Case Studies

FULHAM CENTRE – Budget: £1,000,000


Romulus Construction

Architect: Delvendahl

Martin Architects

MEP Consultant: ARUP

Structure Consultant: ARUP

Project challenges – Fire Strategy

  1. Due to the refurbishment works and due to the façade line that is to be extended, 1h fire resistance has to be achieved between The building has terracotta hollow pots structural slabs.
  2. A new Roof Garden has been proposed with the new refurbishment works and the roof level exceeds 18m from the Ground Floor Due to this fact, the building therefore becomes a tall building and from a Fire Strategy point of view a lot of extra measures need to be taken into account, while keeping the budget.

Project description:

The property at 20 Fulham Broadway, Fulham Centre, currently houses a mix of retail and commercial office accommodation and rises 5 storey’s above ground floor level. The fully glazed top floor and panoramic glazed lifts were introduced as part of modernization works undertaken in 2004. The works also included the cladding of the brick façade in an insulated self colour render.

The building is proposed to be refurbished and brought to modern standards once again. The building line will be extended on the East side (Vaston Place side), and a fully glaze curtain wall will be installed for the façade.


Technical solutions:

  1. Not so many consultants have experience with terracotta hollow pots, but the thing that most do not realise, is how good is terracotta as a material when it comes to fire However, in the buildings with terracotta hollow pots structure, the high fire spread risk does not come from the pots themselves, but from the bonding material that is applied in between the pots. In most cases, a sort of a cementous material is going to be used to hold the pots together.

In this project’s case, the building has been constructed in late 1960’ – early 1970’s. The mortar between the pots has suffered different structural and molecular modifications. Therefore, it has been recommended for another Cementous and non-combustible material to be sprayed on the underside of the ceilings. This sprayed material will ensure there are no cavities between the pots, and a certain time of fire resistance can be guaranteed and ultimately achieved.

  1. In order for the client to be able to fit a Roof Garden on the roof level, which has always been regarded as a technical floor we had to reassess the entire fire Due to the fact that the roof had a technical plant room destination, in the previous fire strategy, the roof has been discounted from the wide side fire strategy.

When a building has a height exceeding 18m measured from 1m above Ground Floor, it is seen as a tall building from a Fire Strategy point of view, therefore extra fire measures need to be provided to the building in order to be in compliance with the building regulations and British standards.

A fire engineered solution has been provided that managed to ensure the health and safety of the occupants, while achieving to get some deviations from the standards and regulations, by extending certain limitations.

YORK HOUSE – Budget: £10,000,000


Collins Construction

Project challenges – Temporary Fire Strategy during the refurbishment and fit-out works

The proposed refurbishment included for timber frame structure for some of the extension works.

When there is a construction site that undertakes timber frame works, the construction site has to follow not only the normal health and safety and fire safety rules, but it needs to follow the 16 Steps to Fire Safety On Timber Frame Construction Sites from UK Timber Frame Association.

In addition, due to some previous events that caused a fire on site, the Fire Brigade has regarded this particular site as having a High Hazzard category of fire risk.

Project description:

The existing building is situated on 207-221 Pentoville Road, London is situated in a prime location between King’s Cross Station and Angel.

The existent building will be refurbished and fit out in order to be brought to a modern standard office building. The existent building has currently 7 storeys including a lower ground/basement level.

The building is currently unoccupied and the removal of all existing ceilings, partitions and finishes has been completed by others. Generally speaking, the proposed works involve the following:

Five storey front extension and two storey roof extension to existing building, with rear extension at part of lower and upper ground levels, to provide additional office space (Use Class B1); internal and external refurbishment works to existing office building (Use Class B1) with ancillary gym and café; construction of new lightwell to Pentonville Road elevation; erection of new cycle and bin stores in refurbished service yard; and associated hard and soft landscaping

Technical solution:

The Fire Brigade has been officially informed about the works that have been undertaken on York House. Layouts and drawings alongside with documents, have been sent to the Fire Brigade, as a prevention measure to ensure that the firefighters are going to be familiar with the construction site, in the unfortunate event of fire.

The 16 Steps to Fire Safety On Timber Frame Construction Sites have been followed and extra fire safety measures have been added to the existent site, alongside with extra hording and CCTV in order to prevent ARSON.

GLEN HOUSE – Budget: £700,000


Romulus Construction

Architect: Delvendahl

Martin Architects

MEP Consultant: Waterman

Structure Consultant: TZG Partnership

Project challenges – Fire Strategy

From measurements, the percentage of the unprotected areas in the façade and from the distances to the adjacent buildings, it has resulted that the building should have a 1h resistance fire compartment. In order to be able to achieve 1h resistance in between floors, normally an 80mm thick concrete slab  is required. In the existent situation the structure would present 70-75mm of concrete in certain  places. The structure of the slab was made with concrete waffles, and at the apex of the waffles, the thickness of the concrete slab would not be sufficient for ensuring 60min fire resistance.

Project description:

The property at 22 Glenthorne Road, currently houses commercial office accommodation and rises 4 storey’s above ground floor level. Built in the late ‘70’s, the building comprises a concrete frame with a stone cladding.

