Innovation in refurb
Refurbishment. It’s not as glamorous as new build, not as routine as maintenance, yet it’s a part of the construction market that we’ve worked hard to make a particular strength of ours.
Buildings are undergoing refurbishment all the time. A freshen up, a change of use or owner, a facelift or rebrand, an extension or revision to the existing layout. There are so many different ways a structure can still be itself and yet change completely, and when it changes there are consequences for smoke control.
Ring the changes
Smoke control systems are designed to keep escape routes clear should a fire break out, and allow easier access for Fire Brigade personnel. The systems are cleverly designed with established best practise and CFD modelling, and their means of operation depends upon:
- The equipment used
- The layout of the building
- The “cause and effect” protocol programmed into the controls
As you can probably imagine, changing a building’s layout will have potential effects on the flow of smoke or fresh air, meaning a review of the smoke control system is mandatory. It may be discovered that the equipment in place (e.g. fans, vents, dampers or controls) is no longer correctly located.
But a refurbishment is also an opportunity to review the equipment itself. Is it current? Is it energy efficient? How close is it to the end of its serviceable life?
The truth is that by the time a building is due a refurbishment, it’s probably time the smoke control equipment is due one too.
Don’t repeat mistakes
As the UK’s leading smoke control maintenance supplier, the Brakel Airvent attitude is one of constant improvement and innovation. The principle is simple: if we keep seeing the same operational problems or recurring maintenance issues time and again, we don’t just mend them and move on. Instead we get creative. We apply our engineering expertise to fixing the problem in a way that means it won’t happen again, even if it means coming up with new products or new ways of working.
In our experience this is not the way our competitors operate; many seem happy to keep invoicing for the same issue over and over, where we would rather save our customers money and build long term partnerships.
Refurbs, not rip-outs
So it’s time to refurb the system? A lot of maintenance contractors will tell you “this is all out of date, it’s unsafe, it needs to go,” before presenting you with a chunky bill and weeks/months of major disruption while the works are undertaken.
Not so Brakel Airvent.
We have innovated a way of refurbishing a smoke control system that keeps as many components in place as possible, repairing, upgrading and moving them to wherever is needed. We stage our works so that bills are more manageable and so your building can keep operating during the works.
We bolster this with CFD studies to ensure the effectiveness of the revised system, and when we do replace components we always use the best equipment available to ensure efficiency and safety.
We ensure to use up-to-date sensors and controls. Sometimes we’re even able to create dual or multi-purpose systems, by e.g. adding functionality such as fume management, or improve energy use by adding inverters to fans. We can enhance the benefits of the existing scheme by introducing environmental ventilation and/or increased levels of natural daylight.
The spirit of innovation
A lot of people simply don’t expect it from a maintenance specialist, but Brakel Airvent is at the cutting edge of technology and innovation, adapting our approach to match the needs of our country’s ever-evolving FM specialists.
If you’d like to find out how your system can benefit from a refresh that works for your whole building – and your budget – please give us a call on 02920 776160 and find out why we’re the UK’s leading supplier of service and maintenance to smoke ventilation systems.