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Project Review SE Controls specialises in the design, project management and installation of advanced smoke ventilation and natural ventilation solutions to meet the needs of architects, contractors, building services engineers and facilities managers worldwide. This is a review of some recent projects completed by SE Controls.

Advanced Smoke Ventilation Protects Nottingham Students A £55 million student accommodation development in

To meet the fire safety and smoke ventilation needs in three

Nottingham is using integrated smoke and heat exhaust

of the new buildings at the Chettles Yard development, SE

ventilation systems from SE Controls to provide smoke free

Controls developed specific smoke and heat ventilation

escape routes for around 1000 students living in purpose

solutions for each accommodation block based around its

designed apartments at Chettles Yard.

versatile SHEVTEC® system.

The design & build contract, handled by Manchester based

As the maximum escape travel distance in two of the

student accommodation expert, Ocon Construction, not

apartment buildings was within the 7.5 metre limit covered

only involved the construction of the multi storey residential

by Approved Document B of the Building Regulations, the

blocks, but also extensive landscaping, infrastructure

SHEVTEC Natural Corridor Ventilation System was installed.

works and ground reconditioning. However, the six storey F Building had a travel distance Ocon also incorporated a number of ‘green’ features within

of 12.0 metres so SE Controls created a dedicated fire

the buildings’ design and construction including biomass

engineered solution around its full LABC Registered Detail

boilers and rainwater harvesting.

Certified SHEVTEC Extended Travel Distance System.

In the event of a fire, the main exit route is through a singe protected stairwell, so the SE Controls solution had to provide high integrity smoke and heat ventilation that not only allowed occupants to travel the increased distance to safety, but must also perform at least as well as the code compliant systems installed in the other two accommodation blocks. The extended travel system used in Building F was originally developed by SE Controls using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to create an off-the-shelf, fully compliant and CE marked solution that can not only assist escape but also simplify the building’s design by removing the need for additional escape stairs. In addition, the size of the smoke shafts used can be reduced to less than half of the 1.5m2 required under a typical natural ventilation system. When combined with the requirement for only one escape stair, this allowed the developers to incorporate more apartments within the building’s envelope. SE Controls provided a full turnkey solution to the Chettles The SHEVTEC system uses a dual smoke shaft and fan

Yard development, involving project management, the

ventilated solution linked by smoke sensors through SE

supply and installation of the SHEVTEC system and liaison

Controls’ powerful OSLoop control system, which when

with all the appropriated authorities and inspectors, as well

triggered determines which shaft is closest to the fire and

as full testing and rigorous commissioning procedures to

automatically opens the smoke shaft doors on each floor

verify the system’s performance, operation and compliance

to extract smoke away from escape routes, corridors and

with the design brief.


stairs. A fully detailed PDF case study covering the specific fire Once actuated, OSLoop continues to monitor the entire

engineered smoke ventilation solution installed by SE

system throughout the incident to ensure the system

Controls is available for download from

maintains its performance in accordance with the imminent

EN12101 part 9 standard.

SE Controls Provides Comfort And Safety At Salford Royal Hospital A combined smoke and natural ventilation solution from

manages the proportional opening and closing of the

SE Controls is helping create a comfortable and safe

vents and louvres. This not only ensures that temperatures

environment for patients, visitors and staff at Salford Royal

remain within specified limits but also that the building has

Hospital’s £90 million Hope Building.

a constant flow of fresh air.

Designed by architects HKS and constructed by Balfour

SE Controls’ solution also takes account of adverse

Beatty, as part of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s

weather conditions, such as excessively high winds or rain,

£200 million redevelopment programme, the five storey

to ensure that vents are automatically closed to stop the

Hope Building houses the

ingress of water and limit any

new A&E department as well

possible damage.

as providing 242 beds, an emergency assessment unit

In the event of fire, the alarm

and critical care facilities.

system over-rides the BMS, which




SE Controls developed the fire

smoke vents and louvres fully

engineered smoke and natural

to create a smoke free escape


route and access for fire



the original fire specification


and worked closely with the consultants


The potential for false alarms

effective and reliable system

and accidental triggering is also

that maximises comfort, safety

addressed by the SE Controls’











linking in to both the building

activation by a Manual Control

management system (BMS)


and the separate fire alarm

smoke detector requires a


secondary confirmation signal




from the aspirator monitoring Within the hospital, the smoke


and natural ventilation system is split into two zones to allow maximum control over the

