CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY TO PROTECT A LEGENDARY LOCATION
A new boutique hotel has recently opened its doors in one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic and culturally-significant buildings in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. This historic location, now known as the Titanic Hotel, is benefitting from a range of cutting-edge life safety technology from manufacturer, Hochiki Europe.
Throughout the early 20th century, the now-listed site was the headquarters for world-leading ocean-liner builders, Harland and Wolff, making it the nerve-centre of the largest shipyard in the world. The company was responsible for the design and construction of dozens of ‘floating hotels’, the most famous of which being the ill-fated Titanic.
In more recent years, the area around the listed building has been transformed by property developers, Harcourt, to create the ‘Titanic Quarter’, a prestigious new water-front regeneration. This includes the creation of the Titanic Hotel, designed as an homage to Belfast’s shipbuilding history as well as its namesake ocean-liner. The building features an art-deco style interior that mirrors the craftsmanship and precise attention to detail paid when designing the RMS Titanic’s interior.
There were various considerations to take into account when designing a life safety system for the hotel. The project called for a solution that could be easily installed with minimal disruption, and networked to suit the various environments inside the hotel including bedrooms, kitchens, a public-accessed museum, and conference spaces.
To meet these requirements, Hochiki Europe supplied a range of products from its Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP) range. This intelligent, addressable fire detection and alarm equipment is designed and manufactured to the highest international standards, so staff and building owners can rest assured that all products installed are ultra-reliable.
Sensors in the ESP range are designed to utilise an electronics-free, ‘twist-fit’ mounting base. This gives installers, in this case Belfast-based Atlas World, the opportunity to fix the bases at “first fix” stage, with sensors added at a later stage, once the environment is clean. The ‘twist-fit’ feature also allows greater flexibility when fitting at height or in hard to reach areas. This also makes it easier for facilities managers to carry out maintenance as the sensor heads can be accessed from ground level using specialised smoke poles without the need to employ expensive and disruptive mobile platforms or “cherry-pickers”.
Over 200 sensors from Hochiki Europe’s ESP range were installed throughout the Titanic Hotel as part of a £15,000 project. Using a combination of ACC-EN multi-sensors and ALN-EN smoke sensors, Atlas World were able to programme the devices to suit the different environments within the hotel and their differing life safety considerations.
Richard Wharram, Regional Sales Manager at Hochiki Europe, noted: “Hotels present a very unique set of requirements when it comes to life safety, even more so when they are listed buildings like the Titanic Hotel. The need to find solutions that match the different spaces and uses within the hotel, from restaurant kitchens and bars to bedrooms, public areas and lounges, while also ensuring ease of installation, can prove challenging.
“Our ESP range is incredibly versatile and can be installed and networked in a way that works perfectly for each of these environments, ensuring optimum system monitoring across the entire building. It’s fantastic to see how new technology is helping protect such an iconic project and a unique part of Belfast’s history.”
Robert Creagmile, Key Account Director at Atlas World, added: “Installations in buildings with high ceilings and heritage features require specialist solutions. Hochiki Europe’s range of sensors can be fitted in two parts so they were ideal for use in the Titanic Hotel. Thanks to Hochiki Europe, we were able to install the system with greater efficiency with little disruption to day-to-day operations.”
Adrian McNally, General Manager of Titanic Hotel Belfast commented: “The restoration of the former Harland and Wolff Offices into a luxury hotel has been very complex. It is vital we have all current fire and life safety systems in place to ensure the comfort and safety of our guests is not compromised. However, we also wanted to make sure we preserved the architectural and visible integrity of yesteryear. We believe we have achieved this as our hotel has the most advanced technology to allow this safety, while being nearly invisible to our guests.”
Since opening, the Titanic Hotel has welcomed over 55,000 overnight guests, and was named Ulster Tatler’s Hotel of the Year for 2018.
For more information about Hochiki Europe’s ESP range, visit: www.hochikieurope.com/esp