Passive Fire Protection for Schools, Colleges and Universities
Schools, colleges and university buildings come in all shapes and sizes, from the ultramodern, glass-fronted new-build to St Edmunds Hall, Oxford, a Grade II listed building which, with references dating back to 1317 is thought to be the oldest academic hall in the UK, and everything in between. All educational buildings have site-specific fire strategies in place, but the underpinning principles are the same: to protect the lives of the students and staff in the event of a fire.
Through installation of tested and approved passive fire protection measures such as intumescent paint and firestopping to the more vulnerable points in the building, along with the creation and protection of compartment lines, the structural integrity of the building can be maintained in the event of a fire, and the spread of the heat, smoke and flame can be more effectively contained. These measures create a longer evacuation time, greater access opportunity for the attending emergency services and greater structural protection to prevent collapse. This protection of the structural integrity and compartmentation can also limit the impact of the fire on the building, limiting the damage and therefore the cost and time of rebuild.
Pyrotect has developed an enviable expertise in education sector buildings, having delivered safety-critical contracts for both new build and remedial works in schools and universities nationwide, from the chemistry block at the University of Southampton to a new sixth form academy in Bradford, making education sites safe for staff and students nationwide.
New build facilities across the UK
Working closely with main contractors, our skilled passive fire protection installers both apply intumescent paints and install firestopping in accordance with the site-specific fire strategy, marking up drawings as they pass through the building to provide site management with a detailed package of quality assurance evidence of locations in the envelope or compartment wall that have been effectively protected.
Through this process, our teams have successfully delivered compliant and tested passive fire protection to a range of educational buildings including co-ordinating a substantial multi-package scheme for Wates and their façade contractors Norman & Underwood on the new flagship City Hub building for Nottingham College, an extensive installation at the new Bader School in Doncaster with Willmott Dixon and a comprehensive package of paint, firestopping and sealing measures at the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) at the University of Warwick with Balfour Beatty.
Working in live education environments – extensions, maintenance and remedial works
Whether a new-build extension to an existing site or maintenance and remedial works, working in live educational environments comes with additional responsibilities and challenges. At Pyrotect we have substantial experience in delivering accredited, certified firestopping packages in live educational settings. As a result, our teams are well-versed in the additional considerations of student safeguarding, maintaining exemplary housekeeping and implementing noise reduction measures.
Our site supervisors work closely with nominated site management or facilities teams as well as the school, college or university’s senior leadership to carefully control the sequencing of programmes to minimise disruption and ensure the flow and impact of works is as compatible with the requirements of the site as possible, operating flexibly to work around the ebb and flow of the school day. We also act as facilitators, coordinating with other trades such as drywall and M&E contractors to ensure a smooth flow of works should the programme also require these specialisms.
Working in this collaborative way, to a tightly-managed schedule to suit educational need, safeguarding and planning, and ensuring timely progress, has seen us successfully complete a number of live-site programmes recently, including a comprehensive package to a substantial extension for Kier at Nicholas Chamberlaine School in Bedworth, firestopping works in the modernisation of the Grade II heritage building of St Edmunds Hall, Oxford with Beard Construction, and various remedial works packages completed throughout the East and West Midlands.
In order to meet the needs of educational facilities, our teams provide the following:
- Pre-start meeting to capture all site-specific needs and considerations, and outline sequencing
- Deployment of qualified, experienced site installation teams
- Detailed, site-specific RAMS, including any additional considerations around access times and restrictions, noise control and safeguarding
- Briefing with site teams prior to commencement
- Regular catch-ups with site/facilities teams and school management to ensure smooth project delivery, check sequencing flow is still workable and address any changes (particularly in the live environment)
- DBS checked site teams
- Quality assurance throughout and certification on completion
Facilities Manager of an existing facility? Our certified fire inspectors can walk you through the fire survey process and identify any areas of non-compliance that put you at increased risk. Contact the team on 01530 416870 for more information