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Download PDF - Buro Happold

Buro Happold

Fire Engineering Capability Statement

Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

Buro Happold Fire Engineering is a significant part

of Buro Happold Specialist Disciplines, a world class,

multidisciplinary consultancy operating out of an

international network of offices. Fire Engineering in Buro

Happold began in 1980. Since then we have grown with

offices in London, Bath, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow,

Edinburgh, New York and Dubai.

Our approach to fire safety design is to assess each

building individually and tailor the fire safety measures

to suit the specific hazards in the building. We work

closely with the architects and design team to fully

understand the design aspirations for the building,

and seek to facilitate these through imaginative and

innovative fire engineering techniques.

We provide design solutions which are easily

constructed, responsive to the environment and

efficient in their use of materials, energy and space.

Our fire engineering skills have been developed to

design safe buildings but also to deliver viable creative

solutions to the modern built environment. Business

continuity, protection of property and contents and

the reputation of our clients are strong features of the

service that we offer.

Fire safety engineering has the benefit of allowing

increased flexibility from the strict confines of

prescription regulations. As fire safety engineers, we

insist that there is more than one way to obtain a safe

solution. Our experience throughout the world supports

this and enables us to advise on the best approach to

negotiate with a particular authority having jurisdiction.

The approval process varies between countries and so

our experience in working in a wide variety of locations

from the UK and US to Europe and the Middle East

brings an appropriate approach to the handling of the

regulatory process in any country.

Performance based fire engineering is a complex

discipline but our holistic and innovative approach

has been developed not only to deliver constructible

solutions, but strategies that are practical and realistic

to manage once a building is occupied. We also provide

Image: Mecanoo

a comprehensive fire safety management and risk

assessment consultancy service.

Our fire engineering services can be provided as part

of a specialist consulting package or independently

direct to the client to meet the specific needs of the

project and at any stage where a valuable contribution is

needed. Our philosophy is to become an integrated part

of the design team collaborating, listening and advising

on the approach and its benefits.

O2 Arena, London, UK

Architect: Populous

Image: Buro Happold / Adam Wilson

5 Broadgate, London, UK

Architect: Make

Battersea Power Station, London, UK

Architect: drmm + Ian Simpson architects

Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, UK

Image: HOK SVE

Emirates Stadium, London, UK

Image: Simon Warren

ME London Hotel, London, UK

Image: Foster + Partners

The London Clinic, London, UK

Image: Buro Happold/Andy Passingham

KAFD, Plot 2.07, Saudi Arabia

Image: Foster + Partners

Imperial War Museum, London, UK

Image: Buro Happold/David Black

Exeter Forum, Exeter, UK

Image: Wilkinson Eyre

Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

Fire safety design for modern aviation facilities needs to address more than life safety. A clear

understanding and focus on reducing business interruption and understanding the interaction

between fire safety and security is essential to produce an effective fire strategy.

Increases in air passenger numbers have had several

consequences for today’s airport designers. Airports

have become multifunctional spaces which offer

retail and catering facilities, and which must be easily

accessible in terms of bus/rail links.

This diversity of function has manifested itself by an

increase in open spaces, making traditional fire safety

compartmentation and travel distances difficult to

achieve. Prescriptive building codes have not kept pace

with developments in airport design and do not fully

address the need for integration with other disciplines

such as security.

In order to develop the most appropriate fire safety

strategy for these multifunctional and complex

buildings, our fire engineers will carry out a design fire

risk assessment, often going back to first principles to

achieve clarity of design that can be lost through a code

based process.

To achieve these non- standard solutions, our fire

engineers apply lateral thinking combined with a

thorough awareness of airport design. We use state

of the art fire engineering modelling tools to provide

safe, secure and cost effective solutions that fulfil client,

designer and passenger’s needs.