However, if the aspiration system detects a fault, it switches

temperatures and ventilation needs in both the main

to ‘fault mode’ where no confirmation signal is required to

concourse and the atrium areas of the building, by using a

activate the smoke ventilation if triggered manually or by a

series of louvres, roof vents and atrium vents controlled by

smoke detector.

the BMS. Further fail-safe back up is provided by a separate fully In normal operation, localised sensors throughout the

monitored battery back up system in compliance with the

building monitor the temperatures and their patterns of

requirements of EN12101 standard.

change, feeding constant information to the BMS, which

In addition, a further supply taken from the hospital’s own secondary power system, which effectively provides the entire system with two independent back up supplies. Mark Hargreaves, SE Controls’ Commercial Manager, explained: “Fire safety is a critical aspect of any building design and in hospitals where there are large number of people with limited mobility, it is vital that escape routes are kept clear for extended periods to enable them to escape. “By combining fire engineered smoke ventilation with highly effective natural ventilation as an integrated solution, the system not only provides fail-safe protection, but also provides a comfortable environment for the building’s occupants.”

SE Controls Takes The Heat Out Of Stylish London Apartment Development Safety and comfort are at the heart of a major residential

To provide a safe means of escape for residents in the event

development by Linden Homes in Hammersmith, London,

of a fire as well as enabling fire fighters to enter the building,

which is using a combined smoke and natural ventilation

SE Controls developed the smoke ventilation system to

solution from SE Controls to protect residents in the multi-

remove smoke from corridors and stairwells by using a mix

storey apartment building.

of natural air buoyancy venting and fan extraction through smoke shafts.

Designed by HAP Architects, the new development is located on Hammersmith’s Glenthorne Road and provides

On floor one to five, smoke ventilation is provided by extract

81 apartments from ground to sixth floor penthouse level,

fans located in the building’s cycle store, with replacement

together with a communal roof top terrace, private gardens

air being supplied through ground floor air inlet shaft, while

and secure parking.

the sixth floor is vented by a 1.5m2 vent in the top floor corridor and by a similar arrangement at the head of the stair.

In addition to smoke ventilation, the SE Controls’ solution

Under normal operation, the natural ventilation (NV)

is also designed to provide mechanically assisted natural

system is active between 08:00 and 20:00, which provides

ventilation to help maintain a comfortable temperature within

ventilation and corridor cooling to the building. The NV

the building’s corridors.

controller scans the temperature sensors and allows the end of corridor Automatic Opening Vents (AOVs) to open when

As central heating and hot water distribution pipe work

required. However, in the event of a fire, where the system

feeds each apartment via the corridors, the potential for the

is triggered either by a smoke sensor or manually activated,

corridors to become overheated in some situations has also

all NV functions are stopped and the OS2 controller for the

been addressed by the system.

affected zone signals the fans to run at full speed.

On the first five floors, extract fans, which run at half speed,

SE Controls’ Project Leader, Brett Cave, explained: “Smoke

remove warm air from the corridors and the system’s smoke

ventilation is a safety critical factor in residential building

dampers are opened as required by the building’s natural

design as it not only aids escape and enhances safety,

ventilation control panel. On the sixth floor, a dedicated

but also assists the fire service by improving access to the

tamper proof thermostat controls the lobby vent while


hooded vents allow ventilation during inclement weather conditions.

“This project is one of an increasingly large number where we have developed a combined smoke and natural ventilation

The integrated smoke and natural ventilation control strategy

solution control strategy that not only enables high safety

was developed by SE Controls to meet the specific needs

levels to be maintained, but also improves the environment

of the apartment building and involved the use of nine OS2

of the building’s occupants.”

controllers and tamper proof manual control points, as well

as a range of temperature sensors and smoke sensors, all of which are linked to the main system control panel with a fail-safe battery back up.

SE Controls Provides A Creative Environment At Loughborough University’s Design Centre Students at Loughborough University’s recently completed

As with all learning environments, one of the key

East Park Design School building are being helped in their

considerations for the design school was ensuring that

studies by an integrated natural ventilation system from SE

levels remained within the appropriate limits to ensure

Controls, which ensures that carbon dioxide (CO2) is kept

that students’ abilities are not impaired by poor indoor air

in check and indoor air quality levels are maintained.


