Case Study: Houndshill Shopping Centre, Blackpool

The replacement and refurbishment of the existing smoke control system to Houndshill Shopping Centre, Blackpool presented considerable challenges both from the point of view of design and the need to keep the shopping centre operating with a functional smoke control system. The original shopping centre was built in the 1960’s, refurbished in the 1990’s and had been subject to a number of other changes.

The brief was to formulate and provide a smoke control systems which could meet the current design standards in an existing environment whilst maintaining the capacity for the shopping centre to continue trading required not only a considerable degree of innovative design, but also a high level of planning and flexibility.

Working closely with N.G. Bailey, Fire Engineering Associates managed all this and more, ensuring that the systems were designed to the highest standard, satisfied the exacting requirements of Blackpool Council Building Control, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, the Architect and the client and their appointed representatives, and, perhaps allowed the shopping centre to trade, safe in the knowledge that its staff and customers were safe.

In a rapidly changing construction environment, a high degree of flexibility was required along with the ability to make balanced decisions to ensure that viable systems remained in place. From start to finish, the challenges presented were overcome and the systems delivered met a wide range of requirements, not only in terms of the performance of the system but also in terms of costs and programme.

Due to the complexity of the project the testing and commissioning regime was carried out quickly and efficiency without losing sight of the imperatives of safety and the need for the centre to remain trading.

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