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Erskine House, Belfast

Erskine House, Belfast

Commissioning of Smoke Ventilation Systems

G.S Stothers were responsible for the commissioning of the smoke ventilation systems within Erskine House.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) is relocating from Stormont to a new home in the heart of Belfast city centre as part of its mission to make Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest.

The move comes as the UK Government’s Places for Growth programme continues to restructure the civil service by putting local people at the heart of decision making and ensuring civil servants are rooted in the communities they serve. Erskine House is another example of the programme’s success which will see 22,000 Civil Service roles moved out of London by 2030.
Commissioning a smoke shaft system involves a series of steps to ensure that the system operates effectively and meets the required safety standards. This process includes;

  • Design Review: Examining the specifications, drawings, and plans to ensure that the design meets the necessary codes, regulations, and performance criteria.
  • Installation Inspection: Verifying that all components, such as smoke shafts, dampers, fans, and control systems, are installed correctly and in accordance with the design specifications.
  • Functional Testing: Includes testing the operation of dampers, fans, and control systems to ensure they function as intended. It also involves checking for proper airflow, smoke extraction, and smoke containment within the designated areas.
  • Pressure Testing: Involves pressurising the system to a specified pressure level and measuring the air leakage using specialised equipment. The objective is to ensure that the leakage is within acceptable limits, as specified in the design criteria.

Throughout the commissioning process, detailed documentation is maintained, including test reports, inspection records, and any necessary corrective actions taken. Once the system has passed all the tests and inspections, a certification or commissioning report is issued, indicating that the smoke shaft system has been properly commissioned and meets the required standards.

Training may also be provided to the building operators or maintenance staff on the proper operation and maintenance of the smoke shaft system during the commissioning process. This ensures that the system can be effectively managed after handover.

Commissioning a smoke shaft system is crucial to ensure its reliability, functionality, and compliance with fire safety regulations. It helps identify any deficiencies or issues early on, allowing for necessary adjustments or corrective actions before the system is put into operation.

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