The Selfridges store in central Manchester shares areas of its building with the adjacent M&S. The Selfridges refurbishment of 2010 / 2011 was to provide its central core atria with a larger atrium and wider escalators. At the same time the internal décor was to be refreshed.
Engineers were called in to assist with the planning and programming of the removal of the existing curtain protection system to the void and its replacement with a Smoke Control curtain system in line with current and future standards to all four floors and the basement food court.
This relatively simple and straightforward type of project was complicated in two ways. Firstly the store had to remain open while we worked in the escalator voids which would remain active to the public and secondly the smoke control system was to be separated from that of M&S which was to continue to utilise the original curtain system in their store however the systems had to remain interdependent.
All this had to take place while keeping the store actively protected. With the above scope requiring a solution that was compliant, easily maintained and flexible. All these crtieria were met.
Firstly, to facilitate the removal of the existing system while allowing the public to shop and the system to remain live, engineers assisted with the design of fire proof pods that could be installed in the voids and permit work to take place out of sight with no interruption. It was also ensured that existing detection systems were relocated to continue to protect the voids temporarily whilst also covering the sealed pods and floor area.
Secondly, the existing control circuits were interrupted with a unique sequencer panel to transfer and control any fire alarm signals to the correct curtain system whether installation equipment in Selfridges or others in M&S to ensure continuity of signalling.
As the project was operating under a pressurised time scale BLE worked though-out on 24 hour shifts to ensure completion.