UK Importers for Mingardi, Topp and Ultraflex Actuators & Vents
UK Importers for Brakel, Mingardi, Topp and Ultraflex (UCS)
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01202 744 958

Applications for Mechanical Smoke Ventilation


car parks

Using high velocity air jets, car park ventilation induction fans and impulse fans push large volumes of air / exhaust fumes / smoke towards extraction smoke shafts, - removing the need for extensive ducting, saving valuable ceiling space, and allowing more parking levels to be constructed for greater commercial return.

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commercial & offices

Offices and commercial buildings tend to be multi-storey and often will contain open areas (atria, lobbies, foyers, refectories etc) that require roof extraction systems and smoke curtains. They may require mechanical rather than natural airflow smoke shafts and BRE smoke shafts to protect common areas and fire fighting shafts respectively.

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Multi-storey multi-dwelling residences require smoke shafts and when over 18m BRE smoke shafts to keep lobbies, stairs and common area free of smoke and heat for fire fighters. Interior corridors will need them too if exterior end of corridor AOVs cannot be used. The building's architecture will largely determine whether these smoke shafts need to be mechanical systems.

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industrial & warehouse

Depending on your fire strategy we can deliver a range of SHEV systems to meet your needs. Large open spaces often require mechanical extraction combined with smoke curtains to compartmentalise smoke/heat exhaust and control inflow. Often multiple roof exhaust extraction points are used to prevent the "plug hole" effect on a single larger exhaust.

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hotels & leisure

Hotels have many similar properties to residential MDU, but they often also incorporate large open spaces and common areas (lobbies, foyers, conference rooms, bars & restaurants). Therefore, all mechanical systems could be deployed: smoke shafts and BRE smoke shafts for occupancy areas, smoke curtains and roof extraction systems for open areas.

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shopping centres & retail

Large retail stores and shopping centres behave similarly to warehouses and atria buildings. Fire strategies might include roof extraction systems combined with smoke curtains (to contain smoke & heat for localised extraction). Where potential accelerants and flammable goods are stored in open areas (e.g. DIY stores) mechanical systems are advised.

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health & hospitals

Fire fighter access is paramount in hospital fire strategies where evacuation may not be the best initial option for certain patients (intensive care, surgical patients etc). So BRE smoke shaft performance might be applied mechanically on all smoke shafts. Open area (atria, auditoriums and refectories) might also require mechanical roof extraction and smoke curtains.

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education & schools

Where multi-storey school buildings exist your fire strategy will require smoke shafts for stairs and lobbies (potentially mechanical systems depending on airflow). Assembly halls, auditoriums and sports halls/gymnasia might require smoke curtains to isolate smoke/heat and mechanical roof extraction to remove the asphyxiating smoke at high velocity.

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Applications - mechanical ventilation

Mechanical system fall into two main categories: firstly car park fans that act as 'blowers' (induction or impulse fans) designed to push smoke or exhaust fumes toward an extraction point; secondly mechanical extraction - usually assisted smoke shafts where flue draw is enhanced using extraction fans, but other roof mounted systems are commonly used, especially in commercial, retail and industrial structures where large open areas are common e.g. atria buildings.

Mechanical SHEV systems - pros & cons

The decision whether to utilise mechanical extraction systems may not be cut and dry; consideration to installation costs, lifetime costs and the environmental impact of mechanical systems need to be countered against costs of architectural solutions that maximise natural ventilation for SHEV applications - in other words is it cheaper and more efficient to designed the building from the ground up with NSHEV utilising natural airflow, or can more commercial gain and cost saving be found with mechanical installations. With lower buildings, the former tends to have precedence and NSHEV system will prove more cost-efficient, and with taller buildings, the latter tends to be true and mechanical systems will allow for greater usable floor plan area for commercial return.

Atria buildings

Mechanical systems are often required in large open spaces (atria buildings) as airflow and up venting cannot be guaranteed to clear smoke (once smoke enters the atrium smoke can descend several floor as well as rise from any fire unless high extraction rates are used). Adding natural airflow in fully open, partially open and closed atria building types is often undesirable as this can can entrain cooler air, lowering the buoyancy of the smoke, making it more difficult to extract and more dangerous for occupants below the fire source. So often in these circumstances mechanical extraction systems are recommended to provide the desired extraction rate whilst retaining smoke buoyancy.

Smoke curtains

Whilst technically not a mechanical system, smoke curtains are so often deployed in conjunction with roof extraction systems that we have categorised them within our mechanical offering.

As atria represent a large shaft, in all atria type buildings except sterile tubes (which use fire rated glass for the atrium walls) it is sometimes also necessary to also use smoke curtains to compartmentalise the smoke and heat and isolate the smoke from occupants and other building areas on each level around the atrium

Typical open spaces where smoke curtains are used within a building include atria, foyers, lobbies, halls, auditoriums, theatres,refectories, restaurants, escalators, spiral staircases, interior balconies, mezzanines and terraces.

I don't see my building type?

The variety of applications for mechanical smoke and heat exhaust ventilation systems is enormous and we have merely tried to capture the most common ones here, but please do not think your project falls outside our scope if it does not appear above. Our experience means we know each project is unique and has its own specific needs and requirements - and that is what we are here to do - find you the right SHEV system for your building or structure.

Vent Engineering have been supplying ventilation systems for over 25 years and have an experienced and knowledgeable sales and engineering team that can help you determine your exact needs - so please get in contact now for friendly and helpful advice:- 01202 744 958