SE Controls Launch the SHEVTEC® Extended Travel Distance System
Published by Helena Preston for SE Controls in Housing and also in Education, Environment, Health, Local Government
SHEVTEC® Extended Travel Distance System
Life just got easier for developers, designers and regulators of residential and student accommodation thanks to SE Controls’ revolutionary approach to smoke ventilation. After a flawless installation of their SHEVTEC® Extended Travel Distance System at Chettles Yard student accommodation in Nottingham, their client has been able to benefit from the most cost effective and robust smoke ventilation system in the market.
The SHEVTEC® Extended Travel Distance System enables designers to save significant costs in a number of ways. The system enables escape travel distances to be increased above the ADB compliant maximum 7.5m without the need for additional stairwells creating an opportunity for significantly more accommodation. Furthermore, the SHEVTEC® Extended Travel Distance System uses smoke shafts less than half the area required by a conventional 1.5m2 shaft demanded under a typical natural ventilation system as set out in Approved Document B of the Building Regulations. This is achieved through using fans tested to EN12101-3 and suitable for smoke ventilation to increase the efficiency of smoke extraction when called on to do so in an emergency. But the savings don’t stop there. The SHEVTEC® EXTENDED TRAVEL DISTANCE SYSTEM’s OSLoop Control system intelligently monitors the system such that if one extract shaft fan fails to operate it will automatically bring alternative shafts into extract mode. This creates significant cost savings as each shaft only requires one single phase fan served by an independent supply, which can be neatly housed in the top of the shaft alleviating the need for the installation of roof mounted hefty, three phase fan sets requiring specialist access both for installation and maintenance. All SHEVTEC® maintenance can be performed from the INSIDE of the building.
The system is the culmination of over two years’ research using extensive Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling to simulate literally hundreds of scenarios. The SHEVTEC® EXTENDED TRAVEL DISTANCE SYSTEM has been designed to provide developers with much more flexibility to achieve ever increasing commercial pressures but without the need to compromise occupant or fire fighter safety. Following SE Controls’ successful and smooth delivery of their turnkey solution in Nottingham, including the installation, commissioning and demonstration, SE Controls now know that their SHEVTEC® EXTENDED TRAVEL DISTANCE SYSTEM system is a major step forward for both them and their clients.
SE Controls drew on 30 years of experience of designing, installing and maintaining smoke and heat exhaust ventilation systems (SHEVs) when they designed LABC REGISTERED SHEVTEC® EXTENDED TRAVEL DISTANCE SYSTEM. System flexibility, repeatability and ease of installation were central to meeting the cost constraints demanded by current market conditions. But importantly this was achieved through innovation which has enhanced the quality of the system, with all components being CE marked to the current EN12101 SHEVs standards or in the case of the OSLoop control system, fully compliant with the imminent EN 12101 parts 9 &10. SE Controls can offer various options for smoke shaft AOVs including their SHEVTEC® Smoke Shaft Door and Actuator, tested to BS 476-22:1987, BS 1634-1:2000, BSEN 1363-1:1999, BSEN 1364-2:2000 and to the principles of EN12101-2:2003 Annex G, giving designers the ability to match the AOV to other doors in the development. Alternatively SE Controls can deliver their SHEVTEC® damper which can be concealed behind a neat grill. Other Automatic Opening Vents are available in SE Controls SHEVTEC® range including glazed louvres for end of corridor applications, casement smoke vents, 90 degree and 140 degree opening vents and smoke louvres for top of stair or smoke shaft applications.
The brains behind the SHEVTEC® EXTENDED TRAVEL DISTANCE SYSTEM lies in the patented OSLoop control system, a looped power and data system, which constantly monitors all inputs and outputs including all cabling and the position of smoke vents – all in accordance with EN12101 part 9. Intelligence within the system is key to the systems effectiveness. Should a fire occur, SHEVTEC® smoke detectors placed in the corridor will determine which smoke shaft is closest to the fire and initiate that shaft as the extract shaft. Both SHEVTEC® Smoke Shaft Doors on the corridor will automatically open and the extract fan on the extract shaft will operate. The OSLoop system will ensure that all other smoke shaft doors remain closed within the building, so that smoke shafts work efficiently and keeps smoke from entering other corridors served by them.
In accordance with Approved Document B the OSLoop system will initiate the automatic opening of the SHEVTEC® Louvre at the top of the staircase during any system activation. This will ventilate any smoke that may enter the staircase as fire doors to the escape stair are opened.
The OSLoop system continues to monitor the entire process during activation. Built into the system there are safety features - should an extract fan fail during operation, or fail to start, the system will initiate a control sequence, changing the natural inlet shaft to an extract shaft by running its extract fan and the former extract shaft will revert to a natural inlet shaft. There is an option in the OSLoop control system to further extend the capability of the smoke ventilation system. The elegant and slimline SHEVTEC® Repeater Panel is no bigger than an IPAD and is located at the designated fire fighters entrance. It displays the current status of the system in simple easy and quick to understand representation of the building. Furthermore fire fighting crews can place the system into a ‘fire fighting phase’ by initiating a manual override, activated by key switches on the SHEVTEC® Repeater Panel. This fire fighting phase initiates both smoke shafts into extract mode and runs both.
Importantly, the OSLoop system has full data logging capability which can be interrogated to provide valuable historic evidence of activations. This is particularly useful for post event analysis – especially in light of recent well documented fires in high rise accommodation. Where nuisance operation is an issue (a common occurrence in student accommodation) SE Controls can provide their new Tamper Proof MCP (Manual Control Point). SE Controls’ feature rich product has been designed to go much further than simply providing the basics. The Tamper Proof MCP is is the only product available on the market which can deliver the full functionality required of an MCP whilst complying with the imminent EN12101-9 product standard. The orange (RAL 2011) MCP displays system and vent status both audibly and visibly through three LEDs, “power, fault and activated” (all requirements of the EN standard), all of which can be displayed on the SHEVTEC® Repeater Panel. Inappropriate operation of the manual control points (MCP) can not only cause activation of a system, if a fire does occur once an MCP has been operated, initiation of vents on fire floors can be locked out and fail to operate as a direct result. Most residential smoke ventilation systems are designed to be fully automatic, opening specific automatic opening vents (AOVs) when smoke is detected and generally only on the floor of fire origin. Manual Control Points are frequently the highest priority in a smoke ventilation system (commonly referred to as “Fireman’s Override Switches”) and as such are designed to disable the smoke detection system. Therefore the need for a tamper resistant manual control point has never been greater.
With the use of automatic smoke shaft doors there is always risk of entrapment when resetting the doors to a closed position. The tamperproof MCP’s are always located close to the smoke shaft door and operate via a dedicated key fob and as a ‘dead man’s handle’ when operating the doors, to mitigate any potential risk of entrapment.
The SHEVTEC® EXTENDED TRAVEL DISTANCE SYSTEM installed at Chettles Yard takes smoke ventilation to a new level, offering safer residential buildings due to a combination of SE Controls 30 years experience, newly developed products and their understanding of the needs of building designers, regulators and fire fighters alike.
SE Controls is a rapidly growing UK company operating across the globe with offices in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The company is continually seeking exceptional individuals to join the team, visit the website at www.secontrols.com to learn more. To discuss possible project requirements with SE Controls and request literature, please call their head office in Lichfield on 01543 443060.