Mechanical smoke ventilation systems are comprised of an extract shaft serving common corridors and lobby areas of a building – with the primary objective of the smoke ventilation system to maintain these escape routes in the event of a fire.
When smoke is detected within an area covered by a mechanical ventilation system, the vent to the smoke shaft on the floor where the fire is located will open (all other vents must remain shut). At the same time, the head of stairs vent will open to provide make up air for the smoke extraction system. The fan at the top of the mechanical smoke shaft extracts the smoke and prevents migration of smoke into the adjacent compartments.
Often a building’s design will determine which ventilation system is most appropriate, with British Standard (BS) requirements varying depending on a building’s height and the distance from the furthest apartment entrance door to the nearest escape route. However, where appropriate, system selected can be driven by design aspirations or architectural restrictions. Mechanical smoke ventilation systems can allow for maximisation of space within the footprint of a building, when compared to natural ventilation systems. The improved efficiency offered by mechanical systems means systems can be designed around space constraints.
The performance criteria and components of any mechanical smoke ventilation system will vary depending on the layout of the common corridors or lobby of the building. Thorough analysis of the proposed fire strategy and design of the common escape routes is essential. Regulation compliance is paramount – as life-saving devices, systems must meet, or exceed standards, and achieve strict performance criteria.
At Whitesales, we offer the most advanced and cost-effective solutions to suit any project requirements, whether mechanical or natural.
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