Smoke extract system for renovated landmark

Project title: The Star and Garter

Location: Richmond Hill, London

Client: Haydon Mechanical and Electrical

Service: Smoke Control

Project Background

Adjacent to Richmond Park, the Star and Garter is a Grade II-listed building which is being renovated by London Square. The site was first instated as a Royal Court residence in the 17th Century and has undergone numerous transformations since.

Reopened as a small inn which bloomed into an extraordinarily popular hotel in the 1800s, the residency later accommodated troops in training during World War One before being turned into a temporary home for disabled servicemen until it closed in 2012.

The plot is currently being refurbished into luxury apartments of up to four bedrooms. Residents at the Star and Garter will enjoy a host of cultural and leisure facilities including fine dining restaurants, galleries, parks and sport grounds.

Photos © The Star and Garter London

The Project

The Client
Group SCS was brought in by Haydon Mechanical and Electrical to design, install and commission the smoke extract system of both the car park and residential area.
Our Involvement
We created a combined ventilation system to suit the building, installing natural ventilation in areas where mechanical ventilation couldn’t be used. The system consists of three mechanical cores, including a central core and two cores on the east and west wings. The stand-alone residence is also covered by the system.

Our Solution

Our work involves installing £100k ductwork at the top of the smoke shafts, connecting all 21 dampers to a single fan. In the case of a fire, the damper in the hazardous area will automatically open and smoke will be pulled up the shaft by the centralized fan, thus clearing the fire area of smoke.

Other installations include the fans on the roof, the dampers and the panels. Our work also involves fitting actuators on the windows and installing skylights.

The development presented some interesting challenges. As a listed building, we had to create a tailor-made system to accommodate the building, as mechanical ventilation could not be fitted in certain areas.

We were unable to use a standard out-of-the-box smoke shaft, instead having to make fine adjustments to each element of the system so as to conserve the landmark’s historic environment.

One area required a separate fan in order to protect the building’s architecture and the grills placed on the dampers must be visually attractive to avoid tarnishing the edifice’s aesthetics. Additional difficulties include actuating the sash windows.

Luke Wilczek, Project Manager at Group SCS:
“I’ve enjoyed working on this project as it presented some interesting challenges. The design was bespoke as nothing was standardised. Instead everything had to be slightly altered in order to preserve the building’s integrity."
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