Case Study : Gibraltar Airport

Image: bblur Architecture

Our involvement with the new Gibraltar airport

is an example of our full service provision. We

have worked closely with the team from early

conceptual design, through detailed strategy

review, implementation and site inspection, to

carrying out risk assessments for the operators

to allow partial occupation and operation of the


Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh, Scotland

Architect: 3D Reid

TAG McLaren Airport, Farnborough, UK

Architect: bblur

Image: Buro Happold/Adam Wilson

Delhi Air Traffic Control Tower, Delhi, India

Architect: HOK

Image: HOK

Fire Engineering

Culture and Civic

Buro Happold

Cultural and Civic buildings present exciting challenges to the fire engineer as the form of these

buildings must not be compromised by intrusive fire safety measures. More than any other type of

building, we have to understand the architectural vision and strive to facilitate this.

Our approach is to understand the architectural and

functional intent and practical limitations by engaging

key stakeholders during the early stages of the design.

We find efficient solutions that achieve high standards

of life safety without compromising cultural experience.

To achieve this it is often necessary to adopt fire

engineered solutions to solve unique challenges.

Using qualitative and analytical tools with design

awareness, we provide bespoke strategies that meet the

client’s needs, reflect a realistic management regime,

and give cost effective solutions.

Benefits we deliver to projects include rationalisation

of escape routes, extended travel distances, flexibility

through open spatial planning and reduced

compartmentation, and cost effective solutions to

property protection and fire fighting.

In addition to life safety, we have a wealth of experience

in advising on property protection, business continuity

and risk assessments, which allows us to provide a

full service to users of buildings that house valuable

artefacts and exhibits.

Image: RSC

Case Study : Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford

on Avon, UK

Our fire strategy for this world class theatre

used an innovative approach which ensured

that theatrical requirements led the design. We

worked with the existing and new build areas

to design out the traditional fire safety curtain.

We also created greater connectivity within the

foyer areas and maximised disabled evacuation

opportunities, which has reduced the burden on

the theatres’ fire safety management team.

Glasgow Riverside Museum

Glasgow, Scotland

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects

Image: Buro Happold

The British Museum, London, UK

Architect: Foster + Partners

Image: copyright Mandy Reynolds

The Louvre, Abu Dhabi

Architect: Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Image: copyright AJN Architects


Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

The role of educational buildings in society, and the higher level of risk that they can be exposed to

through arson, means that fire safety is a key element of the design from the very earliest stages of

each project.

Education buildings have a crucial part to play in

helping raise educational standards. Architects and

consortia are being challenged to deliver attractive,

imaginative and stimulating environments which are

safe and secure places for children to learn while at

the same time giving a cost effective design . These

buildings must be inclusive so that no student is left out

and all can achieve their full potential.

Education buildings are a complex mix of differing

uses, spaces and users, resulting in a variety of fire

hazards and risks. Fire Safety Engineering and Fire Safety

Management have an important part to play in enabling

and facilitating the creation of quality spaces, buildings

and safe environments for learning.

Buro Happold fire engineers have developed fire

strategies for all types of educational buildings, from

small primary schools through to entire University

campus developments and refurbishment of historic

buildings. Our role enables design concepts such as

open plan design, which can be at odds with code

guidance. To achieve this we work closely with the

design team and clients to produce a fully integrated


Copyright: Foster + Partners

Case Study : Dr Patil University Business School

To allow the architectural and client aspirations

for this new college building, we had to move

away from the prescriptive Indian Building Codes.

Using a fire engineering approach has greatly

simplified the means of escape in the building,

reduced the smoke control requirements and

allowed expressed steel structure in several

areas by omitting the passive fire protection

recommended by the code.

Syddansk University, Denmark

Architect: 3XNielsen Architects

Image: Adam Mork

Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough, UK

Architect: Forster + Partners

Image: Buro Happold/Robert Greshoff

Exeter Forum, Exeter, UK

Architect: Wilkinson Eyre

Image: Wilkinson Eyre


Fire Engineering

Health & Scientific

Buro Happold

Modern healthcare facilities embody more than just medical accommodation. Atria, retail and

display areas contribute to the function of these buildings, and need an integrated approach to fire

safety design to facilitate the architectural intent and functional needs of the building.

