Newflame Fire Equipment Co. Ltd has provided Plumis Automist systems as an innovative watermist fire sprinkler for a block of 7 flats above Baldock library, which had been converted from office space in the Hertfordshire town. The modern, open-plan design of the living areas of 6 of the flats meant that there was no protected means of escape. The LACoRS guide and Approved Document B allow open plan designs as long as some additional features, including fire suppression, are provided. The owner of the building was reluctant to install sprinklers which would have marred the clean lines of the design and in the event of discharge, accidental or otherwise would have drenched the property, the new fixtures and fittings.
The owner, whose extended family are using 4 of the flats while the 3 remaining flats are being rented out, discovered the Plumis website when searching for a resolution and sent the plans of the conversion to Newflame, the accredited Automist installer for the area. He was...
Open plan layouts as an architectural trend is here, either in homes or flats, there is no denying that the increased feel of space and the ability to maximise the use of small footprint properties make it a win-win for architects and occupants.
The reason this was not a default setup in the past is because it went against the prescriptive guidance. So what has changed? The adoption of fire engineering principles in the guidance documents that are issued for the industry such as Approved Document B and BS 9991. These documents used to be compartmentation heavy, i.e. they would rely only on passive fire protection measures such as walls, fire doors and door closers to ensure a fire would develop only within a room, leaving the escape route free for occupants. This required a “protected corridor” to be designed through the property where escape could take place. And as a consequence your open plan dream went out of the window. The increased use of sprinklers, water mist, enhanced (linked) detection and alarm and automatic opening...
Portable misting/sprinkler units offer a temporary or in some cases a permanent solution for the protection of high risk situations normally in one room of the premises, for example:
Used in the bedroom of an immobile person who smokes in bed
Used in the kitchen where there is a high risk of a kitchen fire
Used in the lounge where there is a high risk of an accidental fire
Used in the hallway where there is a high risk of arson
They are a stand alone unit that consists of a tank of water, a pump and misting nozzle and connects to a smoke or flame detector for early activation.
When smoke or heat activates the system the unit operates filling the room/area with an ultra fine mist of water designed to suppress the fire maintaining a breathable atmosphere. In some cases it will put out the fire.
Due to its use of a fine mist of water, the water damage will be much less than if the Fire Service use hoses to put out the fire.
ICC just released their preliminary online voting results, and Proposal RB129-16, which attempted to remove the residential sprinkler requirement from the International Residential Code, is shown as DISAPPROVED. Therefore, the requirement to install fire sprinklers all newly constructed homes will remain in the 2018 edition of the IRC.
We were also successful in gaining approval of two changes that incentivize and support sprinkler requirements, Proposals RB89-16 and ADM36-16. However, we came up short of the required 2/3 majority to overturn committee recommendations on Proposals RB51-16 (dealing specifically with stacked duplexes), and RB69-16 (dealing with protection of lightweight floor assemblies).
A common denominator linking manufacturers of reliable, trustworthy, quality-controlled construction products is independent third-party testing. Before taking their products to market, these manufacturers invest in the help of independent third party laboratories, such as fire protection testing specialist Exova Warringtonfire, to negotiate a complex labyrinth of research, development, assessments and testing.
One such manufacturer is Plumis, the James Dyson Award-winning inventors of the Automist active fire protection concept and manufacturers of a small range of innovative products that propelled them to be named Innovators of the Year by the CBI in 2014.
Their latest product, the Automist Smartscan, is an elegantly engineered, water-saving, efficient, affordable and highly effective watermist system (sprinkler replacement). It uses an under-researched technology – water mist – in a new way to provide active fire protection in the home. Such is the innovation of the product’s design, it has already...
William Makant of Plumis presented the company's new Automist Smartscan technology to a packed and captivated audience at the 16th Annual International Water Mist Conference, held in Vienna September 21-22, 2016, organized by the International Water Mist Association (IWMA).
He presented the story behind the evolution of the James Dyson award-winning Automist®, Automist Smartscan which relocates the traditional spray heads from the ceiling to a wall mounted nozzle, and uses a rotating head that directly targets fires with a powerful jet of water mist. It has been proven to achieve the same performance as residential sprinkler systems and typically uses 90% less water, minimising the potential for water damage to the living space.
Automist Smartscan has risen in popularity among architects and builders for being super easy to retrofit—without requiring a tank or network of pipes. It offers more than a reliable safety device for fighting fires; it’s an intelligent modern design...
Watermist systems installed in buildings can reduce the fire risk to life. It can also significantly reduce the degree of damage caused by fire and provide property protection.
Watermist fire suppression systems have demonstrated their value in assisting the protection of life and property in industrial and commercial applications for many years. A mist system operates at an earlier stage in the development of a fire when compared to sprinklers and in many cases are more practical to install, especially in small buildings. Sprinklers can also cause significant water damage when activated, which is minimised when compared to mist.
Automist Smartscan has been awarded the Build It Awards 2016 - Best Home Technology Product, in association with BuildStore.
The Build It Awards, in association with BuildStore, celebrate all aspects of self build and renovation, including completed projects, services and suppliers. The awards bring together architects, manufacturers and key industry figures in recognition of innovation and excellence in the custom home sector.
Open plan living is fast becoming increasingly popular thanks to its ability to offer a greater sense of space and light; both of which have seen a healthy effect to the value of redesigned residential developments in recent years.
Whether you’re looking to create an open plan kitchen/diner, a loft conversionor split-level ground floor, it’s essential you check what building regulations your project will need to pass as these could put a considerable constraint on your much-anticipated designs.
You may require planning permission, particularly if load-bearing walls need to be removed and, if you’re planning a loft conversion, or opening up an enclosed staircasecreating an essential fire escape route, you’ll require specialist fire suppression advice from a qualified Fire Engineer.
So, whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, architect or interior designer, we’ve put together a guide to everything you might need to know about making your home open plan.