It’s the perfect job for a busy London architectural design practice: refurbishing an ordinary-looking, reasonable quality modern town house into a stylish, super-luxury, multi-million-pound property which makes the most of light and space.
Everything is installed – lighting, plumbing, security systems and, with the help of specialist consultants, a hard-wired fire detection system. With just weeks to go to completion, the client decides to swap the layout of two rooms. No problem; the changes are made and all is ready – except that, because of the changes, the building regulations inspector now demands a fire system with detection points in every habitable room.
This was the challenge faced by designer Louise McDonnell, Director of McDonnell Associates. “We always respond to our client needs, but every system we use has to be robust, easy to maintain, sustainable and future-proof”, says Louise.
“We were being asked to replace the fire detection system we had already installed with a new system that met all our standards. This would require routing and chasing-in new wiring in a complex six-storey property that was now decoratively complete.” MCD were under added pressure because the client was looking to sell the property and had an interested buyer.
Turning again to her fire consultants, Louise was advised to contact Eurotech Fire Systems Ltd. Vincent Agius, Eurotech’s Sales Manager, takes up the story. “Louise called us and explained the problem. We surveyed the property and recommended Eurotech’s wireless fire detection system which is robust and can be installed quickly.”
The time from confirmation of the order to the system being ready to install took less than two days. The installation itself required just one day on site. “Because the system is wireless, we were able to speed up the process by programming the detectors and panel off-site”, explains Vincent. “This meant that everything was ready to go when we arrived at the property and we were only on-site for a minimal amount of time, which kept us out of the way of the other trades putting last minute touches to the interior.”
The result was a relieved designer, a satisfied inspector and a delighted client who successfully sold the property. “Eurotech were fantastic,” says Louise. “I knew very little about wireless fire detection systems before I spoke to them. Now I’d design them into almost any building – why would you use anything else?
A robust, reliable detection system is required to match the standards of the design and build.
“What’s really important is that it meets our ‘robust but simple’ criteria”, Louise continues. “Because the system is computerised and tests every detection point at four second intervals, it is trackable so we can reassure inspectors and end users. We also value sub-contractors that are sympathetic to the building and the architecture. They need to be knowledgeable about the systems available because sometimes you need a commercial solution for a domestic property.”
For Eurotech, the project provided the combination of leading-edge fire detection technology with fast and effective liaison with the customer. For Louise and MCD, “flexibility is everything and we love it when we get good customer service. I really wish there were more companies like Eurotech.”