Contributing to a landmark collaborative facility – our work at NMIS
From RIBA Stage 2 through to completion, we have worked on behalf of HLM Architects as part of the team delivering the incredible new National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) building. Principal Fire Engineer, Graeme Shaw shares how our fire engineering guidance on the building will help to raise the bar for collaboration across sectors…
From its sustainable design to an emphasis on creating a healthy workplace for people to come together from across the public, academic and private sectors, the flagship building for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Group is a ground breaking project which we are proud to have been involved in. Operated by the University of Strathclyde and based next to Glasgow airport, this stunning building has been created to enable people to innovate and share knowledge.
Contributing our fire engineering expertise to deliver the low-carbon and sustainability-focussed designs OFR were delighted to form part of this design team on such an exciting project. Features include an exposed timber glulam frame, internal tree planting and a unique internal green wall as well as large-scale rooftop solar, a state-of-the-art low carbon district heating network and a rainwater harvesting system.
At OFR, we helped to achieve the fire strategy through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling which was carried out to demonstrate there was a suitable level of safety for occupants escaping from an open gallery within the factory area of the building which overlooked the factory floor area. The gallery is primarily used as a teaching pod where occupants would leave the area and onto a gallery open to the factory floor below. We carried out CFD modelling to demonstrate that escaping across this gallery was acceptable and occupants would not be adversely affected by fire or smoke.
CFD was also used to review the tenability levels within a high-level plant room. The travel distances within the plant room were extended, and due to the equipment, the plant room was open to the factory area below. Due to the plant room being at high level, this allowed for smoke from a potential fire to pass into the plant area and therefore CFD analysis was used to demonstrate a suitable level of safety could be achieved.
The gallery mentioned earlier was constructed with a steel frame structure with cross laminated timber (CLT) deck. The gallery serves as an escape route, therefore required to achieve a specified period of fire resistance. OFR worked with the CLT manufacture to review the relevant fire test evidence to ensure an adequate period of fire resistance was achieved.
Radiant heat analysis was also carried out to support the use of integrity only glazing as part of a compartment wall between the factory and office accommodation. The analysis carried out demonstrated that radiant heat transfer through the glazing was within acceptable limits, by considering the benefits of a fire load exclusion zone offered by an existing circulation area.
We look forward to seeing great things result from the incredible environment that has been created here in Glasgow.