The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises – Examples of Fire-Engineered Healthcare – Part 68

January 10, 2022 12:45 pm

LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals aims to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 67 of Fire Engineering for Healthcare Premises, LWF continued to look at a specific example of where fire engineering solutions have been used for healthcare premises, as per HTM 05-03, a care facility extension to an existing district general hospital. In part 68, LWF will summarise the results of the project involving the annexe to an existing hospital for a care facility for older people.

The fire safety engineer for the project used computational models to aid their calculation of what provisions were necessary to mitigate the effects of fire. The results showed how a fire would develop and spread based on the selected scenarios. In order to assess the fire-engineered solution proposed, it could then be compared with the same analysis undertaken for the design following the prescriptive code, to show that the fire-engineered solution equals or exceeds the prescriptive guidance.

The calculation method used for predicting the fire hazards in the proposed unit for the two protection strategies was a two-layer, multi-compartment zone model.

Using the methods described and the application of fire engineering judgement, sprinkler systems were installed which allowed a reduction in fire-resistant construction for the compartments contained within the annexe from 60 minutes resistance to 30 minutes.

The sprinkler system was designed to suppress fire growth which would reduce fire spread, intensity and smoke and gas emissions, thus allowing a lowering of compartment fire-resistance.

For this reason, the alternative (fire-engineered) solution was chosen as the fire safe solution for the care facility, because while meeting all required fire safety standards, it also allowed for a reduction in compartmentation (in terms of build, as well as in terms of fire-resistance) and so enabled a more flexible and user-friendly building. In addition, the chosen fire safety strategy yielded an overall construction cost saving.

It should be noted that where active fire protection measures such as fire detection and suppression are utilised, their continued efficacy depends upon adherence to the maintenance schedule. In addition, where passive fire protection measures are in place, such as fire-resistant compartmentation, they must be maintained as installed and any apertures in construction must be fire-stopped promptly. Any changes to building layout and use may impact on the fire safety provision in place.

In Part 69 of LWF’s blog series, LWF will begin to look at an example of how fire engineering was used in the integration of an atrium into a teaching hospital. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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