Hochiki Europe scores a winner with Cardiff City FC.

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Hochiki Europe scores a winner with Cardiff City FC.

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Promotion challenge

The second largest stadium in Wales after the Millennium Stadium,Cardiff City Stadium was built on the site of the former Cardiff AthleticsStadium. Tiger Fire & Security Ltd. was approached by the project'selectrical contractor, NG Bailey, at the planning stages of the development toprovide its expertise in designing and installing the life safetyinfrastructure at the ground and work began in 2007.

Gareth Pezzack is Tiger Fire and Security's Managing Director andexplains, 'We became involved at design and concept stage for both the firedetection and combined public address/voice alarm (PAVA) systems.

Our level ofinput was considerable and we advised on the fire standards that had to beadhered to, including The Green Guide (Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds) andother relevant British Standards for the Fire, PAVA and Disabled RefugeSystems.

The Green Guide is a government funded guidance book on spectator safetyat sports grounds. It was created in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disasterand provides detailed guidance to ground management design in respect toincreasing safety at sports grounds and stadiums, including how many spectatorscan be safely accommodated within a sports ground.

Half time

Tiger Fire & Security Ltd. designed and specified the installationof a BS5839-1: 2002 compliant Category L5 addressable fire detection system. ACategory L5 system is one in which the protected area(s) and/or the location ofdetectors is designed to satisfy a specific fire safety objective. Often the design is based on a fire riskassessment or forms part of a fire engineering solution.

Tiger Fire & Security Ltd selected a system based around Hochiki'sEnhanced Systems Protocol (ESP). ESP is a total communications solution forintelligent fire detection and fully integrated systems. It has a multi-purposestructure that provides the flexibility and expansion to accommodate simpleaddressable systems through to sophisticated integrated building management andsafety systems.

Gareth comments, 'Hochiki's proven reliability made it the obviouschoice for this installation and I knew that it would act as a one stop shopfor all the Stadium's fire detection needs. The ESP protocol is extremelyrobust and we've never experienced any issues or problems with it.'

All level

The Stadium's West Stand has five levels with Hospitality Suites, Player/ Changing areas, Media Rooms, Club Shops, and Chief Executive Suite, whilstthe general concourse area is effectively an outside environment. 

In this areaTiger Fire & Security used Hochiki's multi-sensors and addressable beaconsto reduce the likelihood of unwanted alarms. The fire detection system wasfully integrated with the PAVA system and it operates in two modes - match dayand non-match day, each specifically designed to ensure maximum safety atdifferent times.

To get the scale of the installation into perspective, the firedetection system and PAVA system used a combined total of 20km of cable and 350Hochiki devices, including smoke detectors, multi-sensors, loop base soundersand beacons, and input/output units. These components are linked to fournetworked panels located around the stadium, with the master control panellocated in the Stadium's match control room.

Taking the lead

Hochiki's ALG-EN optical smoke sensors were also installed which featurethe company's High Performance Chamber Technology. Hochiki's chamber designminimises the differences in sensitivity experienced in flaming and smoulderingfires. The result is a high performance optical chamber that is equallyresponsive to all smoke types and helps to reduce the possibility of unwantedalarms.

As a modern stadium with very strong design values, aesthetics were akey consideration. Gareth says, 'Although they are a functional part of thebuilding's infrastructure, Hochiki's fire detection products have the addedbonus of looking good. In modern buildings this is an important quality.'

Wayne Nash, Stadium Manager at Cardiff City added: 'With so many people in such a relativelysmall space, accessibility is very important and compliance with the guidelinesas set out in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is a definite must forus. We have to consider the needs ofpeople of all abilities and so we made sure that all the areas have the requisitenumber of beacons and beacon/sounders in order to comply.'

Back of the Net

This was the first football stadium that Tiger Fire & Security Ltd.had worked on but since then it has received a number of tender invitationsfrom football clubs around the country for similar work, due to the high levelof design expertise that the company can offer.

A measure of the company's contribution was noted when The Cardiff CityStadium won the Local Authority Building Control Wales Award forpublic/community buildings. 

Graham Bond, senior building control surveyor atThe Building Control Safety Advisory Group, concludes, 'Tiger Fire &Security's input was greatly appreciated by myself and the rest of the designteam in delivering design experience and solutions to what was a particularlycomplex and challenging project.'

For further information please contact Hochiki Europe on 01634 266566, email:[email protected] orvisit www.hochikieurope.com.

Or Gareth Pezzack at Tiger Fire on [email protected]

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