Automist is suitable for retrofit into high rise as a multi-domestic application.
Runnymede Council began a programme to retrofit sprinklers to flats within its only tower block – the 16-storey Surrey Towers in Addlestone. To avoid issues with access and disruption to tenants, installations took place when they are either subject to major internal works, or at the time of re-letting.
The authority adopted the policy a couple of years ago in consultation with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service after reviewing its fire risk assessment in light of the coroner’s ruling following the Shirley Towers blaze.
They selected Automist as part of a rolling multi-domestic retrofit programme, elective fire safety upgrades to individual flats. This can be of benefit where there are neighbouring flats with different ownership types, some being leasehold and some freehold.
The decision on whether to use watermist in high rise has always been around its use as a residential system (where a single pump/network feeds multiple dwellings) and the water supply requirements (see below). Because there might be more than a flat on fire in a high rise there is the need to design a safety factor for the water supply, which is done through the assumed maximum area of operation (AMAO) of nozzles throughout the multi-dwelling property, which guidance suggests should be as much as 216m2.
Plumis takes a different approach, one more in line with that of fire risk assessors exercising the principles of fire safety: the placement of a domestic system on individual flats. These may be demanded from an occupant risk, vulnerability, location or mobility requirement. It is much more of a tailored on-demand with minimised disruption than a one-size-fits-all disruptive application. The final result is a multi-domestic solution as opposed to a residential solution which is entirely in line with existing guidance, such as BS 8458:
Automist Hydra utilises the water supply from the flat itself due to its very small water consumption (6 litres per minute per dwelling) so the concern about simultaneous fires in multiple flats is abated because the water demand per flat is less than that of a shower.
BS 8458 goes into more detail on the increasing the robustness of water requirements for residential watermist systems which is not relevant to Automist given its use as a domestic system:
If the type of building is not listed in Table 1 (below), or for buildings over 45m, then the AHJ should be consulted to agree whether additional measures are needed (see 4.6 ), or whether an alternative system BS 8489 or BS EN 12845 is more appropriate.