New fire management system for Royal Papworth Hospital

Static Systems designs, supplies, and installs site-wide fire alarm and management system at new hospital

The new Royal Papworth Hospital needed a bespoke fire solution

Static Systems Group was appointed to design, supply and install the fire alarm and management system at the new Royal Papworth Hospital, a state-of-the-art specialist heart and lung hospital situated adjacent to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The new system encompasses 15 networked fire alarm panels, and in excess of 4,000 addressable devices, including 1,900 detectors.

The system was overseen by Skanska’s appointed building services engineers, Troup Bywaters + Anders, who also set the outline brief.

With different systems and equipment being installed simultaneously, there was a significant amount of co-ordination required to ensure they would interface together

One of the biggest challenges during the design process was the significant requirement for the site-wide fire alarm system to interface with different systems – including fire dampers, air handling plant, and smoke extraction – in order to provide a completely-integrated system that manages the air flow and smoke extraction to safely direct smoke throughout the building.

In addition, the system also interfaces with security, nurse call, and sprinkler systems.

Chris Smith, head of project delivery at Static Systems, said: “With different systems and equipment being installed simultaneously, there was a significant amount of co-ordination required to ensure they would interface together.

“We also needed to understand where they were being installed and how they were being fitted to ensure there were no physical clashes of equipment and materials.”

When working on a new-build project of this scale, early engagement and close collaboration with all parties involved in the design and supply of the fire engineering systems are essential to its success.

In the case of the new Royal Papworth Hospital, those suppliers responsible for the fire alarm, building management systems, damper and duct work worked closely together from the outset.

Our early engagement throughout the pre-construction phase meant we could provide detailed advice on our system, rather than a generic product being built into the scheme at a very-early stage

During the design process, for example, frequent project meetings were held on site where representatives of the suppliers came together with Skanska’s construction team and Troup Bywaters + Anders to discuss design issues and integration requirements.

Static Systems designed, supplied and installed a fire alarm and management solution

Smith said: “Our early engagement throughout the pre-construction phase meant we could provide detailed advice on our system, rather than a generic product being built into the scheme at a very-early stage. This meant that by the time construction started, we already had a robust design.

Evacuation planning was also a key consideration.

In the event of a fire, hospitals typically have a phased evacuation process, whereby a fire in a zone would result in the affected zone being evacuated and adjacent areas being given an alert.

However, at the Royal Papworth Hospital, the trust wanted to create a bespoke operation when it came to the ward areas.

As each ward area went across more than one of the fire zones for the building, the trust wanted an evacuation process based on the ward areas, rather than on the fire zones.

Following the installation of the fire engineering system at the Royal Papworth Hospital there was a period of testing to ensure all the systems met rigorous criteria.

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