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Scotland

connections A SPECIAL SCOTTISH EDITION FOR ALL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS SPRING 2017

COMMENT P4

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Scotland has led by example on electrical safety checks in the private rented sector

CASE STUDY P6 An innovative community energy project in Fife based on hydrogen technology

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FIRE SAFETY P10

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How fire safety design summaries are being made even more effective

UPS AND DOWNS

What it’s really like working in Scotland’s Highlands and Islands

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THE POWER TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Whether you’re already an NICEIC contractor or want to find out more about how we can help boost your business, come along to a venue near you to stay ahead of the competition.

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7th November - Edinburgh 8th November - Ayr 9th November - Glasgow TOPICS INCLUDE: 18th Edition consultation and the document for public comment Requirements for BS5266-1:2016 and BS5839 Part 1 Questions from the technical helpline Safe isolation To book, visit NICEICSCOTLAND.COM and register online or email EVENTS@CERTSURE.COM

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CONNECTIONS SCOTLAND

Contents Leading by example 4 It’s time the rest of the UK followed Scotland’s introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rented sector News 5 Technical roadshows, training boost for local authorities, and Shetland’s PEC becomes most northerly company to register with NICEIC Fuel for thought 6 Andrew Brister reports on a Fife community energy project that is addressing the provision of lowcarbon transport and energy storage Remote realities 8 Scotland’s Highlands and Islands can offer quality of life and stunning scenery but contractors working there also face logistical problems, warns David Adams

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6 5 Scotland

connections A SPECIAL SCOTTISH EDITION FOR ALL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS SPRING 2017

Knowledge is power 10 The fire safety design summary becomes even more effective with the requirement that a trained responsible person sign it on completion of building works, writes Jim McGonigal

COMMENT P4

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Scotland has led by example on electrical safety checks in the private rented sector

CASE STUDY P6 An innovative community energy project in Fife based on hydrogen technology

/

FIRE SAFETY P10

/

How fire safety design summaries are being made even more effective

UPS AND DOWNS

What it’s really like working in Scotland’s Highlands and Islands

Cover image: Getty

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CONTACTS // CONNECTIONS 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP EDITORIAL General 020 7880 6200 Fax 020 7324 2791 Email nick.martindale@redactive.co.uk Editor Nick Martindale Technical editor Timothy Benstead Sub editor Clare Cronin Creative director Mark Parry Art editor Adrian Taylor Picture researcher Akin Falope Publishing and business development director Aaron Nicholls ADVERTISING/MARKETING Senior sales executive Darren Hale Display 020 7880 6206 Fax 020 7880 7553 Email darren.hale@redactive.co.uk Sales executive Greg Lee Email greg.lee@redactive.co.uk Classified 0207 880 7633

PRODUCTION General production enquiries 020 7880 6240 Fax 020 7880 7691 Production manager Jane Easterman Production executive Rachel Young Email rachel.young@redactive.co.uk SUBSCRIPTIONS Should you require your own copy of Connections or multiple copies for your staff, subscriptions are available by calling 020 8950 9117 CONTRIBUTIONS Connections welcomes ideas for contributions. Please email nick.martindale@ redactive.co.uk ISSN 2042-5732

© Redactive Publishing Ltd 2017 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP. Registered No. 3156216. All rights reserved. This publication (and any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in any print or electronic format (including but not limited to any online service, any database or any part of the internet) or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Redactive Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. Printed by Southernprint. Paper by Denmaur Papers plc. The paper mill that makes the text paper for this magazine states that it uses at least 80 per cent wood pulp from sustainable sources.

