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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Sheffield student accommodation given the full works

The brief

In the heart of Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter, West One has redeveloped the former Niche nightclub into a combination of 40 studio and four two-bed apartments for deluxe private and student accommodation. The fresh modern interior design paired with the industrial look of the building’s exterior was a finish which was not to be compromised, so when the client realised they needed a fire suppression system throughout, they had to make sure they found the perfect solution to meet regulations.
  • Project manager: Steve Holland
  • Property type: 44 studio apartments and flats
  • Property location: Sheffield
  • Open Plan rooms: Studio apartments and living quarters
  • Size of open plan space: Studios 20 sq. ft, apartments 40 sq. ft

The limitations

The design plans for the converted building flagged up that the escape corridor was too long, meaning each individual apartment required a fire suppression system to meet regulations. The interior was intended to be designed to a high-spec so the client required a solution which would meet all regulations while maintaining its clean, modern look and, in theory, should a fire be started, the system in place would cause as little damage to the space as possible.

The solution

Steve Holland, who was managing the project, took the advice of the fire officer when they recommended Automist Smartscan as a solution. Steve was familiar with the product and knew the multiple benefits it offered. The solution required 52 pump units to be installed in total - one for each of the 40 studios - and three pump units in each of the four larger apartments. With the units being run from individual pumps, if a fire was to go off in one room it wouldn’t set off others unless the fire spread. The small size of the pumps meant that minimal space was taken up by the install in each apartment. And the biggest benefit of the water-mist system meant that if Smartscan was to be activated, it would cause very little damage and clean up to the affected room, keeping repair costs to a minimum. There would be no penetration of plaster or damage to timber, so repairs required as a result of the wall head setting off would be a dehumidifier and a re-paint to the affected area. Steve said: “Danny Smith was really efficient, he had plans designed up for the location of the pump in each of the rooms. When it came to light that the plans for the larger apartments required a re-think, Danny swiftly visited the site, discussed the issues and re-evaluated. He talked it through with the client to make sure it was fully compliant. It was the perfect solution to the problem and everything ran smoothly throughout the process.”