Science and Technology Centre, Staffordshire University

Project: Science and Technology Centre, Staffordshire University

A £30 million Science and Technology Centre at Staffordshire University’s Stoke Campus is relying on a combined smoke and natural ventilation solution from SE Controls to create a comfortable and safe environment for staff and students.

Designed by architects Sheppard Robson and built by Miller Construction, the extensive facility is part of a £200 million flagship regeneration scheme, which is transforming education in the region with the development of the ‘Uni-Q’ university quarter.

Working closely with façade and access specialist, Norking Aluminium, SE Controls was responsible for the supply, installation and commissioning of the smoke and natural ventilation solution to ensure the fully automated system met design specifications and legislation for air quality as well as smoke safety in the event of a fire.

SE Controls supplied 240 SCCO and TGCO type chain actuators to the project that which were used in conjunction with 40 OS2 controllers to provide complete control over the vertical vents, louvres and atrium vents.

In normal operating mode, the actuators and controllers ensure that carbon dioxide and temperature levels are managed effectively throughout the building to maintain a comfortable working environment using signals from building management system. Night purging and cooling of the Science and Technology Centre is also handled automatically by the SE Controls’ system, which vents warm air and allows cooler air to enter the building.

However, in the event of a fire, the system operates in smoke ventilation mode to ensure that all corridors, escape routes and public areas are kept free from smoke to aid the rapid evacuation of the building.

SE Controls’ Project Manager Darren Wainwright explained: Air quality is vitally important in educational buildings to ensure that carbon dioxide levels are managed effectively and temperatures are kept well within pre-defined limits.

He added: “Our system is configured to meet these criteria by ensuring precise control over indoor air quality by venting of warm, stale air while ensuring that cooler fresh air that replaces it doesn’t cool the building too much so that it causes the heating system to switch on. Beyond this, the system provides also provides a safety critical function by operating as an integral smoke ventilation solution, which can save lives by improving escape times if a fire should occur.”