At 57 storeys high, The Pacifica reaches through Auckland’s city skyline to offer residents and tourists broad views of the harbour while surrounded by the comforts of a bustling city.
The fire safety design for The Pacifica employed an innovative response to the challenge of smoke ingress to the fire protected stairs. Each of the two stairs is internally subdivided by fire separations to limit the potential spread of smoke. This design strategy is more effective (more reliable and with higher efficacy) and less expensive to maintain than a conventional stairway pressurisation system. Each stair is provided with the ability to exit and re-enter the alternate stair to bypass any section of the stair that is compromised by smoke or blocked by firefighter activities.
The Holmes project team designed (fire modelling) and specified an innovative stairway smoke purging system which is intended to provide clear air within the stair for firefighters. Holmes provided an innovative double-curtain fire separation, to substitute for a fixed glass fire separation wall that could not be constructed due to supply issues for fire rated glazing systems.
The fire safety design considered the specific needs of the civilian occupants during a fire emergency and firefighters’ specific needs when working in a tall building (influenced strongly by the lessons learnt from the Grenfell Tower fire in London). building-specific stair signs to provide civilians and firefighters with information specific to their situation: which stairway they are in; the floor level identification (for accurate communication when assistance is needed); where the final exit is located and the number of floors to reach either the final exit or a place in the building for interim refuge or assistance). Additional WIP phones were provided to allow fire wardens to communicate with firefighters from a place of safety and for firefighters to communicate from inside the stairs to the Fire Control Room.
Fire engineering services included:
- fire engineering design for an Alternative Solution for Code compliance
- design and documentation of the Fire Engineering Strategy
- coordination of fire requirements for building services interfaces
- performance specification for the stairway smoke control systems
- specification of the evacuation sequencing and coordination with the Evacuation Scheme consultant
- review of and coordination with the fire protection systems consultant and contractor
- review of passive fire stopping details at fire separation junctions, review of submissions from the specialist passive fire contractor
- review of the fire safety systems interfaces & commissioning programme
- construction monitoring for the duration of the construction programme
- witnessing of fire systems interfaces operation and evacuation system sequences operation