Designed by Burwell Deakins Architects, the £14.7 million

Also, the building was conceived from the outset as a

building uses informal design themes and layouts to

low carbon structure with minimum emissions, so utilises

create an ‘inspirational environment’ as well as providing

a range of energy efficient technologies including solar

practical work spaces, design studios, lecture theatres and

shading, insulated glazing and SE Controls’ natural


ventilation solution.

The extensive natural ventilation control and actuation system was designed and installed by SE Controls to not only manage the CO2 levels, but also ensure the temperature within the building is maintained within comfortable limits by using precise incremental control over the entire natural ventilation system. To achieve these key goals, SE Controls installed over 400 chain actuators over the ground, first and second floors to control high level vertical vents in laboratories, offices and study areas, as well as the design school’s workshops and computer room. Automatic louvres are also installed in ground floor public areas and meeting rooms, to allow fresh air to enter the building, while a further 48 chain and linear actuators in the building’s extensive glazed atrium vents provide ventilation to the atrium space below. The entire system is controlled by a series of SE Controls’ OS2 networked control units and an OS2 modular panel for the atrium vents, which are seamlessly linked into the buildings BMS. This not only monitors CO2 and temperature,

Loughborough University has also been closely involved

but also signals the actuation of the vents and louvres to

with the development of SE Controls’ new ‘NVLogiQ’

maintain the levels within the system’s upper and lower set

compact natural ventilation control solution through a highly


active Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme.

Darren Wainwright, SE Controls’ Project Leader on the

The ongoing relationship, which has already been in place

East Park installation, explained: “The close relationship

for more than two years, has enabled SE Controls to

between CO2 levels and the performance of students in

develop advanced energy saving operating algorithms to

schools and other educational establishments is already

the current design standards and accepted best practice

well documented, so it’s vital that good indoor air quality

for its new generation of controllers, of which NVLogiQ is

is maintained.

the first.

“However, it’s equally important that heat losses are minimised during ventilation to avoid unnecessary use of energy to re-heat the building, which is why the operating algorithms and ventilation strategy deployed minimise energy consumption while maintaining excellent indoor air quality and comfortable temperatures.”

SE Controls Helps Improve Safety And Save Energy At HMP Oakwood The £150 million HMP Oakwood in Staffordshire is using advanced smoke and natural ventilation solutions from SE Controls to not only improve safety in the event of a fire, but also save energy at the prison, which has achieved a BREEAM excellent rating. Located on a 50 acre site adjacent to the existing Featherstone Prison near Wolverhampton, HMP Oakwood was designed by architects Pick Everard and comprises of 17 buildings including a healthcare unit, first night unit and training centre alongside three ‘star’ shaped secure accommodation blocks, each providing 480 places.

Designed and developed by WSP Group with additional specialised input from SE Controls, the combined smoke and natural ventilation system was tailored to meet the specific criteria and configurations of the individual buildings to ensure they not only complied with the relevant natural ventilation standards, but also met strict smoke ventilation performance specifications. In addition, all of the components, systems and solutions provided by SE Controls were fully CE certified and complied with the relevant European standards including EN12101 Part 2 and BS9999. The complexity of the smoke and natural ventilation system varied depending on the size and nature of the seven individual buildings, ranging from a relatively straightforward installation within the healthcare block, to the complex multi-zoned solution used in each of the main accommodation blocks, which would need to allow the safe evacuation of more than 500 people in the event of a fire. Each four-storey accommodation block is designed with five ‘arms’ radiating from a centre access core, with four of the five providing accommodation and the last one dedicated to housing services to the building. In natural ventilation mode, AOVs and roof actuators open to allow stale hot air to escape, with fresh air being drawn in through automatic glazed vents at the gable end of each prisoner wing, which operate as two separate zones serving the lower two and upper two floors. Air intake is also provided through additional glazed vents in the curtain wall screens on the centre core between the wings. When smoke ventilation is required, the system provides both natural and mechanical smoke ventilation to ensure the smoke can be vented quickly and effectively to keep corridors and communal areas clear to aid evacuation. In the event of a fire, natural smoke ventilation is provided by the core’s glazed vents with the addition of ducted dampers, while mechanical smoke extraction is handled by high level louvres together with duty and standby fan sets located at the end of each accommodation wing. To enable the natural and smoke ventilation systems to monitor the air quality and operate effectively, SE Controls supplied and installed a 32 zone BMS and fire alarm interface panel for each accommodation block together with all necessary actuators, vents and over-ride switches as well as smoke extract fan starter systems and pressure monitoring. SE Controls’ Commercial Director, Martin Oates, explained: “We have undertaken a number of smoke and natural ventilation projects within the prison sector and they each have their own specific demands. The distinctive design of the accommodation blocks at HMP Oakwood not only provide a secure custodial solution, but also enabled us to create a combined system of effective natural ventilation for improved comfort and a life safety smoke ventilation for evacuation in the event of fire.”

