St. Sidwell’s Point Leisure Centre, Exeter City Council
According to recent studies, the Gym, Health and Fitness industries in the UK are worth around £1.8bn in todays market. Whilst this is a smaller valuation compared to pre-COVID, this is still a 33% increase over the last couple of years during COVID times. Couple this with an increasing requirement for Spa facilities across the country, and we can see why they often go hand-in-hand.
However, adding spa facilities can add risk of fire. Saunas and Saunariums, high-temperature spa areas found in the vast majority of health and leisure facilities seem like a great way to relax and recover after a workout or a tough day in the office, but for facilities management they can only add to this.
We were approached by Randall Simmonds, a large construction company working on a UKfirst project in Exeter. The enquiry was for sauna suppression system to be installed within a state-of-the-art Passivhaus leisure facility. The system was required to cover three separate sauna rooms within the same area in the most efficient, most effective way possible.
We spent some time getting to understand the requirements of a Passivhaus build, the limitations of building penetrations and the general project limitations and our highly skilled design team found a solution. As time was a pressing factor, we completed a lot of this stage remotely, having conversations with different members of the on-site teams and fully reviewing the specification and design documents we were issued as part of the original tender.
Our design team produced a design for a completely standalone, self-contained system designed specifically for this project to correctly and safety tackle all three rooms from a single system. This consisted of an extended cylinder-based system, linked together through a common manifold that allowed for each area to run from a communal system to each independent area. Each nozzle installed is a suitably rated closed head, secured with a frangible bulb that only activates in a fire scenario. This reduces the plant requirement as the nozzle will only activate if it is required, rather than all nozzles going off at once.
This worked well with the Passivhaus requirements as we only had to make a single penetration through one of the internal walls, with the rest of the works being completed above the sauna areas. The system specified required no external electrical or mechanical works to be completed, which as an ideal solution for the client in the late stages of their project, saving the client money and speeding up the installation time.
The handover of the system was completed on schedule and the facility opened successfully the following week. The system sits primed and live, and is serviced annually to ensure ongoing integrity of the system. The client was extremely grateful that we got the system installed within the time constraints and with the on-site engineers knowledge and experience.
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