Building regulations for AOV & Smoke ventilation systems – Architects
The latest regulations and guidelines for smoke control systems to be installed in new buildings with three storeys or more is probably one of the more complex sections of the design and specification process. It can certainly been seen as being a minefield for those not 100% up to date with current legislation.
It has been in our experience that many recent new building constructions, that require smoke ventilation systems, have not necessarily followed these regulations and guidelines exactly as required during these early stages of the project. Of course, this can be completely understandable since not all architects and main contractors will have the detailed knowledge of these detailed systems. Therefore, it is crucial if necessary, that they seek advice and guidance from those that are indeed fully aware and accredited with all the necessary legislation for smoke ventilation systems. Employing the consultation services from companies such as Silver Group can prevent complications of the projects further down the construction process. And of course it is these complications that are likely to result in considerable delays and additional expense to the project which would not have been budgeted for.
The detailed regulations not only cover the exact specifications of all the components of the smoke ventilation or AOV system used, but also their application within the building (and of course, maintenance requirements once the project is complete). They must be fit for purpose for that particular building and so the very nature of building design means that no two applications are likely to be the same.
The following are the legislative documents which cover the different elements: BS7346-8 Code of practice for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and servicing.of the smoke vent systems
Where as the various components are covered within the following: BS EN 12101: Part 2 – 2017 – Natural smoke ventilation
BS EN 12101: Part 3 – 2015 – Powered smoke ventilation
BS EN 12101: Part 6 – 2005 – Pressurised differential systems
BS EN 12101: Part 8 – 2011 – Smoke control dampers
BS EN 12101: Part 9 (provisional) – Control panel provision
BS EN 12101: Part 10 – 2005 – Power supplies
The Building Regulations Approved Document B (revised 2006) details the guidance on the practical installation requirements such as positioning of vents, free area calculations and other specifications dictated by the design and use of the building. There are many factors that will influence the requirements for a particular building. In addition, there is further guidance on regulations with BS9991 for residential buildings and BS9999 for commercial buildings.
Following the recent report by Dame Judith Hackett and the confirmation by the Secretary of State, many of these regulations and documents are likely to be enhanced and updated further in the coming months.
Here to help
Due to the complexity of these requirements, it is logical for architects to enlist the help from specialists contractors of smoke ventilation systems. However it is important that only those contractors that are suitably qualified are used. Since Smoke ventilation is seen as a crucial element of the life safety systems within the building which part of other safety systems such as fire alarm and detection systems, emergency lighting and fire suppression systems, then there is a clear advantage to employing a consultant who is qualified in these other aspects as well. As an example we have shown the current required method for calculating the free area which now in effect requires a larger size for the window casement.
Silver Group are members of the Smoke Controls Association* as well as being Certified Partners with SE Controls and many other leading manufacturers. Having already advised many architects and main contractors, we are well placed to provide that consultative guidance to ensure that with regards to smoke ventilation and other fire safety requirements the build meets and exceeds current legalisation.
*(the sole industry body made up of manufacturers, designers and installers who have been suitably approved and certified as meeting the high standards within the smoke controls sector)