Combining Environmental Ventilation with Smoke Ventilation

By Jon Fleet
Wednesday 19th August, 20202 minute to read

Improved energy efficiency through centralised heating systems, boilers and hot water pipework in multi-storey residential schemes can result in significant heat build-up within common circulation areas.

Here's a handy solution to combat this issue.

By using the smoke ventilation to provide mechanical corridor ventilation into smoke shafts to remove this heat build-up and provide fresh replacement air, the effects of heat build-up can be overcome.

Thermostat sensors activate the system and it runs until a pre-set temperature is achieved. Additional control may be achieved via 24/7 timers and weather stations.

It improves indoor air quality, reduces CO2 emissions and is cost-efficient.

However, if you’re considering doing this on your scheme, it’s best to think about it during the design phase. By combining Smoke and Environmental Systems at early-stage design, you can ensure fire compliance, reduction of heat gain and overall cost savings. Other design considerations include heat emission, ambient temperature, extract rate, pressure ratings, noise levels, and energy use.

There are a number of benefits to combining both requirements into one system, such as:

Increased fan life

One of the most important benefits of this form of adaptive ventilation is its effect on system reliability. One of the more common causes of failure in extract fan systems is bearing failure, caused by heat and wear. By allowing the extract system to run at reduced speeds for much of the time, this can increase fan life

Ready for fire mode

Running the extract fans for day to day ventilation has the advantage that regular use of the system will ensure that the system is constantly ‘ready’ for fire mode when required. Performance and serviceability of the unit can be monitored during day-to-day environmental operations, picking up any potential operational issues.

Single control system

By taking inputs from corridor temperature sensors and fire & smoke sensors and displaying this system on the same Graphical User Interface (GUI) both the environmental and smoke operations are displayed. This means that in the event of the system going into fire mode, the panel will intelligently switch instantly from environmental to smoke extraction, with no risk of two separate systems both operating during the fire.

Simplicity of design

This enables a single extract Pod with only one mechanical and electrical connection. There are also the secondary benefits that come with combining the two operations into one intelligent system including, less cabling, less installation time, reduced servicing, and providing more valuable roof space.

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