Gilberts balances safety and wellbeing in new hospital
The GRAHAM-Bam Healthcare Partnership (GBHP) has handed over the new £85 million, 30,000m2 inpatient ward block, completing the second phase of the £261 million redevelopment of Ulster Hospital for South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. The state-of-the-art building has taken an innovative approach to its design to transform patient care, with emphasis on using natural resources to aid recovery, including natural light and fresh air.
To help achieve the latter, whilst balancing the stringent safety requirements, sustainability consultants Cundall, M&E contractor Vaughan Engineering Services and ventilation services supplier WJ Hogg & Co all worked closely together, choosing Gilberts’ innovative Smokegard ventilation grilles as the preferred solution.
The project uses 130 Smokegard Mode B ventilators, with 60 uninterruptible power supply panels, to ensure a consistent flow of fresh air throughout the seven-storey hospital corridors, yet preventing the spread of fire and smoke, should the situation arise.
Gilberts’ Smokegard features a unique, patented rack blade linkage that enables a damper narrow enough to fit within the confines of a fire door structure to be used, to allow ventilation in normal conditions, but prevent the spread of smoke and flames in a fire situation. A 24v DC electrical supply powers an integrated electro magnet, which, in normal conditions, holds the damper open to allow free flow of air through the door grille. In fire conditions, when smoke is detected, the fire protection system interrupts the power supply, causing the damper to instantly close; even if the protection system failed, a thermal fuse provides a fail-safe, triggering when external air reaches 72°C. The UPS panels ensure that, in the event of a power failure, the damper would not accidentally trip.