Pyrotec Fire and Security Ltd has supported a top UK university in developing a high-performance fire safety solution for the new headquarters of its Mathematics institute which opened at the end of 2013.

The large £70 million sustainable development brings together facilities from three existing buildings, housing six lecture theatres and space for 500 mathematical researchers and 900 undergraduates. The size and complexity of the structure demanded a specialist fire detection system to ensure optimum safety while remaining sympathetic to its innovative design.

Oxfordshire based installer, Pyrotec Fire and Security Services, was contracted by the leading university to install the BS5839 L1-compliant fire system. After careful planning, it was decided that the new building would benefit from a large number of heat and smoke detectors supported by FB-1 (FIREbeam) Beam detectors in the atria. These reflective beam smoke detectors are ideal for use in large open spaces due to their volume of coverage. Featuring advanced motorised technology, they can monitor their own alignment to the opposing reflectors and to self-align when necessary, ensuring that they are always operating at optimum performance. This choice of technology allows for the timely evacuation of building users, while minimising the risk of unwanted alarms.

All of the Hochiki solutions used in this project feature the manufacturer’s innovative open Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP), making them compatible with standard components from other suppliers.

Stewart Fisher, project engineer at Pyrotec, who was in charge of the development, explained: “Thanks to the compatibility of Hochiki Europe’s technology, installation was a straightforward matter of pulling cabling through the conduits to each product. This meant that we were able to fit the fire safety system throughout the entire building in just six months – an impressive time frame for a project of this size.”

Tony Odadipe, regional sales manager at Hochiki Europe, added: “The Maths building was designed to be both a functioning development, catering to the students of the university, and a striking, attractive addition to the surrounding built environment. As such, the fire safety system had to offer high performance, while also being sympathetic to the interior design of the building.

“The solutions specified provided the reliability required and blended in well with the aesthetics of the building’s rooms and corridors, helping the university balance its fire safety and aesthetics equation.”