WWW.NICEICSCOTLAND.COM WWW.ELECSA.CO.UK ENQUIRIES Certsure 01582 539000 Communications manager Paul Collins 01582 539148 paul.s.collins@certsure.com NICEIC Direct Paul Elcock 01582 539709 paul.elcock@certsure.com Twitter @officialNICEIC Customer services 0333 015 6625 Sales 0333 015 6626 Training 0333 015 6627 Technical helpline 0333 015 6628 Insurance 0333 015 6629 Legal/tax 24-hour helpline 0117 934 2111 (provided by DAS Business Law) Looking to join NICEIC? email stuart.thompson@certsure.com

Connections

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COMMENT

Leading by example Scotland has led the way with the introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rented sector. It’s time that the rest of the UK followed

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n late January this year, the UK government published its long-awaited housing white paper. In keeping with a focus on renters, the government confirmed that it is “working with industry experts to consider whether we should take action to mandate electrical safety checks for rented properties and we will set out next steps on this shortly”. NICEIC has for a long time supported the call for meaningful electrical safety checks, especially in the private rented sector (PRS). It would seem logical that England and Wales should follow the policy adopted in Scotland, whereby it is now a legal requirement for private landlords to carry out electrical checks at least every five years. This policy was formally adopted into Scottish law in December 2015, and it is perhaps too early to say what impact it has had on improving electrical safety in the PRS. However, at NICEIC we have noticed an increase in the number of EICRs being issued by our Approved

‘We will continue to lobby both the UK and Scottish governments to ensure electrical safety checks across all housing sectors are considered’ Contractors, which suggests it has raised awareness of the issue and that more contractors are being asked to carry out electrical checks. That has to be a good thing for everyone involved. We will continue to lobby both the UK and the Scottish governments to ensure the merits of electrical safety checks across all housing sectors are considered. Emma Clancy is chief executive officer, Certsure

NICEIC IN SCOTLAND

Meet the team

Stuart Thompson, Scottish sales manager Stuart is an experienced commercial manager with previous experience of national account management, project management and marketing. Based in Scotland, he is responsible for NICEIC Scotland membership, and works with a wide network of members, key customers, stakeholders, business partners and specifiers.

Philip Martin, area engineer Philip is an electrical technician with more than 30 years’ experience in all areas of the electrical engineering and petrochemical industry. Previously a senior qualified supervisor with British Gas, he helped establish its current quality auditing regime, which identifies training needs for all electrical operatives.

NICEIC has an experienced team ready to help your business

Eddie Arrowsmith, regional engineering manager Eddie is NICEIC’s regional engineering manager, based in Aberdeen. He served his electrical apprenticeship with British Rail and specialised in DC systems, high-voltage AC systems and DC machines. He went on to work for consulting engineers’ practices for 18 years, and was senior electrical engineer with WS Atkins.

Eddie Thomson, area engineer Eddie has been an area engineer with NICEIC since 2001. After serving an apprenticeship with British Rail, he worked with several companies, carrying out electrical, lighting design and project management. He also spent some time in charge of a large maintenance and works depot.

Yvonne Warner, area engineer Yvonne is an experienced electrician and has worked in all aspects of the electrical industry, from domestic to commercial and industrial. In addition to her role as an electrical inspector, she assesses hazardous areas as well as MCS solar and wind. Joe Gallagher, area engineer Joe is a multi-disciplined engineer with more than 30 years’ industry experience, from small domestic to large-scale industrial projects. He is the MCS, CPS and Green Deal inspector for NICEIC, having previously worked as an assessor, centre manager and external verifier.

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Jason Twell, area engineer Jason has been with NICEIC since 2016. After an electrical apprenticeship, he worked in building services, oil and gas, and utilities design and project management. He has also been electrical contracts manager for Dundee City Council and a senior lecturer for electrical at Dundee College. Louise Frame, area engineer Louise covers the North Glasgow and Lanarkshire regions. She started her career with an electrical apprenticeship when she was 16. Since then, she has worked in homes, schools, offices and factories, theatres, sports stadia and museums. She became a QS and was in an electrical management role before joining NICEIC.

