Firstly, a tiny bit of back-story to fill in any gaps: What are smoke control systems? Fire is hot, dangerous to people and damaging to buildings and assets. That role falls to smoke, which is also hot but is full of toxic chemicals, travels extremely quickly and can completely obscure escape routes or fire fighter access in minutes. A smoke control system will guide, block and channel smoke away from said escape routes and allow for simpler and quicker fire fighter access by venting the smoke in accordance with the designed ventilation strategy. For example if a fire were to break out in one room of a hotel, the smoke on that floor could be vented out of the building via a dedicated a smoke shaft.
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Firstly, a tiny bit of back-story to fill in any gaps: What are smoke control systems? Fire is hot, dangerous to people and damaging to buildings and assets. That role falls to smoke, which is also hot but is full of toxic chemicals, travels extremely quickly and can completely obscure escape routes or fire fighter access in minutes.
A smoke control system will guide, block and channel smoke away from said escape routes and allow for simpler and quicker fire fighter access by venting the smoke in accordance with the designed ventilation strategy. For example if a fire were to break out in one room of a hotel, the smoke on that floor could be vented out of the building via a dedicated a smoke shaft. Automatic opening dampers will be fitted at each level and interfaced with the fire alarm such that only the damper on the fire affected floor will be activated.
This is meant to achieve a better and more accurate performance of the system, preventing an excessive spread of smoke and keeping the stairwells clear.
What are fire suppression systems? When a fire breaks out, a fire suppression system takes on the role of an immediate fire fighter, dousing flames with water, CO2 or foam in order to stop its spread. Primarily among these is the potential for water damage to a building and its assets to far outstrip the damage that would have been caused by a relatively small fire. However, water damage from a building sprinkler system will be much less severe than the damage caused by water from fire fighting hose lines or smoke and fire damage if the fire is allowed to spread.
Quick response sprinklers release gallons of water per minute compared to gallons per minute discharged by a fire hose. What are the standards? A sprinkler system aids the fire brigade by keeping the fires small, since it is easier for them to fight small fires more effectively with less damage.
SHEVS cannot control the fire growth. They delay the filling of the building with smoke and delay the rise of gas temperatures in the thermally buoyant smoke layer. SHEVS can be of tremendous benefit to the fire services. The main bone of contention is with detection. The reasoning goes that, if sprinkler systems are reliant on heat to activate, the action of smoke ventilators could delay this process. The same contention works the other way around: local effects of the sprinkler spray and its cooling effects on nearby natural ventilators can reduce the capacity of removing smoke out of those ventilators.
However, with the presence of the sprinklers, as they are triggered by a rise in temperature, typically only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate. Quick response sprinklers are more effective in a life safety role than standard response sprinklers. Since it is usually unlikely in a successful design that more than one natural ventilator will be affected, it is possible to adopt the guideline of discounting one ventilator.
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Sprinkler Systems VS Smoke Control: The EN 12101-5 Approach
Product Details This European Standard, a part of the BS EN series, specifies pressure differential systems designed to hold back smoke at a leaky physical barrier in a building, such as a door either open or closed or other similarly restricted openings. It covers methods for calculating the parameters of pressure differential smoke control systems as part of the design procedure. BS EN gives test procedures for the systems used, as well as describing relevant, and critical, features of the installation and commissioning procedures needed to implement the calculated design in a building. It covers systems intended to protect means of escape such as stairwells, corridors and lobbies, as well as systems intended to provide a protected firefighting bridgehead for the Fire Services. The systems incorporate smoke control components and kits comprising these and possibly other components. This standard gives requirements and methods for the evaluation of conformity for such kits. Replaces BS and specifies pressure differential systems designed to hold back smoke at a leaky physical barrier in a building, such as a door either open or closed , or other similar openings.
Smoke Control Design - En12101-5
It is intended for a variety of building types and applications, including single-storey buildings, mezzanine floors, warehouses with palletized or racked storage, shopping malls, atria and complex buildings, car parks, places of entertainment and public assembly and un-compartmented space within multi-storey buildings. This Technical Report does not include any functional recommendations for design parameters where the primary purpose of the SHEVS is to assist fire-fighting. NOTE Such functional recommendations need to be agreed with the fire service responsible for the building in question. The calculation procedures set out in the annexes of this Technical Report can be used to design the SHEVS to meet whatever recommendations have been agreed.
BS EN 12101-1:2005+A1:2006
ILNAS P CEN/TR 12101-5