The Mall – Luton
BB7 supported ACME architects from design, RIBA stage 2, right through to construction phase RIBA 6. The BB7 security team were also appointed prior to planning consent to ensure that counter-terrorism and crime prevention measures were considered for the development to ensure the safe use of the spaces being created.
Originally opened in 1972, as The Arndale Shopping Centre, it is now known as “The Mall” and is part of the Mall Company who own shopping centres throughout the UK. The centre has 147 shop units occupying 906,850 sq ft (84,249 m2), and parking for 1,707 cars.
The BB7 response
As well as designing the development to satisfy the recommendation in Approved Document B, consideration was given to Hilton’s Brand standard which were also factored into the fire safety design of the development.
The main engineering issues were the restrictions around structural openings due to the clients request to remain as much as the existing development as possible. And thus, with this being a simultaneous evacuation development, the openings should be sized adequately to serve the proposed occupancy numbers. The 120-minute fire resisting structure, also required additional justification for the extended travel in the connecting basement as well as the open plan kitchen provided at ground floor.
With regard to the residential section of the project, BB7 undertook CFD analysis to justify the open plan layouts which deviated from BS 9991 and worked alongside the M&E consultants to develop a drencher system which protects levels 09 to level 15 to satisfy B4 requirements.
Finally, BB7 developed a stage 3 fire strategy which details a three part evacuation strategy for the commercial build.
Benefits of service
BB7 created a Bespoke Fire Strategy for both the design and construction phase, and the residential phase. The BB7 team worked closely with the design team both onsite and offsite devising a bespoke strategy taking into account the end users. This allowed us to support the client when issues occurred on site and investigate different options that would also comply with the building fire strategy, but considering cost, programme and buildability.
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