Connections

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NEWS

PURE ENERGY CENTRE TAKES MOST NORTHERLY TITLE

NICEIC goes on the road with technical events NICEIC will once again be heading to Scotland for a series of roadshows. The half-day technical seminars provide contractors with all the latest industry updates. The talks will include items on safe isolation and proposed changes to certificates, along with an update on the 18th Edition. There will also be exclusive discounts on NICEIC products and registration.

The events are free to attend and aimed at both NICEIC-registered and non-registered contractors. Complimentary refreshments and lunch are included. There will also be several manufacturers attending each event, so contractors can find out about the latest innovations in the industry. To find out more and to book your place, visit www.niceicscotland.com

Electrical, renewable and energy storage company Pure Energy Centre (PEC) has become the most northerly company to register with NICEIC. Based on Unst, the most northerly Shetland island that is inhabited, the PEC has received certification for both the Approved Contractor and the Domestic Installer schemes, having already achieved this for NICEIC’s microgeneration certification scheme. Elizabeth Johnson MBE, business development manager at Pure Energy Centre, said: “NICEIC certification illustrates the high quality of work that our staff routinely deliver. It shows both industry and the public that we can deliver projects in compliance with the latest standards.” The business is now in its 10th year and helps householders, councils and businesses with electrical installations, including those using renewable technologies such as wind turbines and solar systems.

The dates and venues for the next series are: Tuesday 13 June: Inverness Football Club Wednesday 14 June: Aberdeen Treetops Hotel Thursday 15 June: Perth Racecourse Tuesday 7 November: Edinburgh International Climbing Arena Wednesday 8 November: Ayr Racecourse Thursday 9 November: Glasgow Hampden Park

> Elizabeth Johnson and staff from PEC

Training boost for local authorities Representatives from NICEIC recently delivered another series of electrical awareness training sessions to Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) verifiers across Scotland. It is the second year in a row that NICEIC has delivered these training sessions, which are designed to improve awareness of key electrical principles and requirements, improve interpretation of BS7671 certificates, and understand best practice within the industry. All 32 local authority LABSS departments attended this year’s sessions, where the main theme was the practical application of LABSS’s most recent guidance on the verification of electrical installations (section 4.5 of the technical handbook). The talks were co-presented by members of Select, and the feedback

> Talks at the NICEIC training sessions were co-presented by members of Select received from all the verifiers was positive. LABBS chair Gordon Spence said: “The talks are fast becoming an exemplar of

the industry coming together and driving improvements in the delivery of the Building Standards system.”

Connections

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CASE STUDY // LEVENMOUTH COMMUNITY ENERGY PROJECT

Fuel for thought Hydrogen technology is at the heart of the revolutionary Levenmouth community energy project in Fife, which is addressing the provision of low-carbon transport and energy storage By Andrew Brister

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here’s a quiet revolution taking place in the historic county of Fife. The region is busy positioning itself as a leader in the energy sources of the future. Fife became a centre of heavy industry in the 19th century, with coal mining fuelling its success. Today, it’s no longer coal that’s driving the county: it’s a combination of renewable and hydrogen energy. Fife’s Levenmouth community energy project aims to shape the future prosperity of local communities through several green hydrogen schemes. The project receives £4 million from the Scottish Government’s allocation of the Local Energy Challenge Fund, and is said to be the world’s foremost demonstrator of innovative applications of hydrogen derived from renewable sources. The project is a partnership between Bright Green Hydrogen, Fife Council, Toshiba, Leven Valley Development Trust, Fife College, BOC, Green Business Fife, Community Energy Scotland and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA). The community energy project builds upon the development of the Hydrogen Office in Methil (see box) to make Levenmouth the home of Europe’s largest mixed fleet of 6

hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles (up to 17) and refuse-collection vehicles. Hydrogen refuelling is to be installed at both the Hydrogen Office and at the Fife Council vehicle depot at Bankhead in Glenrothes. The visionary project positions Levenmouth at the heart of the next generation of clean energy evolution. This not only brings economic benefits to the area but is a demonstration of how hydrogen can decarbonise energy in Scotland and help secure future energy supplies for generations to come. Renewable partner Hydrogen is stored at the Methil site and reconverted to electricity at times when onsite wind and solar generation is low. This pattern will help offset the intermittency of