Hospitals and other healthcare buildings can be

occupied by patients who are reliant on staff for their

mobility in an emergency. During a fire incident, the

emphasis is on horizontal evacuation and ‘defend in

place’ rather than removing patients from the building.

Prescriptive fire safety codes are based around

conventional passive compartmentation and hence do

not reflect modern healthcare design, which focuses

on clarity, transparency and the inclusion of open

communal spaces and atria, which provide better

environments for patients, visitors and staff.

In complex modern hospitals, or in older buildings

undergoing refurbishment, compliance with code

guidance may be impractical, and a performance based

fire engineering approach may be necessary. This

requires an in depth knowledge of fire engineering,

codes and the regulatory process, allied with a rigorous

risk management strategy.

Buro Happold have significant experience in the

Healthcare sector. We participate in the development of

national standards, strategies and guidelines and have

intimate knowledge of healthcare standards and their

fire engineering and performance requirements.

Case Study : The London Clinic, London

Image: Andy Passingham/Buro Happold

Our fire strategy for the refurbishment of this

prestigious private hospital addresses challenges

beyond the scope of design guidance. Existing

building constraints, and the need for business

continuity during construction means that our

strategy is based on a phased approach. We are

involved from design, through construction to

handover, including assistance with production

of fire safety management documentation.

Evelina Children’s Hospital, London, UK

Architect: Michael Hopkins and Partners

Image: Buro Happold/Mandy Reynolds

Bluestone Unit Craigavon Area Hospital

Northern Ireland, UK

Architect: David Morley Architects/ Hall Black Douglas

Image: Chris Hill Photography

Queen Alexander Hospital, Portsmouth, UK

Architect: Building Design Partnership


Fire Engineering

High Rise

Buro Happold

Tall buildings are essential to meet the increasing demand for working and living space in major

cities. While dealing with demands of land availability, by accommodating large numbers of people

into constrained footprints, high rise buildings create unique fire safety challenges.

Buro Happold fire engineers have been involved in the

design of some of the most innovative and inspiring

tall buildings in the world. We use our experience and

innovative approach to fire engineering design to

help achieve client and architectural aspirations while

maintaining a safe place to work or live.

Ensuring adequate egress over extended vertical

distances, fire fighting access to areas far above ground

level, structural fire resistance and the increasing calls

to provide refuge floors all need to be addressed as part

of an integrated fire strategy that also needs to produce

an efficient floor plate. Our innovative approach,

such as using lifts to assist egress, and bespoke smoke

ventilation design often produces space savings,

releasing valuable lettable floor area. Our structural

fire engineering can also produce significant cost

efficiencies by reducing or eliminating protection based

on analysis of the response of the structure to fire.

We have experience of high rise developments around

the world, using many different building codes. This

international expertise of high rise fire safety design has

led to us being part of the Fire Working Group of the

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, developing

a guide to evacuation of high rise buildings.

Case Study : Tameer Towers, Abu Dhabi

Our fire strategy for this development included

complex smoke modelling of atria, people

flow modelling in high-rise towers and the

development of a bespoke fire fighting strategy

using a transfer floor.

KAFD,Plot 5.06

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Architect: Foster + Partners,

Image: Foster + Partners

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Architect: Snohetta

Image: Snohetta

Abu Dhabi Media Zone, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Architect: Adamson Associates International, UN Studio,

Diller Scofidio + Renfro


Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

The fire engineering strategy adopted for a hotel can play an important role in the space planning

and floor plate efficiency of the building. Buro Happold Fire engineering has significant experience

of designing fire strategies for the hospitality industry all over the world.

Hotel buildings vary in aspiration. High end

developments seek unique design features to

differentiate from the competition. Other chains of

hotels seek repetition and efficiency, refining designs as

they continue to develop new sites.

