construction

Architect says sprinkler installation at Glasgow Hospital was used as an excuse to flout other buildings standards

Cost-cutting Credit: George Allison under CC BY-SA 4.0 An architect who helped design Scotland s largest hospital has warned that corners were cut in the construction of the 14-storey complex in the name of keeping down costs. Robert Menzies, now retired from his role at BMJ Architects, believes the installation of a sprinkler system in Glasgow s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital has been used as an excuse for flouting other building standards. He says the complex, which includes a children s hospital, adult hospital and laboratory, lacks exit stairways and exceeds size limits on fire compartments, while a hose-reel for firefighters is too short and some fire doors open in the wrong direction.

Insulation panels used in Grenfell tower are also fitted to the hospital, although the health board has insisted they are safe. Menzies drew up the hospital s exemplar design which sets criteria that firms bidding for construction projects must meet as senior healthcare architect at BMJ. He says the construction contract was given to London-based Brookfield Multiplex in defiance of architects recommendations that a bid from Balfour Beatty be accepted on the basis of cost , he suspects. They ve then made the stairs the minimum width possible. Surely you d want to make them wider to compensate for not having enough stairways in the first place? Robert Menzies, BMJ Architect We thought we would provide a monitoring role right through to completion of the actual build, in terms of where this is compliant and where it s not, so we were surprised to be told we were no longer required, Menzies told the Glasgow Evening Times. I had read the winning bidder s fire strategy and it concerned me a lot. It was almost like they the health board didn t want us around asking questions. It was very odd.

Lack of stairways On the lack of stairways he said: They are supposed to provide three stairways minimum as an emergency escape route if there are more than 100 people per storey. In the adult tower, there are 112 patients per floor but only two stairways. They are only slightly over, but that s just the patients there are also staff and visitors. They ve then made the stairs the minimum width possible. Surely you d want to make them wider to compensate for not having enough stairways in the first place? At least one fire compartment was too big in the original designs, says Menzies at least for the limit prescribed in Scotland, set at 1500sq, whereas it did meet the 2,000sq metre limit set in England. Pointing to the high failure rate of sprinklers in US hospitals 20% of which have had fires where sprinklers failed Menzies told the Glasgow Evening Times that an over-reliance on sprinklers was foolish. If you re putting sprinklers in and you re saying a fire will never occur as a consequence, then why do you need escape stairs? Why do you need anything?

But what happens when the sprinkler system fails? They re not 100%. A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did not dispute the veracity of Menzies claims, but pointed out that all buildings in the hospital complex were certified as compliant with Scottish fire safety and building standards by Glasgow City Council in 2015. Health Facilities Scotland also endorsed the hospital s fire strategy, he said. He said: It is important that everyone working in and coming to these world class facilities for healthcare know that we take fire safety extremely seriously and that there are heat/smoke detection and early warning fire alarm systems combined with automatic fire suppression sprinkler systems fitted in all areas. The hospitals are further protected by designated fire-fighting and fire evacuation lifts, as well as multiple fire escape stairwells. A spokeswoman for Brookfield Multiplex said: The final design met all the requirements of the building regulations and was signed off progressively through construction by Glasgow City Council s building control office.

Construction consultancy firm Currie & Brown has been appointed to verify the hospitals construction and certification process following the Grenfell blaze.

Are UK building regulations fit for purpose?

FSF launches Approved Document B survey

Survey The Fire Sector Federation (FSF) has intensified its long-running campaign for a review of Approved Document B in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. It recently published a brochure that cites changes in building design, practice and materials since the framework was last reviewed more than a decade ago in 2006 that render the current document not fit for purpose. Now the FSF is inviting the industry to share its views on the topic by completing a survey.

The survey, which was already in the pipeline before the Grenfell tragedy unfolded, has been put together with the help of NBS Research, an independent research organisation. In canvassing the views of professionals across the supply chain, the FSF hopes to gauge the degree to which the practical guidance in Approved Document B meets the requirements of fire protection in the construction industry in 2017. The survey findings will form the basis of a submission to the DCLG to help those responsible for making sure building regulations and Approved Document B are as effective as possible.

The survey is open until August 2017.

Complete the survey

Construction fire safety: Bull Products upgrades first-responder stations with height-extending detector

Bull Products, which specialises in developing life-safety equipment for the construction industry, says its revamped first-responder stations will cut costs for contractors and construction companies. Based on its on-site investigations into the effectiveness of existing processes and equipment, Bull Products has added an optional, height-extending pole to the stations. Designed to attach to the back of the First Responder Stations, the addition makes detection installation quicker and reduces costs, as wireless detectors are not required, says the company.