‘It’s not just a demonstrator project for hydrogen technology. It’s also about energy storage and the commercial supply of hydrogen for use in vehicles’

Connections

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Beacon of hope

> The project involves several green hydrogen schemes renewable energy generation, and improve the business park’s ability to be energy self-sufficient. Such an approach will also demonstrate how more renewable energy can be connected to the grid nationally, by alleviating the network export constraints that are becoming common at times of peak renewable generation. In addition to the energy-balancing system, two independent hydrogen refuellers provide vehicle refuelling to Bright Green Hydrogen’s and Fife Council’s demonstrator fleet. Principal contractor on the Levenmouth Community Energy Project is NICEIC-registered firm Capstone. The company is overseeing the final stages of the £6.5 million project, with handover expected this summer. “It’s not just a demonstrator project for hydrogen technology,” says Jack Gilmour, director at Capstone. “It’s also about energy storage, and the commercial supply of hydrogen for use in vans and the council’s refuse vehicles.” Capstone is overseeing the work to extend the energy park’s renewable resources beyond the Hydrogen Office’s wind turbine and ground source heat pump to include a 112kW, ground-mounted, solar photovoltaic system, a 48kW, roof-mounted PV to Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, and infrastructure for East Fife’s stadium roof-mounted PV system to provide top-up electricity on days when there is little or no wind. Energy can be exported to the National Grid when the hydrogen system is full. “We are also bringing about the private wire micro grid system for the business park, and integrating the hydrogen energy balancing system with these renewables,” says Jack. The hydrogen energy storage and dispensing equipment at the site has been installed by Logan Energy, while the hydrogen energy management system has been implemented by project partner Toshiba, which will also play an active role in the development of project learning. “You’ve got to consider the export limit with the distribution network operator (DNO),” he says. “You have to manage when to use the energy, when to store it, and when to use the stored hydrogen to fill the vehicles.” Capstone has provided the telecoms and electrical control infrastructure for the project. “We’ve had to dig up half the business park to install new cable and telecoms duct systems

The Hydrogen Office project shows how energy efficiency, renewables and hydrogen can reduce the future impact of climate change and concerns over security of energy supply. The Methil business park is powered by a novel renewable and hydrogen energy system, using renewable energy when available from a 750kW wind turbine located in the adjacent docks and 160kW of solar PV panels, while storing surplus energy as hydrogen for a proportion of the building’s needs for periods where renewables are unable to meet demand. Hydrogen is produced by a 250kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, that supplies around 100 kg of hydrogen a day at full power. The hydrogen is stored in two tanks. One stores 25kg of hydrogen at 30 bar, which equates to around 800kWh of energy. A second stores 20kg of hydrogen, also at 30 bar (660kWh). A 100kW PEM fuel cell recombines the hydrogen from storage with oxygen from the air to supply the building if there is no renewable energy available. In addition, the site has two all-in-one hydrogen production and dispensing units, which provide fuel to the vehicle fleet. The Hydrogen Office building also includes other energy efficiency features. Increased insulation minimises heat loss; natural ventilation avoids the use of air conditioning; sunlight is maximised to cut the need for artificial lighting; and a ground source heat pump maintains most of the heating and hot water.

