Sheffield Hallam University upgrades to Morley-IAS Fire Systems

1st July 2008

Morley-IAS Fire Systems carried out extensive compatibility testing, planned and monitored by M & E Consultants Service Design Associates, with the three different types of installed system. Following the satisfactory completion of the tests, the University's Project Manager, David Livingstone, chose the ZX range of intelligent control panels as the new platform.

Sheffield Hallam is the UK's sixth-largest University with 3000 staff offering 650 courses to 24000 students; the University is also a significant force in post-graduate research and has close contacts with industry. Based on campuses in and around Sheffield city centre, the University's Facilities Management team were faced with the all too common problem of how to replace and upgrade existing self-contained fire protection systems to bring the quality of cover up to the latest standards. Maintaining continuity during the upgrade, minimising cost and disruption, providing a future-proofed system for further enhancements and ongoing maintenance requirements were the key considerations.

The ZX is a multi-protocol panel, compatible with the communication protocols from the leading addressable sensor manufacturers, Apollo, Hochiki, Nittan and System Sensor Europe, so the existing fire systems installed in the various buildings could be sequentially connected to the new panels without new detectors having to be installed. The ZX also features integral secure RS485 networking capability, providing multi-building distributed control with up to 99 interlinked panels. The new system will provide a single main reporting point in the fire, security and access control management centre, with a graphic interface enabled over a RS485 serial link to the University's facilities management suite that allows remote monitoring of the system's status by authorised and trained managers.

Morley-IAS have more than 400 approved and trained installers of their equipment located throughout the UK; five firms were asked to tender and Overton Electrical, who had already installed several systems in prestigious local sites, were awarded the contract. The initial phase, covering the City Centre Campus of nine buildings, started on 1 July and will finish at the end of August, with each building having to rely on manual activation of the fire protection system for one day or less during the upgrade. The other campus buildings will be integrated into the new networked system on a rolling basis.