The pole can be raised to a height of over three metres with a detector attached to the top, and it can be adjusted to position the detector at any height between 2.1 and 3.2 metres from the ground. The stations, which incorporate fire extinguishers and a Cygnus fire alarm, are fully mobile. In contrast, conventional heat and smoke detectors are fixed to ceilings or walls using ladders or podiums, creating a safety risk for those installing them. Matthew Trigwell, Sales Director at Bull Products, said: We re continuously looking at ways to solve issues within the industry and improve our products to make lives easier for construction companies and M & E contractors. This height-extending detector will not only improve safety for our customers on construction sites but it will provide a time-saving and efficient solution. This new feature comes with a heat detector as default, but smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are also available should these be required. The detector is hard wired to the alarm through a spare input and is only compatible with the following Cygnus alarms, CYG2 and CYG2/85DB. Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals. Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape.

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ASFP takes first steps with RIBA-based Work Plan for Fire Protection

Niall Rowan CEO of ASFP, introduced a FIREX panel session about improving passive fire protection, recapping the progress made by the ASFP panel of experts with the development of an overarching Construction Strategy. Since its inception at FIREX in 2016, the panel has convened at a number of meetings and a roundtable to improve collaboration across silos in the construction industry with the aim of engaging fire safety engineers at an earlier stage in the construction process. This has resulted in the first steps being taken to deliver a RIBA-based Work Plan for Fire Protection to combat the fragmentation with regard to best practice in the world of construction, from building contractors to insurers.

The ASFP panel of experts was set up to include stakeholders from across the construction industry and represents the views of the following groups: architects/designers, criminal regulatory lawyers, fire engineers, tier-one contractors, passive fire protection manufacturers, passive fire protection insurers, the PFP trade body, fire service, building control, insurers, building owners. A number of these experts were present at the panel session to discuss the new Work Plan and answer questions from the audience. Present: Paul Bussey architect RIBA committee; Damian Ward Technical Compliance manager; Colin Wells Aviva; Glenn Horton consultant fire engineer; David O Reilly ASFP Ireland; Carl Atkinson Chairman.

7 Work Stages of Fire Management Architect Paul Bussey (AHMM) introduced the Fire Risk Identification, Evaluation, Reduction & Communication Process by RIBA work stages the panel has been working on. This new work plan proposal investigates the possibilities for introducing a sign off process as construction progresses, with all information reaching the end-user to support adequate fire risk management. The RIBA work stages method was chosen to identify each of the stakeholders and to define their roles and responsibilities at each stage, specifying who would contribute, inspect and sign off. Bussey explained: Building regulations do not have a good process throughout architects are trained as general practitioners and cannot be expected to be expert in every field. So we are trying to work with other specialists and bring them in the process at the right time The RIBA work plan methodology is used by UK architects to manage and plan the building design and construction process. Bussey introduced the 7 work stages of fire management that have been added to this: (Stage 0-1) Fire Risk? L,M,H; (Stage 2-3) Fire Design Strategy; (Stage 3-4) Fire Design & CDM; (Stage 3-4) Contractor Fire Plan; (Stage 4-5) Specialist Fire Input; (Stage 6-7) Fire Management. As Bussey explained, Stages 2&3 are the early stages in which big decisions need to be made about risk assessment. As architects progress through the stages, more detailed performance criteria are required and collaboration with technical fire experts and engineers becomes key.

At the early stages obtaining the right information about interfaces between one material and the other is an important aspect of the fire risk assessment, but details about requirements are often lacking. Simplifying the whole process will make it clear at the tendering stage how far the design has been developed. The next hurdle to overcome is the prescriptive stage: here a lot of specialist input is required and the input has to be coherently integrated. In the Fire Management stage the project is handed over to the client who has to start maintaining the building and has to know what exactly has to be maintained. The panel is working towards a document that captures all of this process with details about installation and certification resulting in a manual that can be used to check the process. The aim is to encapsulate key information and identify the role of each of the stakeholders for each of the RIBA work stages. Currently a discussion is underway to see whether inspection sign-off should be a regulatory sign-off as it is in Ireland. Ensuring there is a paper trail of sign-offs is an important part of the improvement proposed. But who exactly is responsible for carrying these out has not yet been established.

