Building in the economic downturn was always going to be a difficult task, and wanting a high quality building with decent sustainability credentials to appeal to tenants could have proved impossible. This is exactly what developers of a potentially difficult narrow site between Blackfriars Road in London and a railway line achieved.

Sprinklers protect the building shell and core, and Ultra Surefire were approached by the clients consultants, Building Services Group, to design a suitable sprinkler installation. Ian Williams, explains “We were asked to provide a sprinkler scheme for United Business Media covering Floors 11 to 19. One of the significant challenges was to design a sprinkler system to compliment a unique ceiling detail that UBM wanted, which was a vaned ceiling with an exposed concrete structure, a decorative interior feature of this building.

After many meetings and looking at alternatives, we came up with a scheme that we had approved by the Loss Prevention Certification Board in advance of any contract orders being placed. Such was our commitment to the project, that we already had a draft LPS1048 completion certificate in place although a single sprinkler had not been installed at that stage. An additional challenge for this project was to protect the glazed sloping wall roof at level 19, the main feature floor of this iconic building together with an elevated office, again all designed up front”.

Blackfriars Sprinkler Fit Out Challenge 

A fast track installation programme, meant that the Ultra Surefire engineers had to work on various floors simultaneously and co-ordinate with the varied contractors day-to-day. Our round the clock approach, ensured that we continued to meet tight programme deadlines. Lee Simpson, Project Manager for the project comments “To suit the quick response, pre-fabricated mechanical equipment and pipework was all constructed off site which saved valuable time for our engineers. It was all delivered on purpose made steel trollies for easy movement around the floors”.

Blackfriars Sprinkler Fit Out Challenge 

A majority of the building is now occupied, and this project has proved it is possible to deliver high-quality, sustainable projects equitably in a downturn.