Hatfield Galleria shops for state of the-art fire protection

1st February 2009

Originally built in 1990, the Galleria in Hatfield is a major shopping complex, comprising more than 120 retail units. The site was acquired in 2006 by Land Securities, who took the decision early on to replace the existing fire protection solution, which was no longer supported.

Following a competitive tender, a Notifier-by-Honeywell system was chosen as best suited to meet the retail complex's uniquely demanding needs. As a result of the installation of the intelligent Notifier® ID3000-based fire safety system in April 2008, shoppers and employees at the Galleria today benefit from the very latest in fire protection technologies.

Robustness and reliability

Working with consulting engineers, BWS Partnership, Land Securities recognised the need to replace the now obsolete system with a modern day equivalent. As a result, the principal electrical contractor, EV Bullen, was tasked with securing a ‘fit for purpose' solution that was both reliable and cost-effective.

"In working with Land Securities over a number of years, we had previous positive experience of fire safety installations by Notifier's Engineered Systems Distributor (ESD) partner, Trinity Protection Systems - most recently at a major refurbishment project in Paddington, West. London," confirms managing director, Matt Bullen.

"In addition, in choosing Trinity's proposed solution, we already had a strong track record of success in using Notifier equipment."

The bespoke site-wide solution, managed and installed by EV Bullen and designed and commissioned by Trinity, incorporates nine ID3000 fire alarm panels, with approximately 2,000 devices over 30 loops and is LPS 1014 third-party certificated. The ID3000 system also monitors and controls the complex retail alarm, smoke control and sprinkler system, via loop-mounted I/O modules.

"The individual fire control panels are linked using Notifier's ID2net ultra-high speed Intelligent Data Delivery Network, which transmits an alarm across the network in less than half a second," says Trinity's Martin Low.

The fault-tolerant network consists of five principal and four full-function repeater panels, with each repeater panel equipped with a full function display and printer unit. Full fireman's control functions are provided at each repeater location to aid in the control and clearance of smoke during an incident.

In addition, the modular Notifier UniNet-ID incorporates advanced technology to provide the Hatfield site with a complete monitoring and control facilities management system, via an easy-to-use and learn graphical user interface. This allows all alarms and system faults to be displayed is a clearly understandable format, which in turn provides an exact location map for the device in question.

"By adopting a distributed ‘cause and effect' matrix, the ID3000 is uniquely programmed to meet the Galleria's highly complex site requirements by means of powerful ‘Control by Event' (CBE) rules," says Low. "The software thus ensures that, for any given fire situation, the building smoke systems configure themselves to remove smoke from the area and discharge it safely to the outside of the building."

In addition, requirements such as facility shutdown fire door control may be programmed quickly and easily, by interfacing directly with the existing voice alarm and smoke control systems, so minimising disruption and ensuring controlled evacuation and escalation in the event of a fire.

Team effort

The installation programme had to take account of a number of constraints. On the one hand, specialist access equipment and techniques had to be deployed in order to site cabling above false ceilings and in the atrium. At the same time, virtually all the work had to be undertaken out of hours - during evenings and weekends - in order to minimise disruption, while maintaining full fire protection, demanding close liaison with both Centre management and individual tenants.

Despite these operating restrictions, because of the of the strong project management skills of both Trinity and EV Bullen, the project was completed within the tight time schedule set. The new system, which went live as planned in April, is now fully operational.

Land Securities has been especially delighted with the Hatfield implementation. "Notifier's technologically advanced yet thoroughly tested fire safety systems, together with the unrivalled quality of Trinity's service support ensures the high level of protection the site demands," says engineering manager, Dave Noonan.

For Peter Bush of BWS, "equally importantly, much of the success of this uniquely complex implementation has been down to our collective project management expertise and everyone working as a single unified team."

Looking ahead, plans are in hand to expand the Galleria site: "In response, Notifier's future-proof design is perfectly placed to provide any additional fire safety protection required," confirms John Simpson, sales manager UK & Ireland, Notifier by Honeywell.

"More broadly, the ID3000 fire protection system is ideally designed for large public facilities such as the Galleria," he concludes. "It sets the highest standards in technical sophistication, functionality and reliability, at the same time remaining easy to install, programme and operate."