Apollo technology lies at the heart of an intelligent fire detection system installed to protect a new urban village for students in the centre of Lincoln.
The client, The Mainstay Group, had emphasised the need for minimal unwanted alarms and high reliability. Leader Systems UK Ltd of Rugby won the contract to design, supply and commission the fire detection system and recommended Apollo’s Discovery range of intelligent fire detectors to meet the client’s criteria.
The Pavilions comprises eight accommodation blocks varying from four to eight storeys in height. The central hub of the development consists of four interconnected blocks, with the remaining four being stand-alone. All the bedrooms are en suite and arranged into four, five and six bedroom apartments with some self-contained studio apartments also available.
Capable of accommodating in excess of 1,000 students altogether, The Pavilions is now the largest student village in Lincoln. Its construction follows the success of The Junxion development on the opposite side of the university campus in 2005, which is also managed by The Mainstay Group and has an Apollo-based fire detection system from Leader Systems UK Ltd.
Leader Systems UK Ltd conducted a design review and risk assessment at The Pavilions to determine the development’s fire protection requirements. Tony Weaver, Systems Manager, explains: “We identified that the areas of high risk for unwanted alarms were the bedrooms, kitchens and internal link corridors and we recommended the Apollo Discovery range because it features five programmable sensitivity settings that makes it extremely adaptable to differing environmental conditions.”
In fact, Apollo’s Discovery range of intelligent fire detectors offers a number of features to ensure that warnings are particularly reliable and nuisance alarms are kept to a minimum. Examples include automatic drift compensation, a feature that adjusts for environmental conditions such as dust to ensure the detector is not adversely affected, and sophisticated self-monitoring that rejects transient alarms – as well as the five programmable settings that allow sensor sensitivity to be matched to specific requirements.
Leader Systems UK Ltd also recommended the use of special verification software for all automatic detection within the high risk areas. This is programmed to operate over and above the main phased evacuation programme and was developed in conjunction with the panel manufacturer Advanced Electronics.
Each accommodation block at The Pavilions is equipped with an independent fire alarm control panel and these are networked to provide site-wide fire and fault reporting. The main block also houses a bespoke 500 zone LED reporting station that is coupled with a scaled site plan. Approximately 1,700 Apollo Discovery devices are installed in all, with smoke detectors positioned in the bedrooms, corridors and landlord areas and heat detectors used in the kitchens. The fire system also links with a site-wide pager system, automatic opening ventilation, magnetic door closers in all common areas and lift shutdowns.
The system is configured to enable a phased evacuation, to ensure that only occupants in the immediate vicinity and above the area of origin are evacuated first. Should the alarm continue, the system will then evacuate the entire floor where the incident occurred, followed by evacuation of the entire block as necessary.
The Pavilions opened its doors to students in September 2006, although the fire detection system has been operational for longer. Paul Whittingham, of managing agents The Mainstay Group, comments: “The installation, design and implementation phases went very smoothly and the fire detection system has proved to be totally reliable. It has been trouble-free from an operational and safety point of view, which is a credit to all parties concerned.”
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