Case Study | South Kensington HMO

Project Summary

South Kensington HMO

Residential space in London is constantly in demand, so when you have an opportunity to maximise your developments and convert your property into something such as an HMO, it is hard to see the negatives. With that being said, new rules and regulations mean that in some cases, you would be required to add additional protection measures, such as interlinked fire alarm systems, 30- or 60-minute fire rated doors and supplementary fire suppression systems to ensure adequate protection.

The challenge

We were approached by a reputable construction firm in London with a scope to install a watermist fire suppression system in an 18-bed House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) as an additional level of fire protection to the end user. This would be going into a new formed student HMO in a prestigious area of London, South Kensington. The client wanted a system that would look smart, be discreet for the tenants but provide optimum protection throughout.

The Solution

After speaking to and meeting with the client and building owner on site, we could instantly see that there were a number of protected parts of the listed building that we would not be able to work through. The design team worked through a number of different design options in line with both the project architects and the local fire authority to ensure that the solution being developed was suitable and adequate for the risk.

The design team specified a SmartMist Guardian watermist system. Designed, tested and assembled fully by our in-house team, the guardian system provided a discreet, flush discharge nozzle perfectly suitable for every ‘at risk’ area within the project. First fix was completed by our in-house engineering team before ceilings were finished, in line with the standard programme of works issued, and as such we were able to fully complete the first fix with no issues.

Once ceilings had been boarded and decorated, the team returned to site to complete the second fix stage, whereby the nozzles were installed into the system, pressure tested and recessed back into the ceiling. The Guardian pump system was installed and was left live and commissioned ready for practical completion of the project.

Client Response

The client was grateful that we could complete the system in the time scales required, both from first fix and second fix scheduling. A couple of issues came up during the site visits but we worked with the site management to ensure that our engineers could still meet the required deadlines with minimal disruption on site.