David O Reilly explained that the current code of practice in Ireland gives the owner paramount responsibility for appointing competent designers, certifiers and contractors. These assigned certifiers must be registered architects, chartered engineers or chartered surveyors. Colin Wells (Aviva) also pointed out that insurers would like to be involved at the earliest possible stage of design. However, this can often result in a discussion about costs and a discussion about risk needs to be had at this stage to assess whether the building should itself be protected once everyone is out of the building. During the Q&A the question was raised why no one from local government was represented on the panel. However Rowan explained that a representative from a local authority is on the panel but could not attend the session, noting that they are one of the most important stakeholders for sign off. Another point of interest raised was the problem that approved inspectors are paid by the client and that this can cause a conflict of interest. The panel acknowledged this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Professional standards need to be raised and attitudes need to change to ensure standards.

The work stage plan formalises the process. It explains a very complicated system and perhaps a plan of work is also required for refurbishments. But it needs to be simplified into a usable document. Also more complex building will require more complex solutions but ultimately it is important to ensure collaborating on every project is coordinated. The challenge is to get the right people involved at the right time. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas.

From the brand new Drone Zone, the ARC Village, ASFP Passive Protection Zone, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition and more, it s all under one roof so you ll never miss a beat.

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Bull Products, life safety specialist for the construction industry, to exhibit at London ExCeL

FIREX International 2017 Bull Products will showcase its Cygnus fire alarm system, fire/spill/first aid first responder stations and Fire 360 service at FIREX International 2017. The Hereford-based company specialises in life-safety equipment for the construction industry. The Cygnus wireless alarm system is the most adaptable temporary fire alarm system used in the industry, says Bull Products.

The Cygnus range can connect up to 480 individual units in 15 different zones using class one radio. An advanced cause and effect set up between zones is suited to complex projects. Fire, spill and first aid first responder stations are fully mobile and can be deployed at strategic locations around construction sites. Fire 360 is a 12-step plan for a comprehensive fire strategy that ensures compliance and protects people and assets from the risk of fire. Bull Products arranges for a BAFE-certified advisor to attend construction sites within 48 hours of commencing a Fire 360 plan. The advisor then assesses requirements and provides detailed advice on fire safety strategy. We re delighted to be showcasing our diverse range of products to the fire and security industry, says Matthew Trigwell, sales director at Bull Products. The show is a great opportunity for customers to find out more about our products and services and a way for us to discover prospective clients. Established in 2001, Bull Products is an independently owned manufacturer and importer of fire protection, fall arrest and first aid equipment, spill control and a range of other life-saving products for the construction industry.

Check out Bull products and find out about their services at FIREX International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find them on stand F80. Get your free badge now.

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ASFP to prioritise construction guidance in 2017

ASFP To Prioritise Construction Guidance In 2017

ASFP President’s Lunch The ASFP has revealed plans to focus on improving guidance on passive fire protection throughout the construction process in 2017. Announced during the organisation s annual President s Lunch the Construction Strategy aims to provide to the construction sector clear guidance, tailored to each stage of the process, from strategic definition through design and development, into the construction phase, handover and inspection and finally ongoing in use of the building. The work will build on findings generated during the ASFP s Question Time event at FIREX International 2016 and a follow-up round-table in which a panel of industry experts discussed how to improve collaborative working across the design and build process.

Plan of Works metrics that can encompass the entire design, build, inspection and management process for a building s fire performance are already in development. The ASFP will now seek agreement and support from all professional organisations involved in the design and build process. The association is also developing a training and education strategy to educate those working in the built environment on the importance of fire protection in building design. Former ASFP Chairman Stuart Holmes told more than 180 ASFP members and invited guests at the president s lunch, which took place at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall, London, that the association was entering a new era following a recent shake-up of key personnel. Another major departure was announced at the event with president Brian Robinson now retiring. Niall Rowan, who will take the reins as COO from 1 January 2017, told guests: I am honoured to take on the new role of chief operations officer and look forward to steering the association as it grows from strength to strength in the years to come. As we enter this new era, I would like to first thank both Wilf and Brian for the tremendous work they have done in bringing the Association to where we are today. The ASFP will continue to take a lead on key issues that affect the wider built environment in relation to fire and believes that its new construction strategy will result in a fundamental change in the way in which fire is considered throughout the design and build process, resulting in significant improvements in the design, installation and maintenance of fire protection systems in future. Free download covering legal requirements for responsible persons under the FSO, courtesy of the IOSH, BIFM and USHA approved UK provider of health, safety and environmental information.

