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Fire safety engineering

Fire safety engineering, tackling the reaction of people and infrastructure to fire, helps protect lives and businesses. By applying best practice and the latest fire engineering techniques, our specialist teams develop holistic, innovative fire safety solutions that satisfy authorities’ requirements and are cost-effective and sustainable.

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We bring leading edge knowledge and expertise particularly in the fields of buildings – all types ranging from arts and culture, commercial, civic, education and healthcare to retail, residential, hotels, sports venues and stadia – and transport systems, notably road tunnels, underground stations and rail systems from heavy rail and light rail to metros and monorails. Our experience applies to both new build and refurbishment or extension of existing systems and structures.

Buildings

Buildings bring diverse criteria for fire and life safety design, including the relationship between architectural features and operational needs. Our specialist fire safety engineering team provides strategies that meet all safety standards and regulatory requirements, applying our expertise to:

• Tailor fire systems to meet the specific needs of a building
• Create large open spaces that balance architectural and safety requirements
• Enable safe evacuation over longer than normal distances
• Reduce the number of stairwells while ensuring safe evacuation
• Introduce alternative egress routes
• Identifying more reliable and cost effective fire safety systems

We can develop a fire engineering strategy encompassing the requirements and aspirations of all interested parties and other engineering disciplines. Our role assists in promoting building flexibility to enhance architectural expression.

Our services include:

• Fire strategies
• Fire dynamics, including smoke and evacuation modelling
• Expert input on building upgrades, retrofits and new constructions
• Specification, design review and third party checking
• Fire risk assessments
• Professional technical advice
• Expert witness

Transport systems

Railway systems pose unique challenges for fire safety given the time-varying nature of train operations and the characteristics of fire loads and occupants. We develop holistic fire strategies for safe operations covering infrastructure, rolling stock, staffing and operating procedures.

We are experienced in identifying and developing appropriate performance based solutions to suit specific circumstances where compliance with prescriptive regulations cannot be achieved, using our in-depth knowledge of railway systems, fire and smoke phenomena, human behaviour and risk reduction measures.

Our expertise includes:

• Stakeholder management including consultation with authorities and quantitative design review (QDR) processes
• In-depth knowledge of national and international fire safety regulations and best practice
• Development of holistic fire safety strategies
• Performance-based fire engineering design
• Fire and smoke movement analyses, from empirical calculations to 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling
• Analysis of structural response to fire effects using analytical and computational models
• Means of escape design and provisions for mobility impaired persons
• Evacuation analyses, including human factors and occupant response, static calculations and state-of-the-art 3D evacuation modelling
• Fire protection of rolling stock – assessment of fire loads and fire sizes, fire performance of materials and construction of components
• Design and specification of fire systems – fire detection and warning systems, smoke control systems, passive fire protection and automatic fire extinguishing systems
• Provisions for fire and rescue services
• Qualitative and quantitative fire risk assessment
• Cost-benefit analyses of fire safety procedures

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