to integrate the park,” says Jack. The works also extend to East Fife football stadium, and the distances involved mean everything is connected by fibre optic links. “A major challenge was managing the excavation, because there is significant footfall and vehicle movement in the park,” he says. To add to the scale of the task, the weather was particularly wet when the ground works were being carried out. Seamless transfer A key element of the project was installing the bespoke switching system that allows seamless transfer between energy sources. “We’ve used fast-acting, closed transition transfer switches from Emerson,” he says. “Load equipment cannot perceive any of the switching cycles. Remote terminal units are installed adjacent to the switches, and are controlled centrally by the micro grid controller developed by Toshiba. They enable switching of loads in buildings depending on the renewable energy available, using trend analysis and weather data to forecast supply and load demands.” The Hydrogen Office takes priority on the renewable energy supply, and second priority is allocated to the production of hydrogen for the fleet of vans and refuse vehicles. The remainder is used by the rest of the business park and the football stadium. Capstone has had to work closely with Scottish Power, the DNO for the region. Five transformers feed the various buildings on the park and the stadium. “It’s been a challenge to maintain a safe site and deliver the project in a timely fashion,” says Jack. The lessons learnt will surely be rolled out widely in the years ahead. » Andrew Brister is a freelance journalist specialising in the electrical industry Connections

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HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS

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ost people reading this magazine will be working in lowland areas, and almost certainly somewhere on the mainland. How does life differ for those providing electrical, heating or renewables services in the more remote parts of the Highlands or on Scotland’s islands? Macleod Construction, based in Lochgilphead in Argyll, provides construction, refurbishment and maintenance services, including plumbing and electrical work, to clients scattered throughout Argyll: north to Oban, east to Dunoon and south to the Mull of Kintyre – and on neighbouring islands including Islay, Coll and Tiree. Services manager Jonathan Macleod explains that the company was founded by his father and uncle, Kenny and Murdo, in 1975. After a spell working in Glasgow, Jonathan returned to the business in 2010 to set up a plumbing and electrical division, which has since expanded to employ 20 people, within an overall workforce of about 220. Just getting people to where they will be working can be difficult in an area with few main roads. Those working on the islands can sometimes be stranded by cancelled ferries, adding costs for overnight accommodation and delaying work at the site in question, with knockon effects elsewhere. If the weather is really bad it can delay construction projects on some sites for weeks or even months. But a more fundamental challenge is recruitment. “The number of skilled, trained, competent people in the area is very limited,” says Jonathan Macleod. “It’s taken a long time to build up to the number that we have now.” However, the company has had some success in finding people who are happy to bring up children in what is a beautiful rural area. “It can be a good life here,” he says. “There’s little in the way of anti-social hours, and no overtime. You get a good quality of life outside work.” 8

Remote realities

Working in the Highlands and Islands offers contractors a lifestyle and scenery few places can compete with. Yet there are also some practical difficulties that need to be overcome By David Adams

Connections

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> E&H is based in Shetland

Logistical nightmares On the Shetland Isles, the most northerly islands in the UK with a population of about 22,000 people, another family business, E&H Building Contractors, specialises in building low-energy Scandinavian-style timber homes and installation and maintenance of heating systems, including heat pumps, solar thermal, biomass boilers

and electrical systems. It employs about 30 people. “The most important thing for us is reliability and back-up for installed equipment,” says joint managing director Bobby Elphinstone. “If you have an appliance breaking down in winter and people lose their heating and hot water, it’s no good waiting a week or more for parts from the mainland. We need things up and running in hours.” Transport and logistics in Shetland are not bad: ferry crossings between the islands are mostly short and rarely disrupted by the weather. The main challenge is that everything the company uses has to come from the mainland – often including staff. Around 12 years ago the company recruited several Polish and Hungarian staff, some of whom were already in the UK, with Elphinstone and some of his colleagues also travelling to Hungary to interview candidates. Today, about a quarter of the company’s staff are still Polish or Hungarian. There has been some turnover, but some of the original applicants have decided to settle in these windy but friendly islands. Skye’s the limit Being island-based can even make life more complicated when the island is actually joined to the mainland, as Skye (population about 10,000) has been since completion of the Skye Bridge in 1995. Billy Shanks has been co-owner of Shanks Plumbing and Renewables, in