One of the frequent challenges in this sector is a mix of

occupant characteristics. There may be a large number

of occupants enjoying the dining and banqueting

facilities while at upper levels there is a sleeping risk.

The response characteristics and times of each to an

emergency varies significantly. There are also operator

specific requirements to take into account. Many hotel

operators expect a higher standard of safety than is

required under legislation.

Case Study : ME Hotel, London

Image: Foster + Partners

We use our experience to provide expert advice on areas

such as means of escape, smoke control and fire fighting

to cater for all occupant types and meet operator needs.

At Buro Happold we recognise that effective fire

safety does not end with the fire strategy design. We

also provide advice on fire safety management and

maintenance during the lifetime of the building to

enable successful implementation and understanding of

the fire strategy.

We have developed a detailed fire strategy for

this new build hotel that retains the original 1922

façade. Our innovative approach has reduced

the extent of fire rated structure and eliminated

sprinklers from the atrium, allowed a single stair

solution to the apartments in the building, and

facilitated open plan apartment design.

Cafe Royal, London, UK

Architect: Chipperfield Architects

Heart of Doha, Doha, Qatar

Architect: Gensler

Le Royal Hotel, Amman, Jordan

Architect: Richard Martinet Architects


Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

The highly competitive commercial office sector places particular demands on the fire engineer, to

maximise the efficiency of the floor plate, and to accelerate construction, where a smooth approval

process and careful selection of cost effective fire safety measures can save significant time on site.

Developing a coherent fire safety strategy for a

commercial office building requires the application of

established regulations and codes of practice, together

with a fundamental understanding of the dynamics

of fire as applied to the structure, service systems and

functional architectural planning of the building. It is

here that Buro Happold Fire Engineering can contribute

within the design process by supplying integrated,

creative solutions that reflect characteristics of each

building and the needs of its users.

Projects benefit from our fire engineers involvement in

their conceptual design stages. Early identification of

areas of potential added value leads to a more efficient

design process and elimination of abortive design.

Case Study : 5 Broadgate

Image: Make

Areas of added value may include evacuation and

fire-fighting assessments to reduce the floor space

required for stair cores. We work closely with the design

team to ensure that these are detailed carefully and

efficiently. Services strategies such as smoke ventilation

and suppression also form part of the integrated fire


Structural fire engineering is increasingly being used to

reduce fire protection needed to primary and secondary

steel structure, producing significant cost savings.

Our integrated fire strategy for this landmark

office development has produced several

cost efficiencies, most notably in the area of

the structural fire protection. Complex finite

element analysis has been carried out to assess

the behaviour of the structural frame in fire and

other collapse modes, with the result of being

able to reduce or omit much of the structural fire

resistance to the structural frame.

KAFD Plot 2.07, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Architect: Foster+ Partners

Image: Foster + Partners

National Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait

Architect: Foster + Partners

Image: Foster + Partners

East Renfrewshire Council Offices

Barhead, Scotland

Architect: Reiach & Hall

Image: Reiach & Hall


Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

The residential sector comprises a multitude of building types ranging from small houses, flats and

maisonettes to large apartment blocks. The residential market is always competitive; therefore the

number and size of the units within a development are a key success factor.

The traditional approach to residential fire safety

is to follow the prescriptive guidance contained

in contemporary guidance documents. Because

of their generic nature, such documents are often

inappropriate for the innovative schemes being

proposed by developers and architects and the use of

fire engineering can lead to more flexible, cost effective

buildings. The residential sector offers many examples

which show fire engineering need not be complicated

to still be effective.

A key area where value can be added is by designing

bespoke ventilation systems for common corridors

in apartment buildings. This can result in increased

travel distances and hence a reduction in the number

of stairs required, freeing up valuable floor space for

the building. Fire engineering is also often used to

reduce fire resistance periods for compartmentation and

elements of structure.

The use of suppression in residential buildings is

becoming increasingly common, and the fire engineer

can integrate these systems into the strategy, gaining

additional benefits. These include increased flexibility

for the internal planning, such as open plan apartments

and unprotected stairs in domestic houses.

