Holy Rosary School, Johannesburg

Project: Holy Rosary School, Johannesburg

A new 1000 seat multi purpose entertainment and sports centre at Holy Rosary School in Johannesburg is using precision automatic window actuators and control systems from SE Controls, to provide effective smoke ventilation in the event of a fire.

Bishop Shanahan Hall is the latest addition to the Catholic day school, which was founded in 1940 and provides private primary and high school education for girls from Grade R to 12 in a range of subjects including languages, mathematics and sciences.

Designed by Dual Design Architects and built by JTSON Construction, the extensive new hall was conceived as a multi-use building that could stage, formal events, indoor sports, competitions, student dances and entertainment, as the school had outgrown its existing facilities, which could no longer accommodate large audience functions.

While Bishop Shanahan Hall provides the highest standard of staging and equipment for events, safety for students, performers and the audience is also at the core of the building’s design, particularly if a fire should occur. The smoke ventilation solution formed part of the rationale behind the overall fire system design, which was prepared by Building Code Consultants (BCC).

To ensure the various escape routes are kept smoke free and assist evacuation, windows in the building are automatically actuated by SE Controls’ compact SECO N 24 40 - 800mm stroke chain actuators, which are fire safety tested to the internationally recognised EN12101-2: Annex G standard.

In addition to the 12 SECO N 24 40 actuators, supplied by SE Controls’ South African operation, which has offices in Durban and Johannesburg, specialist contractor Robertson Ventilation Industries (RVI), installed and commissioned four manual control point (MCP) fireman’s override switches together with 2 x OS2 Type 23 controls panels to control the MCPs and actuators while also linking them to the school’s fire safety system.

Russell Cramb of SE Controls Africa explained: “In addition to providing an effective smoke control solution, our actuators were also specified for this project as the architects wanted them to be almost silent and virtually invisible. To comply with this, each SECO N 24 40 unit was powder coated to match the window frame colour, while the low profile design of the actuator body enabled them to be sill mounted to keep them out of sight.”