Tesco Shoppers Stay Safe And Cool With SE Controls An integrated smoke and natural ventilation solution from SE

Working to the smoke control strategy defined by consulting

Controls is helping ensure that Tesco’s recently completed

engineers Van Zyl & de Villiers, the store’s expansive glazed

Walkden superstore in Manchester maintains a safe and

atrium was separated into three individual smoke and

comfortable environment for shoppers and staff.

natural ventilation zones to not only provide the specified smoke extraction capacity, but also enable more accurate

Constructed as part of the £80 million Ellesmere Centre retail

temperature control.

development and designed by AEW Architects, the new store replaces an existing Tesco on the same site, but has

In normal day-to-day ventilation mode, the natural ventilation

been expanded to provide more than 168,000 sq.ft of floor

system constantly monitors the temperature in each zone,

area, making it one of Europe’s largest Tesco Extra stores.

on both the ground floor and mezzanine level, with the average reading from separate sensors being used to signal the actuation of the atrium vents.

When triggered, the vents initially open by 10% of their full capacity and continue to open in 10% increments up to a maximum of 50% if the temperature rise is maintained, before closing using the same incremental approach until the temperature reduces to 21OC, when the atrium vents are fully closed. The SE Controls system also enables the operating algorithms and set points to be changed or fine tuned to meet specific conditions, if necessary, as well as allowing night purging to cool the building’s thermal mass, where the vents open 30 degrees. The SE Controls’ solution also monitors weather conditions to ensure that in rain or high winds, the vents are automatically closed to stop the ingress of water and limit any possible damage. Each smoke and natural ventilation zone uses a dedicated control panel, which is triggered by the fire alarm system in the event of a fire, causing the atrium vents to open fully, allowing smoke to be vented from the building and ensure escape routes are kept clear. In smoke ventilation mode the vents open to 87 degrees and are hinged on opposing sides to provide optimum operation and maintain safety even in high wind conditions. A separate battery back up system is also installed to comply with EN12101 part 2 and ISO21927-9 regulations, which enables the controlled opening of the vents should a mains power failure occur. The advantage to this approach rather than a ‘failsafe’ spring operated system is that it removes any possibility of damage due to rapid opening, while maintaining control in natural ventilation mode, protecting the vent against any potential wind damage while the mains power is restored.

SE Controls Helps Provide The Perfect Environmen Audi Leicester Sytner Group’s state of the art Audi dealership in Leicester is using advanced natural ventilation technology from SE Controls to ensure that a comfortable environment is maintained for its customers and staff. As part of the energy efficient design, the dealership uses natural ventilation to ensure the carbon dioxide levels and temperature are managed effectively within the entire building to create a comfortable environment for staff and customers within the large open plan showroom as well as for its technicians in the pristine workshops. SE Controls supplied, installed and commissioned the complete natural ventilation system, which involved the supply of two SCCO Schuco 500mm stroke chain actuators and a precision OS2 controller to provide automatic operation of the sloping vents in the showroom atrium. Manual operation of the vents also formed part of the showroom system, operated by tamper-proof key operated switches.

nt At Audi Leicester’s workshop area is split into six separate areas, each with its own localised ventilation, control and manual over-ride system. To actuate the Schuco AWS 55 vertical vents, SE Controls installed 18 of its new 24 Volt SECO N 24 40 chain actuators together with six OS2 controllers and key operated switches to give accurate and flexible control over the system.

SE CONTROLS Lancaster House, Wellington Crescent, Fradley Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 8RZ  44+ (0) 1543 44 30 60 Designed and Published on behalf of SE CONTROLS by Link2Media Ltd, Barn 8, Dunston Business Village, Stafford Road, Dunston, Stafford ST18 9AB

SE Controls Project Review  
SE Controls Project Review  

SE Controls specialises in the design, project management and installation of advanced smoke ventilation and natural ventilation solutions t...