Case Study : Battersea Power Station

We have been involved with Battersea Power

Station for several years. Our fire engineering

approach is currently based around the

residential elements of the scheme, and is

allowing open plan apartment design and

maximising the efficiency of staircase provision

in the buildings. An integrated approach is

necessary to ensure that the extensive basement,

which will link many of the blocks, is carefully

coordinated with the buildings above.

Left Bank Spinningfields

Spinningfields, UK

Architect: AEDAS

23 to 24 Newman Street, London, UK

Architect: Emrys Architects

Image: Great Portland Estates Plc

Anchor Mills, Paisley, Scotland

Architect: James F Stephen

Image: Buro Happold


Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

Fire-engineering solutions provide clients with flexible and cost effective responses to the everchanging

demands of the retail market. This applies to the development of major retail centres

throughout the world but also to individual units where tenants need design flexibility.

Buro Happold Fire Engineering have retail experience

throughout the world.

Our approach of integrating fire safety with the

architectural and other engineering disciplines creates

the best opportunity to support innovative architectural

solutions, deliver best value and provide focussed,

efficient fire protection measures in retail centres.

We have wide experience of retail projects, ranging from

large multiple tenant malls, through to stand alone units

for high street retail chains.

The key fire safety issues are typically means of escape,

compartmentation and smoke control. We combine

these into an overall strategy, always reflecting the

commercial needs to maximise floor space efficiency

and visual clarity of the space.

Prescriptive codes do not address the commercial aspect

of retail design, and hence a fire engineering approach

to potentially reduce exit requirements and visually

intrusive compartmentation can provide significant

benefits. Our team of fire engineers have experience of

using the most up to date fire engineering techniques to

provide not only a safe design, but one that reflects the

clients commercial aspirations.

Case Study : Sainsburys

Image: Edward Farrow/Buro Happold

We have provided fire engineering services for

Sainsburys for several years, for many projects.

These have included major new stores where fire

engineering of egress provisions has improved

the usable floor space. Refurbishment projects

and multiple use projects are increasingly

common, where our innovative approach ensures

operational requirements and a consistently high

level of life safety are provided in all stores.

Audi Headquarters, Glasgow, UK

Architect: SDA Jackson Calvert

Barwa Al Doha, Doha

Architect: RTKL

Image: RTKL

Marks and Spencer, London, UK

Architect: MOM Architecture


Fire Engineering

Risk Assessment and Building Management

Buro Happold

Building owners and operators have responsibility for the safety of the occupants of their buildings.

When the need to protect property and business continuity is added to this, the increase in

sophistication of building risk assessment and management has been both inevitable and welcome.

Buro Happold fire engineers have experience of carrying

out risk assessments and developing management

strategies for a wide variety of clients.

Organisations with wide property portfolios

benefit from a consistent, clear approach to their

risk assessments, allowing simple comparison and

implementation across their estate. We adopt a

template approach to these types of projects, first

creating a bespoke framework for the client that can

then be applied to each building. This is supported by

a comprehensive management strategy, which we work

closely with the client to develop.

We also carry out assessments for clients who may only

have a single site, or an area of specific hazard, and

are therefore potentially more vulnerable to business

continuity failure. For these projects, we spend time

making sure that we fully understand the clients’

business processes and concerns. This is essential to

allow us to focus on the business critical issues and

advise on fire protection measures to safeguard these,

based on a cost/benefit based approach.

This type of work has involved us with fundamentally

changing how some businesses address fire safety,

influencing both to building design and management.

Case Study : Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth

Our work for this new prestigious Superyacht

construction facility has addressed both the

life safety of the building occupants and the

vital protection of highly valuable contents and

business continuity. Using a risk based approach

has allowed the client to assess additional fire

protection measures on a cost/benefit basis and

select the most appropriate for their business and

fire safety needs.

