The new Bloc Hotel recently opened at Gatwick Airport is incredibly innovative in the way it has been designed and built, as well as offering guests the height of luxury, convenience and high tech resources. It has also offered the opportunity for Ultra Surefire to undertake an extensive installation of a water mist system with unique features and challenges.Water Mist protects the newest Bloc Hotel

Covering 160 bedrooms over four floors, as well as corridors, the laundry area and pump room, the installation was particularly demanding because the bathrooms came as pre-manufactured pods to be fitted by the main contractor within the shell of the building. This building technique, combined with cutting-edge panelised fit out process, posed tremendous logistical challenges for the Ultra Surefire team and Project Manager Gary Kirkwood.

“There could be no setting-out details to start, because we could only install the system once the pods came on site,” he explained. “This meant that the pipework configuration had to be pre-measured to fit the ceiling panels with absolute accuracy. There was no room for error.”

The Ultramist™ low-pressure water mist system recommended by Ultra Surefire was the ideal solution because of space restrictions for the storage tank and narrow void spaces affecting the pipework installation. A conventional sprinkler system would not have been appropriate given the unique building design features of the hotel.

Because of the efficient low water usage of the water mist fire protection system, the storage tank is relatively light. The tank was mounted on a specially constructed cradle structure, removing the need for the hotel roof to support the weight.

The driving force behind Bloc Hotel projects is Boxbuild and Director Colin Graham explained that Ultra Surefire had shown exceptional skill in coordinating with the other building services that needed to be installed to strict timescales. “The team were highly professional in handling the project and committed to our vision of providing impeccable facilities for travellers. The fire protection system they installed is state of the art and exactly what is required for the safety of our guests,” he said.

The Ultramist™ system uses LP2 Automatic Water Mist Nozzles, with 36mm diameter concealed heads in the bedrooms and corridors and exposed versions in the laundry area and pump room. The nozzle has been tested successfully to IMO Public Spaces and provides coverage of up to 16m2.

The project was completed in May 2014 and passed Building Control inspection on the first visit. An exciting and challenging job well done!