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Our most read security articles and downloads of 2016

Our Most Read Security Articles And Downloads Of 2016

Photo: Sadie Hernandez under CC2.0 licence Welcome to IFSEC Global s most read articles and downloads of 2016. Major new stories with a security angle like the Donald Trump s border wall, security concerns around Pokemon Go and the Virgin Trains-Jeremy Corbyn row were prominent on this year s list. Ranked number one for May, meanwhile, Hikvision s purchase of Pyronix was arguably the most seismic of the many acquisitions concluded in another busy year for mergers and acquisitions in the security sector.

This year also saw the cyber vulnerabilities of IP CCTV cameras become a dominant issue, with every story we published on the topic attracting huge interest. We ve also, once again, provided a rundown of the year s top five downloads, with the top position occupied by the follow-up edition to the report that topped the rankings in 2015. Anyway, thanks for reading IFSEC Global in 2016 and Merry Christmas we hope you ll be back with us in 2017. January 10 security innovations from CES 2016 A camera in the form of a rolling ball, an iris reader for ATM machines and a solar-powered door lock were two of the products on show at the world s largest consumer electronics show. February CCTV Camera Settings: Here s how to get the best picture possible CCV consultant Simon Lambert delivered a tutorial on turning your CCTV images from ho-hum to wow . Accompanied by illustrative images the article explains how to adjust your camera settings to get the best images possible in dim light, when objects ae moving and other challenging conditions. March Major security flaws found in surveillance systems both DVR and cloud-based Find out why your CCTV system is probably highly vulnerable to cyber attack, courtesy of research by Cloudview. April ONVIF on profile T, H.265 and IoT interoperability beyond security An interview with Greg Alcorn, vice chairman of Communication Committee, who looks at the achievements of 2015 and reveals the organisation s current priorities. May Hikvision to acquire Pyronix The deal, which Hikvision has just announced, is the latest in a number major acquisitions in the video surveillance market in recent years.

embedded content June Top 50 most influential people in security and fire 2016: results announced Last year Avigilon CTO Dr Mahesh Saptharishi topped IFSEC Global s top 50 influencers. Who is our most influential person in security and fire this time around? July Pok mon go security risks flagged by CIA, Gulf states and data security experts Even by the standards of online viral trends, Pokemon Go s trajectory is quite astonishing. Within a week of launch the augmented-reality mobile exploration game could boast 20 million downloads. To put that into some sort of context, it s twice the number achieved by dating app Tinder over a timescale 208 times as long (four years), August Did Virgin Trains breach data protection laws by releasing CCTV footage of Jeremy Corbyn? IFSEC Global put the question to a CCTV control room operator and a senior professional in corporate security. September Donald Trump s big, beautiful, powerful wall : everything you need to know Trump s penchant for bigness has manifested in the most emblematic promise of his US presidential bid: the construction of a big, beautiful, powerful wall along the US-Mexico border. embedded content October Watch how to hack a security camera. It s alarmingly simple Sophos researcher James Lyne shows you how to hack a security camera.

It s alarmingly easy and should concentrate minds in the security industry. November CCTV field trial footage: Sony SNC-VB770 ultra-high sensitivity 4K cameras Watch footage from a field trial of Sony s SNC-VB770 (4K) cameras, conducted by northeast-based integrator Universal Systems Solutions. December Security & Fire Excellence Awards 2016: winners revealed Digital Barriers, Mitie Total Security Management and Assured Fire and Security were among the winners at this year s Security & Fire Excellence Awards. Top story of the year Our story on the Pok mon Go phenomenon and the attendant security risks, both cyber and physical, was the most read topical story of the year. However, Simon Lambert s tour de force on optimising your image quality eclipsed the completion by some distance. Top 5 downloads 5. Analysing the total cost of ownership of video surveillance systems 4. The access control report 2016: legacy infrastructure and motivations for upgrading 3. The smart-home security report 2016: the growing market for smart door locks 2.

The wireless access control market in 2016 1.

The 2016 video surveillance report download Download: The Video Surveillance Report 2016 This exclusive report covers the security needs of surveillance systems as shaped by the physical environment including: What do security professionals think about plug-and-play systems Challenges like low-light conditions or large spaces and the threats posed in various sectors Which cutting-edge features such as mobile access, PTZ smart controls or 4K resolution are most important to security professionals What are the most important factors driving upgrades and would end users consider an upgrade to HD analogue Download the full report here.