‘It’s no good waiting a week for parts from the mainland. We need things up and running in hours’

the north of Skye, since he and his wife Emma bought the company from his former employer two years ago. They have seven employees and do almost all their work on the island. Bearing that in mind, the number of miles the company’s vans cover is remarkable, owing to the way the island’s minor roads twist around its mountains and moors. “Two of us are probably doing 25,000 to 30,000 miles in a year,” says Shanks. “And it’s hard: the roads aren’t good.” Journey times vary by the season. “Winter’s not so bad, because the traffic’s light,” says Shanks. “But in summer it’s horrendous, with the amount of tourists we get.” Some of his clients own holiday cottages, but they may live elsewhere and not understand the logistical problems Shanks and his staff face when trying to reach their properties for an emergency call-out – or to solve a problem when they get there. “We can’t get parts quickly,” says Shanks. “We do have suppliers on the island, but they’re not renewables specialists, for example. Trying to explain to holiday home owners that their properties might be without heating for 10 days can be difficult.” Dealing with suppliers can be problematic, too. “The quickest way to get anything here is by post, but sometimes suppliers use their own carriers and it can take 10 days,” he says. Fibre is bringing faster broadband to more parts of the island. Mobile reception remains patchy, although sometimes this can be a blessing, he says. Recruitment is difficult here, too. But the company takes on at least one apprentice every year, and the lure of Skye seems to encourage many people to stay. “The real upside is the scenery,” says Shanks. “It really is a lovely place.” Indeed, despite all the challenges faced by people working in the Highlands and Islands, that is one thing they seem to agree on. Even if you’re so wrapped up in work that you barely notice where you are, even when the weather makes life difficult, there really is no place like home. » David Adams is a freelance business journalist

Getty

Hiring headaches About 40 miles north-west of the Scottish mainland lie the Western Isles, a 130-mile-long curve of more than 60 rocky, windswept, but beautiful islands, including Lewis/Harris, North and South Uist and Barra. Alex Murray Construction, founded in 1990 by Alex and Annette Murray, provides services – including the installation of air source heat pumps, biomass boilers, solar thermal heating and solar photovoltaic cells – on all the islands. The company employs about 75 people. But recruitment is often difficult here, too. “We’ve spent a small fortune on training over the years,” says the Murrays’ son Steven, project development manager at the company. “It’s rare that you find someone with the type of skills that you need, and it’s difficult to get people to come from the mainland to work here.” Just getting to work can be tricky. Travelling from the firm’s base in Stornoway, on Lewis, to the southernmost large island Barra entails a two-hour drive across Lewis/Harris, then an hour on a ferry, then a one-anda-half hour drive, then finally another 40-minute ferry journey to Barra. Again, cancelled ferries can strand staff for hours, or overnight. The islands’ infrastructure also creates problems that would be novel to most readers: the smaller, winding, hilly roads can take a toll on the company’s vehicles. In addition, although the week before we speak 4G mobile connectivity has arrived in Stornoway, mobile reception is worse elsewhere. “On the mainland, a lot of firms now have an iPad in the van and it’s easy to do a lot of your work using that when you’re out and about,” says Steven Murray. “We can’t really go down that route just yet.”

Connections

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FIRE SAFETY

Knowledge is power Fire safety design summaries can help electrical contractors identify measures fitted in buildings at the time of construction, as well as any assumptions made By Jim McGonigal

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nce a nondomestic building is complete and occupied, it can be difficult to establish fully what fire safety measures are incorporated in it, or what assumptions were made by the designers of the fire strategy for it. To resolve this problem, fire safety design summaries (FSDS) are now required to be provided with completion certificates relating to the construction of, or conversion to, new non–domestic buildings, including extensions to existing buildings. To help with access to the information, the FSDS is required to be held on Part II of each local authority Building Standards Register. The aim is to make the FSDS available to the owner or occupier, duty-holders, fire risk assessors and enforcing authorities. The information will also be useful to electrical engineers who work in non-domestic buildings on life safety electrical equipment and need to know what the original design was. The requirement to provide a FSDS does not apply to domestic buildings. The FSDS is a document submitted on completion of the building works, so greater reliance can be placed on 10

