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Case Study: Bolands Quay, Dublin

Ensuring Safe Means of Escape with Colt UK Shafts and MOE Stair Cores

Project Overview

The Bolands Quay regeneration project in Dublin stands as one of the city's largest and most ambitious endeavours to date. The project rejuvenated the Docklands' historic industrial warehouses, adding a contemporary touch while preserving Ireland's rich heritage. Bolands Quay will serve as a dynamic hub for work, living, shopping, dining, and cultural experiences.

The Challenge

In multi-storey residential and commercial buildings, the primary escape routes for occupants are common corridors and stairwells. During a fire incident, the open door of a burning apartment can quickly fill a corridor or lobby with a significant amount of smoke, making it difficult for occupants to evacuate. To address this, regulations limit the distance of fire doors in corridors and restrict the length of dead-end corridors. These measures aim to minimise the distance individuals may have to travel through smoke-filled areas.

Additionally, if smoke infiltrates the stairwells, it can hinder evacuation on other floors and impede the entry and deployment of firefighting personnel. To ensure the safety of residents, smoke control systems are installed in stairwells, corridors, and lobbies. These systems are crucial for preventing smoke from spreading into the stairwells, thereby facilitating safe evacuation, and enabling swift fire service response during emergencies.

Our Involvement

At G.S Stothers, we were proud to contribute to this significant project by taking charge of the commissioning of critical safety systems in the Bolands Mills section. Our responsibilities included commissioning Colt UK shafts and MOE (Means of Escape) stair cores throughout this complex.

In multi-storey residential buildings like Bolands Mills, the safety of occupants heavily relies on effective escape routes through common corridors and lobbies leading to staircases. The main objective is to maintain staircases as smoke-free zones and improve conditions in the connecting corridors and lobbies.

During a fire incident, an open door to a burning apartment can rapidly fill the corridor or lobby with a significant amount of smoke, making it extremely challenging for occupants to evacuate. Legislation has consequently imposed specific regulations to ensure resident safety. Corridor fire doors are restricted to a maximum distance of 30 meters, and dead-end corridors are limited to a length of 7.5 meters. These measures aim to minimise the distance individuals may have to travel through smoke-filled areas. (BS 9991 permits a distance of 15 meters if the apartments are equipped with sprinkler systems.)

Moreover, if smoke infiltrates the staircases, it can pose threats to occupants on other floors and hinder the entry and deployment of firefighting personnel. To address this critical issue, smoke control systems are strategically installed in each staircase and the adjacent lobbies or corridors. These systems efficiently prevent smoke from spreading into the stairwells, ensuring safe escape routes. Ventilation can be achieved through natural or mechanical means, or by employing pressurisation systems.

The Solution: Colt UK Shafts and MOE Stair Cores:

Colt UK Shafts:

  • Purpose: Colt UK shafts, also known as smoke shafts, are vertical channels or ducts designed to manage the movement of smoke during a fire.
  • Operation: Equipped with ventilation systems, such as fans and dampers, Colt UK shafts create controlled airflow to extract smoke from affected areas, preventing it from entering stairwells and corridors.
  • Applications: These shafts are critical components of smoke control systems in multi-storey buildings.

MOE (Means of Escape) Stair Cores:

  • Purpose: MOE stair cores provide safe and efficient means of escape for occupants during emergencies, particularly fires.
  • Design Considerations: MOE stair cores are designed with fire-resistant materials, fire doors, and pressurisation systems to maintain a smoke-free environment.
  • Regulations: Compliance with building codes ensures their effectiveness in emergencies.
  • Applications: MOE stair cores are essential features in multi-storey buildings across various sectors.

Integration and Results

Colt UK shafts and MOE stair cores are integrated into the overall fire safety and smoke control system of the Bolands Quay project. Proper design, installation, and maintenance of these components are paramount to their functionality and effectiveness.

By commissioning Colt UK shafts and MOE stair cores in Bolands Mills, the project prioritises the safety of its residents and occupants. These systems play a vital role in maintaining smoke-free escape routes, complying with regulatory standards, and safeguarding the well-being of users during fire emergencies.

In conclusion, Bolands Quay, Dublin, exemplifies how Colt UK shafts and MOE stair cores are integral to ensuring safe means of escape and smoke control in multi-storey buildings. These systems are essential components of the project's commitment to occupant safety and regulatory compliance in the face of fire incidents.

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