The Job Centre currently occupies Ground Floor, 1st and 2nd  floors, with separate tenants on the 3rd  and 4th floor. The Job Centre will be vacating at the end of March ’18 at which time Romulus would like to refurbish these 3 floors with a view to letting under a 5-year lease. Romulus are open to either letting these floors on a multi-tenancy basis or as one unit. The tenants on the 3rd and 4th floor will remain in situ. The top story height of the building will be approximately 17.5 m, measured from Ground to Fourth Floor.

In the proposed situation, due to commercial and structural reasons, the 70mm concrete screed had to be removed from all floors that were going through the refurbishment.

Technical solutions:

Through calculations and risk assessments it has been demonstrated that the refurbishment works  will not affect the building’s existent condition and especially the fire resistance of the existent building will not be influenced by the refurbishment works that are going to be undertaken on GF, 1st and 2nd Floor.

Due to our good understanding and knowledge we were able to make an argument with Building Control. The existent fire resistance between floors will remain the same and based on a fire engineered solution that we have designed, the building will have the same fire performance as previously envisaged.

Taking all above into consideration and adding extra measures so that the occupants are able to become aware in case of an fire emergency event, we were able to come to an agreement with Building Control which confirmed that no extra measures are required in order to improve the fire resistance of the concrete slabs.

Through this not only that we saved our client from extra costs, but we also managed to reduce the program of the refurbishment works, which ultimately has brought more profit to our client.

BAYVIEW – Budget: £1,200,000,000


Blue Chip Client

Architect: Heatherwick Studios Bjarke Ingles Group

MEP Consultant: Atelier Ten

Fire Consultant:

In conjunction with Atelier Ten

Structure Consultant: AKT II

Project challengesFire Strategy

Being and EFT pillow dome spread on over 1.1 million sqf of office space, Bayview has been a complex project.

The EFT pillow roof needed fire suppression systems in order to protect the roof as well as the surfaces below. Due to the fact that the pavilions inside the dome would have spanned to 25m in height, there was a high fire hazard. If the EFT pillows would catch on fire the spread of the fire would have become uncontrollable.

Project description:

Bayview, was part of a bigger site wide development scheme that Google was looking at building in early 2015.

Bayview was a 1.1 million sqf dome that had a metallic structure that would be covered by inflatable EFT pillows. Inside the dome there would have been a number of pavilions that would rise up to 5-8 floors.

The project would feature a wave pool and certain other visionary facilities.

Technical solutions:

Due to the fact that in accordance with NFPA and all the US standards and building regulations, the roof had to be protected by an automatic fire suppression system, the design team started looking at providing automatic fire sprinklers for all the floors, as well for the roof surface.

Fitting the sprinklers on the normal floor levels wouldn’t be as challenging as finding a feasible solution to provide automatic fire sprinklers for the roof. The challenge wasn’t found in the actual provision of fire sprinklers, but it was rather difficult to be able to offer a solution for the fire sprinklers distribution pipework.

Because the project was for a blue chip client, there was a general direction that all the services should take into account the aesthetic side as well as the operational side. Therefore nobody wanted a grid of red stainless steel pipes that would hang from the ceiling, as that would have meant that the architecture of the roof would have been spoiled.

After some research, we were able to provide a solution that would not only supply the fire sprinklers in accordance with the US building standards and regulations, but it would also be as flexible as the pipe could be bend following the curvature of the roof. This was a solution that would normally be used in off-shore applications for ships and rigs.



Daniel Hersheson

Architect: GP Studios

MEP Consultant: Magnus Opifex

Fire Consultant: Magnus Opifex

Structure Consultant: Solution Consulting Engineers

Project challenges – MEP systems

Daniel Hersheson Hairdressing Salon relocated from Conduit Street to Berners Street, Fitzrovia, in one of the new developments there.

The development at 22-24 Berners Street has been completed in late 2017 by Skanska in conjunction with Norman Disney Young.

The space that Daniel Hersheson let from the landlord, was previously design to be an art gallery, therefore the MEP space and technical risers were minimal.

Project description:

The space at ground floor from the development located at 22-24 Berners Street was let empty and with no finishes, only the base-build installations provided for the space.

The new salon features 28 working stations for hairdressing, manicure and pedicure stations, a coffee shop/lounge, several treatment rooms, offices, board rooms as well as staff kitchen, staff changing  and a laundry.

As we got involved quite in a late design stage, we realized that the base-build installation will not suffice the needs for the envisaged space and application.

Technical solution:

We had to retro-fit 3 other drainage stacks on the base-build drainage system, taking into account that the tenant below, a gym, finished their fit-out before the salon’s fit-out even started.

A new water supply has been requested from the local supplier in order to satisfy the water demand, as well as a break tank and a booster pump set has been provided in order to ensure the necessary water flow and pressure at each fixture.

As for the mechanical installations, we found a way to fit all the equipment in the ceiling and do all the air treatment, supply and extract, within the lent space without affecting the GIA.


Not only that we saved our client space, but we also offered a feasible solution in a swift period of time which has proven to be very efficient.