Fire and smoke dampers for Penarth Learning Community

Project title: Penarth Learning Community

Location: South Wales

Client: CMB Engineering

Service: Smoke Control

Project Background

The new Penarth Learning Community is a development under the ‘21st Century Schools Investment Programme’, designed to replace two existing schools and add a host of modern learning technology including special education needs areas such as a sensory pool and respite facilities.

The project was built from the ground up with a targeted BREEAM ‘Excellent’ energy rating, so building engineering systems were selected that matched this ethos of sustainability.

Ventilation within the building was a combination of natural vent and ductwork linked to a number of air handling units, with the requirement to distribute ventilation through the building without compromising fire/smoke safety.

The Project

The Client
Penarth Learning Centre was built by Leadbitter, with CMB Engineering appointed as building services/M&E contractor. Group SCS’s Building Automation division was appointed to manage and implement fire and smoke safety systems on the building, developing a system of nearly 100 dampers linked via ASi network (Actuator Sensor Interface) to the main air handling plants at two buildings.
Our Involvement
Where the air handling ductwork intersects with fire-rated structural elements within the building, there is a regulatory requirement to ensure that it does not become a ‘weak point’ for ingress of smoke during the breakout of a fire. Therefore dampers need to be installed in these locations within the ductwork, allowing for fire spread to be halted and smoke to be compartmentalised.

Our Solution

By developing a fire/smoke damper system that interacts with the main building controls, Group SCS was able to install a system which featured real-time monitoring of damper performance. The addressable damper array is more advanced than a standard fusible link system, allowing for global control that connects to the building’s comfort heating/cooling performance.

Our main control panel provides control and monitoring of the motorised smoke dampers via remote interface units on an ASi network located at each damper position. It also interfaces directly with the HMI touchscreen control panel via Ethernet TC/IP protocol and connects to the open protocol BMS system through a Modbus interface table.

The system negates the need for FM/building management to individually locate and test each damper on a regular basis, and provides immediate feedback in the event of a fault developing with any individual component.

Develop a fire/smoke damper system that interacts with the main building controls

Install a system which features real-time monitoring of damper performance

Group SCS’s main control panel provides control and monitoring of the motorised smoke dampers via remote interface units on an ASi network located at each damper position

The system negates the need for FM/building management to individually locate and test each damper on a regular basis, and provides immediate feedback

Mike Parkhurst, Engineering Manager, Group SCS:
“This project could have been very complex and unwieldy, but our modular addressable dampers and controls led to far simpler commissioning and ongoing service."
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