system in order to provide unrivalled protection for the patients, visitors and employees – the result being a fire detection and alarm system network to be truly proud of.”

Throughout the contract, the system design was continually developed and updated to ensure all requirements were met with regard to the employer’s specification and industry codes of practice. Rigorous self-monitoring and quality control measures were implemented, including fortnightly checks to ensure all requirements were met with regard to BS:5839 compliance.

Ongoing inspections were carried out in conjunction with Mercury, Brookfield and Capita and these checks allowed the installation to be verified and signed off at regular intervals, vastly reducing the potential for defects or omissions.

The project in number

  • Three full-time site-based project managers
  • Four years duration from design concept to completion
  • Twenty installation engineers at peak
  • Eight commissioning engineers at peak
  • Four apprentices on rotation
  • 71 fire alarm control panels
  • Six LCD repeater panels
  • 16,750 fire alarm devices
  • 260,000 meters of cable
  • 1570 interfaces
  • 1,243 graphics pages
  • 13,500 control icons programmed

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