Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport
Sector: Rail & Transport

Project Overview

Manchester airport is the UK’s third busiest airport and the largest airport outside of London. Over recent years there has been an increase in demand for overseas transport. Due to the rise in commercial and domestic flight, an expansion of Manchester airport became ever more apparent. Owners of the airport, Manchester Airport Group (MAG) proposed a 1-Billion-pound major expansion programme to expand the existing Terminal 2 (T2) building by 150%; this became the largest investment in the airports 81-year history. 

The new expansion consisted of a 216-metre long pier, a new baggage hall complete with 44 new beverage/shop outlets, energy centre and a 3800 space multistorey car park. 

Services Covered
  • Fire Detection
  • Aspirating Detection
  • Voice Evacuation / Public Address
  • Emergency Voice Communication
  • Induction Loop

The Challenge

MAG’s vision for their new super terminal saw Laing O’ Rouke appointed for the design and build of the 1-Billion-pound project.  The project called for both major Mechanical and Electrical tender packages to be created and carried out. The M&E package awarded to Crown House Technologies; who employed Protec Fire Detection PLC for the procurement of the fire detection and disabled assistance systems. The proposed life safety systems would link to the existing fire alarm systems. The works carried out had to ensure no disruption to the other parts of the airport while the refurbishment works took place.

The Solution

Protec designed, installed and commissioned the required systems which met the client, end-user and British standards/EU requirements. The contract awarded to Protec at a value of approximately 3.7 million pounds saw Protec start on-site in September 2018 and continue work through to March 2020. The project saw over 100 dedicated staff allocated to the project, carrying out the procurement of the following systems:

Fire Alarm – The system specified by the client was to offer complete coverage of the new terminal extension, energy centre and temporary passenger tunnel. In addition to the new fire alarm devices installed, the system also provided enough spare capacity for further expansion of the fire alarm system. Protec addressed the client’s requirements by offering a new Protec 6500 digital addressable fire alarm system and features front-end graphics, alongside a series of fire alarm panels located at various locations around the site for the control and integration with the existing Protec 6400 fire alarm system. 

The site required a vast amount of automatic fire detection plus a substantial amount of fire alarm interfaces. The interfaces linked to several third-party systems including motorised dampers, security systems and gas shut off, all enabling the control and monitoring of the third third-party systems via the Protec fire alarm system.

Aspirating Detection Systems – The T2 extension has multiple areas where access for maintenance is limited when the building is in use. Protec’s solution to combat these constraints were through the use of aspirating fire detection systems. Protec selected multi-award-winning Cirrus HYBRID fire and smoke detectors from their range of aspirating systems to use in the various areas in the terminal. This type of detection proved beneficial due to the ease of maintenance and installation, along with offering improved sensitivity over that of the traditional point type detection. The project would see the inclusion of 119 aspirating fire and smoke detectors across the terminal extension. 

Voice Evacuation/ Public Address (VEPA) – The Terminal is used by thousands of visitors daily. For this reason, an evacuation procedure has to be carried out with as little distress to the occupants as possible. With that in mind, the client opted for a VEPA system to be installed. A VEPA system lends itself to complex evacuation procedures exceptionally well, offering the ability to issue a pre-recorded alert and evacuation message to the occupants without causing the same amount of distress a fire alarm system would. The system provided the ability for the fire services to address specific areas of the building if needed to announce messages to occupants via a fire microphone. Protec’s in-house audio design team developed the design of the VEPA system with years of experience in the industry and with the aid of complex acoustic models. The VEPA system installed ensures the building is evacuated quickly and efficiently in line with the client’s evacuation strategy. 

Disabled Refuge & Induction Loop – Protec offered disabled assistance systems such as voice evacuation communication (EVC) systems and induction loops. The new extension called for both types of system in the client’s brief, EVC outstations linked back to the main EVC panel within the T2 extension. EVC outstations were located throughout the extension at the appropriate locations where less-abled bodied people could access and use them in an evacuation.

Protec installed multiple hearing assistance systems known as induction loops. These assist in hard of hearing occupants hear localised conversations while in public places. Protec provided several cross-counter induction loop systems, alongside multiple bespoke loop hearing enhancement systems. These systems were installed at the desired seating and counter areas highlighted by the client.

The Aftercare

Protec continues to maintain the Manchester airport site offering full reactive maintenance fully comprehensive service and maintenance package which benefits from a 24 hour, 365 days per year reactive call out service. 

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