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Innovative fire engineering designs recognised

Jerman Cheung Jerman Cheung East Asia Press Office,Hong Kong
30 May 2019

Arup wins two Grand Awards at the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) Fire Engineering Excellence Award 2019, including Tai Kwun, Hong Kong’s largest heritage conservation project, and Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen’s tallest building.

Organised for the first time by the HKIE Fire Division, this annual award aims to recognise fire engineering professionals for their outstanding achievement on fire engineering projects and researches.

Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong

Tai Kwun is the largest remaining compound of historic buildings which has undergone revitalisation for cultural and contemporary art activities purposes. With the aim to strive for balance between fire and life safety and preservation of historic buildings, Arup’s fire engineers have successfully formulated a site-wide fire engineering approach to address critical fire safety design issues for the declared monuments (Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison) and ensure their compliance with the up-to-date fire safety codes. With respect to the existing escape staircases in the Police Headquarters, we designed early fire detection warning and enhanced fire safety management systems that greatly speed up the evacuation process. Fast response sprinkler heads are installed around the void openings in E Hall of Victoria Prison to overcome constraints brought by fixed smoke barriers and automatic smoke curtains.

Ping An Finance Centre (PAFC), Shenzhen

At the height of 599.1m, PAFC is the tallest building in Shenzhen. Through demonstrating a total fire engineering approach, Arup sets a benchmark in pushing safety standard to a very high and forefront level. The desired level of fire safety is achieved by conducting performance-based evaluation using fire engineering tools such as CFD and evacuation modelling. To cope with occupant exhaustion and mobility issues during evacuation, lift-assisted evacuation strategy is introduced where nine shuttle lifts are designed with sufficient redundancy and safety features and used at three refuge floors, successfully reducing the evacuation time by up to 40 minutes. Before the building was opened, Arup produced a fire safety management plan and manual for the building operator. This manual enabled the building management team to understand the fire safety objectives, arrange suitable training for emergency response team and conduct necessary maintenance to the essential fire safety systems.