The Natural History Museum – ongoing fire safety strategy,fire engineeringNovember 1, 2001 12:00 am
For 10 years, LWF has been providing both strategic and detailed advice to enable this fine historic building to meet the rigorous demands of modern fire safety. We developed and continue to implement a fire safety strategy which involves a lateral approach using prescriptive codes where appropriate and innovative fire engineering in difficult or special areas.
For 10 years LWF have been providing both strategic and detailed advice to enable this fine historic building to meet the rigorous demands of modern fire safety. A dynamic and vibrant environment, the Museum encompasses the most modern research, the finest collection of life and earth sciences, and one of the most famous landmarks of contemporary Victorian architecture in the world.
LWF have helped the Museum to drive forward a massive programme of upgrading in order to meet both statutory and user-led requirements. We developed and continue to implement a fire safety strategy which involves a lateral approach using prescriptive codes where appropriate and innovative fire engineering in difficult or special areas.
In the role of both fire engineering consultants and project managers LWF run the project design and construction teams on site, enabling the benefits of true “”single point service””, to facilitate the smooth implementation of often difficult work in this operational workplace and place of assembly.
We have nurtured full professional and working relationships in the diverse areas of interest expressed by a variety of parties, including the different user groups, fire brigade, building control, English Heritage and government bodies. Fire precautions have been designed and installed both to blend-in and contrast with the heritage of the site; where possible traditional features have been upgraded, re-manufactured or innovative designs using modern materials adopted. The latest fire detection and voice alarm technology has been incorporated and in all areas the added- value of these elements has been maximised.
The strategic application of fire safety in such buildings ensures that additional benefits, often not appreciated, can be obtained from features normally seen solely from the fire safety perspective. The new Voice Alarm System has enabled the introduction of touch-screen Public Address facilities across the site, new emergency lighting has resulted in the installation of sine-wave inverters for local power back-up using new combined lighting units, which in turn improves circuit monitoring, energy conservation and minimises maintenance. New doors have added to security features, privacy for private functions, strategic property and collections protection, fire fighting bridgeheads and improved environmental and climate control.
The Museum continues to develop as public demands for the world-class research and collections increases, and LWF continue to work as partners with the Museum to ensure the fine balance between profile and safety is maintained.