Scottish Museums, Edinburgh, Scotland

Architect: Gareth Hoskins

Image: Gareth Hoskins

Tyrrells Crisps, Herefordshire, UK

Image: Buro Happold/Andy Passingham

Health and Safety Executive

Various locations, UK

Image: Buro Happold/Paul Coyle


Fire Engineering

Sports and Entertainment

Buro Happold

The sports and entertainment sector comprises a multitude of venues including racecourses, stadia

and arenas. While each venue is unique, with client requirements varying from ultimate flexibility to

the best for a particular sports discipline, there exist common themes in the fire safety design.

Providing adequate escape for large numbers of people

is the primary challenge for the fire engineer in the

design of sports and entertainment venues.

The traditional approach of enclosed stairs and corridors

needs to be balanced with open plan hospitality and

corporate spaces. Working closely with architects and

creative use of compartmentation can allow escape

routes to appear open while ensuring safe and efficient


Our fire strategy is typically based on an assessment of

likely fire risk and evacuation periods. Elements such

as fire load control, strategic location of fire separating

construction and smoke management are brought

together in a coherent, unobtrusive manner. This

produces a simple, robust strategy for each building,

tailored to its specific needs.

Refining the design of structural fire protection

is a common challenge for stadia - structural fire

engineering techniques assess the potential for exposed

steel structure to survive design fire scenarios without

applied fire protection, increasing cost efficiency.

Case Study : Silverstone Pit Lane

Image: Populous

The fire strategy for the Silverstone Pit Lane and

Paddock facilities provides flexibility to the client,

allowing multiple uses. The evacuation strategy

uses the length of the building to offer escape

into adjacent compartments and the paddock

behind the building without relying upon the pit


Event continuity is addressed by the race control

centre being designed to operate independently,

allowing circuit operations to continue in the

event of an incident within the building.

Emirates Stadium, Arsenal Football Club

London, UK

Architect: Populous

Image: Simon Warren

The O2 Arena, London, UK

Architect: Populous

Image: Buro Happold/Adam Wilson

London 2012 Stadium, London, UK

Architect: Populous

Image: ODA


Fire Engineering


Buro Happold

Rail & bus stations and other transport hub buildings provide vital access and flow to transport

systems. By their very nature they are often large interconnected spaces with significant numbers of

public occupants and varied uses.

Fire strategies for transport buildings often need to

incorporate innovative solutions tailored to specific

needs of the client and end users. By combining our

expertise in fire safety design in large and complex

buildings Buro Happold Fire Engineering offer a unique

solution which is not only cost effective and efficient,

but also provides a high level of safety for occupants

and staff.

Evacuation/people movement modelling is used to

verify escape designs and help provide a bespoke and

rational solution

Fire and smoke modelling allows us to ensure that

occupants can escape in tenable conditions

Structural fire modelling ensures that premature

collapse of structure does not occur and helps to

achieve cost effective structural fire resistance

Our approach is to provide a detailed service, to ensure

that the fire strategy is fully integrated with the building

management regime. As part of this, we provide

comprehensive advice on fire safety management and

carry out risk assessments for the completed building.

Case Study : Haramain High Speed Rail

The Haramain High-Speed Railway includes 4

stations, connecting Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah

and the developing King Abdullah Economic City.

Our fire strategies were developed in parallel,

using a template approach, with similar areas of

fire engineering, code compliance and calculation

methodologies. This greatly simplified the

complex approval process, allowing a technique

or approach to be developed and approved

at a conceptual level, and then applied with

confidence to all four stations.

Heathrow Multi Storey Car Park

Heathrow, UK

Architect: Aedas

Image: Laing O’Rourke

Slough Bus Station, Slough, UK

Architect: Bblur Architecture

Image: Matthew Clayton

TAG McLaren Airport, Farnborough, UK

Architect: Bblur

Image: Buro Happold/Adam Wilson



Andy Passingham

17 Newman Street




Telephone: +44 (0)207 927 9700


Structural Engineering Building Services / MEP Engineering

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