The project

Warringtonfire Australia were engaged by H2o Architects and the University of Technology, Sydney to undergo the fire safety engineering for the UTS CB04 extension. The project involved an extension to UTS building 4 to create a state-of-the-art research facility containing world-class specialist laboratories. The facility was constructed to fast-track the discovery and commercialisation of environmental and bioproducts.

The new extension included seven storeys of predominantly Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) laboratories and teaching spaces. The extension has connections into the existing building at all levels and uses the fire-isolated stairs in the existing building for egress.

The PC2 laboratories in the extension are completely sealed and cleanable environments where organisms and chemicals can be safely stored and handled. They include 25 fume cupboards to protect operators from hazardous fumes, 19 of which are in a single laboratory space. The extension also has an extensive roof plant for the exhaust from the fume cupboards and a hazardous goods store at level 2.

Our solution

The team of fire safety engineers at our Sydney office developed a comprehensive fire safety strategy for the extension which included its integration into the existing building. Our fire engineering assessment enabled fire rating requirements for the extension to be rationalised – based on the actual hazards in the building rather than the more onerous deemed-to-satisfy provisions that apply to laboratories. Our smoke hazard management strategy successfully met both the fire and laboratory safety requirements while maintaining the performance of the adjoining systems in the existing building. 

We also developed a fire safety management plan for the building. It provided an overview of the fire safety systems installed throughout the building, with additional information about maintenance and housekeeping.

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