Actionair has provided fire protection to Kew Gardens

The climate control system at Kew Gardens’ new Herbarium and Library Wing incorporates a range of fire protection systems from Actionair.

Founded in 1853, The Herbarium at Kew Gardens is acknowledged by botanists as the world’s leading resource for the study of plant diversity. The new building provides much needed space for the archive where Kew’s unique – and priceless – collection of plant specimens and rare books and botanical illustrations is kept.

Closely controlled temperatures

The design by Edward Cullinan Architects keeps the 350,000 types specimens, some which were taken in the 18th Century, at a closely controlled 15°C. Well-lit glass and timber research spaces around the 5500m2 building allow scientists to work close up to the collection.

Timber and glass also define the “drum” which links the new wing to the old Herbarium building and provides a ground floor reception area and circular reading room.


Sophisticated air distribution and fire safety

Over £250,000 worth of circular and rectangular ductwork was supplied to the Herbarium project by ductwork contractors R P Metal to supply the climate control system. Actionair volume control dampers and fire/smoke dampers have been integrated into the ductwork to form part of a sophisticated conditioned air distribution and fire safety system.

Specially designed system

A specially developed Argonite fire suppression system is used to protect Kew’s irreplaceable collection. The aim is to contain the fire and seal the area, thus enabling the release of Inergen, a proprietory mixture of nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide gases, to extinguish the fire.

Actionair designed a centralised fire damper control system based on the company’s well-proven LNS3 design. Actionpac LNS 3 Addressable Control System for fire and smoke control dampers. Based on LonWorks Network Services, the PC driven Actionpac LNS system represents state-of-the-art in the crucial ability to control fire and smoke dampers.

Effective compartmentalisation of fire

The Actionpac LNS3 system is designed to perform a number of essential functions in the event of fire. These include effective compartmentalisation of fire zones; reduction of spread of smoke and fire; maintaining open escape routes and fire fighting access and providing means for pressurisation and smoke extract by combined operation of dampers and fans.

Intelligent control and monitoring

Actionpac LNS3 provides intelligent, remote control and monitoring of motorised dampers. Data network cabling permits a substantial reduction in cost in comparison with conventional systems and the “user friendly” design features ensure easy configuration and reduced commissioning time.

There’s also inherent flexibility for system growth – up to 32 networks and 512 dampers as standard and more if required.

Actionpac LNS 3 incorporates full self diagnostics and provision for automatic scheduled damper testing in line with the latest European standards and the proposed BS EN 12101-9.

Custom-designed panel

At Kew Gardens, the Actionpac LNS3 system controls over 60 Actionair PTC 501 SmokeShield dampers under the dictates of the fire alarm system.

Actionair also supplied a custom designed override panel. This flush mounted, stainless steel unit blends discreetly with the interior design of the foyer area, while remaining ready for action at all times. Should an emergency ever arise the override panel will open dampers in the area of incident to clear smoke.

The Actionpac LNS 3 is designed to provide a perfect complement to the company’s Smoke/Shield PTC damper range – the most advanced unit of its type available anywhere in the world. The range features proportional torque control (PTC), a concept pioneered by Actionair for application on fire and smoke control dampers.

It is an LPCB approved product compliant with the new Loss Prevention Council design for fire protection of buildings and meets the stringent requirements of the latest national and international fire damper test standards.

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