its accuracy at the time the building was first occupied. The FSDS template allows for the fire safety measures in a building to be identified, including details of life safety systems such as: • Automatic fire detection and alarm systems; • Smoke/heat ventilation systems; • Emergency lighting systems; • Integration with non-fire systems, such as automatic doors, lifts and air-handling units • Provisions for reducing the spread of fire including compartmentation; • The means of escape. This regulation was introduced more than three years ago in Scotland, so the Scottish Government Building Standards Division (BSD) has now assessed its impact. During this process, industry practitioners made BSD aware that the online FSDS template should include a requirement for a signature by a responsible person

with appropriate training to be aware of the hazards involved. This person would be responsible for confirming the measures proposed in the fire strategy had in fact been installed. Without a signature, the form might be submitted without due care. The revised template was introduced on the BSD’s website in February and is available at www.gov.scot/Topics/ Built-Environment/Building/Buildingstandards/techbooks/firesafetdesgn. The template has been welcomed by local authority verifiers, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the wider fire engineering community. Half measures Several investigations in the UK have identified where the standard of fire safety measures at both the

‘The requirement for an identified person confirming that the fire safety measures are provided in accordance with the submitted building warrant gives confidence that what has been proposed in the design has been installed in the finished product’

Connections

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> A fire safety design summary must now be provided for every new nondomestic building

by a suitably qualified person or specialist company, in accordance with the provisions made within the Building (Scotland) Act 2003, and that this certification be required to be provided to Building Standards as evidence of fully compliant installation, prior to the approval of the Completion Certification by Building Standards”.

construction and installation stage are substandard or, at worst, non-existent. The latest example was documented in the Cole report of the independent inquiry into Edinburgh school construction. This identified “fundamental and widespread failures of the quality assurance processes of the various contractors and subcontractors” and “the significant number of defects reported in the surveys of fire-stopping in the PPP1 schools. These surveys undertaken during the inquiry period raised further concerns as to the degree of scrutiny necessary to achieve the required standard.” The report recommends that: • “The production, retention and updating of accurate construction and operational information and

related documentation on projects should be regarded as a fundamental requirement and requires a systematic and disciplined approach by all parties to the contract”; • “Contractors should also be required to certify that the as-built documentation as provided is an accurate record of what has actually been built”; • “Consideration be given to the requirement for ‘as built’ drawings as prepared for and certified by the contractor to be submitted to the local authority verifier (Building Standards) as a definitive record of what was built. This could be a formal part of the completion certificate process”; • “Consideration be given to the introduction of independent indepth inspection and certification

» Jim McGonigal is technical author in the Scottish Government Building Standards Division

Alamy

‘Information will also be useful to electrical engineers who work in non-domestic buildings on life safety electrical equipment and need to know what the original design was’

Certification recognition The report gives recognition to certification by approved certifiers of electrical installations, and confirms that a better level of assurance of compliance with the building standards is achieved through certification. Approved certifiers are trained on not only electrical installations but also the wider requirements of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 as amended, including many other aspects such as compartmentation and fire-stopping of service penetrations. In summary, the requirement for an identified person confirming that the fire safety measures are provided in accordance with the submitted building warrant gives confidence that what has been proposed in the design has been installed in the finished product. Fire engineers can offer specialised fire safety knowledge that may be required for more complex fire strategies. The provision of a fire strategy can, at times, be isolated from the construction process, and site visits can provide a useful insight into the problems that arise during construction. This approach can help the fire engineering profession be more responsive to the needs of the designer, the contractor and the regulator. It is important that electrical engineers are aware of the fire safety design summary, where to find it and how they contribute to this important document.

Connections

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Positive Styling

Introducing the NEW range of Decorative Wiring Accessories

call: 01827 63454

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email: sales@scolmore.com

visit: www.scolmore.com

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Connections Scotland Supplement - Spring 2017  
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