Bilco supplies smoke vents and hatches for prestigous King's Cross student development

Leading access doors and vents manufacturer Bilco UK Ltd ( has completed delivery of seven smoke vents and four roof access hatches for new student accommodation on Pentonville Road, London.

The £95 million development is being built by The Blackstone Group next to the new Eurostar Terminal as part of the King's Cross redevelopment programme. It will provide accommodation for 950 students, as well as 50 private apartments, in a 16 storey building.

The project was designed by architect Alford Hall Monaghan and the main contractor was Bovis Lend Lease Bilco has supplied seven EW-50REM smoke vents offering a clear vent area of 1 m². Each vent utilises two 24 volt DC linear actuators for positive, controlled operation to ensure rapid dispersal of smoke and noxious fumes.

The development features an inverted roof design - a flat roof in which the thermal insulation is placed above the waterproofing membrane, maintaining the roof temperature close to that of the building interior. This eliminates the risk of condensation as well as protecting the membrane from extreme temperatures, exposure to damaging UV rays and mechanical damage.

On top of the insulation a geotextile layer was added and then finished with a mixture of cobbles and paving to aid drainage and provide easy access for maintenance and repair.

Four special sized roof hatches were also supplied to the Pentonville Road development to provide safe and convenient access to get on and off the roofs for storing and maintaining equipment.

All hatches (the largest two are 1,100 x 3,950 mm) provide roof access by means of a full-sized concrete stairway complete with heavy duty handrail for safety. Every roof hatch is equipped with a unique counter balanced compression spring mechanism to provide smooth, easy, one-person operation.

They are all fitted with automatic hold-open arms which ensure that the hatches cannot be blown closed - a potential health and safety risk if the cover was to fall back onto the person exiting onto the roof.

The ventilators and hatches were supplied to building envelope specialist contractor, Prater, which installed them as part of its roofing contract.

Sean Neary, associate director at Prater, said: "The Bilco smoke ventilators and roof hatches meet the key requirement of reliability in operation and offer long life with easy maintenance and testing. They have also been swift and easy to install."

Simon Shand-Brown, sales and marketing manager at Bilco, said: "Bilco specialises in working with our clients to provide them with products that meet their needs. We were able to meet all the requirements for smoke ventilation and roof access at Pentonville Road.

"We were delighted to work with Prater and The Blackstone Group on this prestigious project in the heart of London."

In addition to smoke vents and roof hatches, Bilco manufactures a range of floor doors and floor access covers. Models include drainage doors, non-drainage doors, doors designed to receive flooring materials, doors for interior building applications, fire rated floor doors and a series of special application doors.

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