WESCase Studies

WES+The Curve, Slough

Contractor: Morgan Sindall

Project Value: £16.5 million

Project Type: Regeneration

Location: Slough

Personnel at The Curve have been protected from fire 24/7 during the construction period by Ramtech Electronics’ WES+ wireless alarm system.

The Curve is the newly opened Library and Cultural Centre in the heart of Slough. It was delivered by Slough Urban Renewal (a joint venture partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd) with Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure acting as main contractor.

WES+ at The Curve

Morgan Sindall Construction specified WES+ to meet the challenge of providing a robust, cost-effective and EN 54 compliant wireless fire alarm system on this £16.5m project.

There was an overwhelming need for an effective fire alarm system during construction as The Curve is within the confines of an extremely restricted site, making it difficult for fire crews to access quickly. The site is surrounded by the listed medieval St Ethelbert’s church, heavily populated buildings on two sides and a main arterial road into Slough. The consequences of a fire breaking out could have been devastating. For these reasons, as well as Morgan Sindall’s commitment to protect personnel and visitors on-site, the company chose to specify ‘a wireless fire alarm system that met all latest UK and European standards’.

A key requirement for fire alarms is to meet EN 54, in accordance with the publication of Version 9 of The Joint Code of Practice (JCoP). This contains the advice; Components of automatic fire detection and alarm systems should be marked as complying with EN 54 (paragraph 13.8).

WES+ is the only wireless fire alarm to have been specially designed for construction and independently tested, with each and every unit in the system certified to all relevant sections of EN 54.

The WES+ system used at The Curve comprises manual fire alarm call points, automatic detection units and a
Base Station. Ramtech Electronics supplied over 20 push button call points along with heat and smoke detection
units to provide 24/7 coverage across 4,500m2 of floor space. As construction progressed, further units were added, a process that took only a few seconds.

The call points were all interlinked, which means that if just one unit was triggered manually or the automatic detection units sensed heat of smoke, all areas of The Curve would have received the same audible and visual alert signal.

“Having both manual and automatic call points during construction of The Curve provide us with an early warning of fire
during the working day, whilst the heat/smoke detection units ensuring that the site remained protected out of hours.’
said Dan August, Buyer at Morgan Sindall. “We take fire safety on site extremely seriously and were impressed that WES+ had been independently tested to EN 54.”

Dan added; “We have previously used wired fire alarms on site, which meant it often took several hours to reposition the call points as work progressed. This made it very cumbersome compared to the WES+ wireless system which now takes only a few seconds.”

A silent testing facility offered with WES+ enabled mandatory weekly actions to be carried out without disrupting personnel on site or disturbing nearby residents and worshipers in St Ethelbert’s church.

WES+ has a minimum three-year battery life, reducing costs and waste on site. Once a project is complete, the system can simply be transferred to the next site.

The Curve is the first phase of development in a £1 billion regeneration of Slough by Slough Urban Renewal, a local asset-backed vehicle (LABV) between Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd and Slough Borough Council.