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  1. Impressive Manchester Residential Development Chooses SE Controls
    15 August 2017

    One of Manchester’s latest high rise residential developments, Cambridge Street, is using smoke control systems from SE Controls to provide a safe environment for residents, by ensuring escape routes are kept clear of smoke in the event of a fire.

    Designed by Hodder & Partners and constructed by developer-contractor, Renaker Build Ltd, the new building stands on a previously derelict 0.35 hectare site and now provides 282 private rental apartments within two towers, which stand 19 and 28 storeys above ground level. 

    With such a large number of apartments at Cambridge Street, fire safety is an essential consideration of the building’s design with the smoke control system being an integral part of the solution.

    Each tower has its own escape staircase at the centre of the structure, which is protected by SE Controls smoke ventilation and control systems. These systems are code compliant to Building Regulations Approved Document B, as the travel distance from each apartment is less than 7.5 metres.

    Every floor of each tower is fitted with an automatically opening smoke vent door, leading to a dedicated smoke shaft which includes a SHEVTEC automatically opening louvre at roof level. This allows smoke and hot air to be vented and ensures corridors and escape routes are kept clear. On the top floor of each block, an additional corridor roof vent is also incorporated as part of the design, which is controlled by a dedicated SHEVTEC control panel.

    The smoke vent doors use SE Controls actuators which are compliant with BS EN 12101, these are controlled by a series of OSLoop controllers that provide instant response in the event of a fire to ensure the appropriate doors are opened, allowing smoke to escape.

    Cambridge Street, is also installed with SECloudlinkTM, a remote services solution from SE Controls which uses 4G communications technology to constantly provide system status information, allowing data to be displayed remotely to enable facilities and building managers to monitor the building’s smoke control system. 

    Michael Scrimshaw, Business Development Manager for SE Controls said: “Cambridge Street has rapidly become an iconic landmark on Manchester’s skyline with its white tile cladding contrasting with the red brick of adjacent listed buildings. We’re delighted to have been involved with the project, as Renaker has delivered a high quality apartment building, which is an attractive proposition in the growing private rental sector.” 

    Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.comor calling tel: +44 (0) 1543 443060.

  2. SE Controls Supports Countryside Properties at Dollis Valley
    15 August 2017

    The success of Countryside Properties winning an NHBC Pride in the Job award, as part of a nationwide programme recognising individual achievement in the construction sector, is applauded by SE Controls.

    For more than 15 years, global smoke and environmental ventilation specialist, SE Controls, has been working alongside Countryside Properties PLC to provide bespoke solutions that are designed and configured to the precise specifications of each project.

    From smoke control systems, such as those used at Dollis Valley’s four storey residential development, to complex hybrid smoke and environmental solutions used on Countryside Properties’ medium and high rise projects, SE Controls plays an integral role in each project from initial engineering input through to completion.

    Working closely with the Countryside Properties team at Dollis Valley, SE Controls engineered and designed the smoke control system so that it could be integrated at every stage of the construction process to ensure it not only meets the relevant fire safety regulations, but also the building’s specifications and Building Control inspection.

    The purpose of the smoke control system is to ensure that in the event of a fire, communal areas, corridors and escape routes are kept clear of smoke so that any resident with a fire could, if required, evacuate the building both safely and quickly.

    To achieve this, the SE Controls solution utilises a number of different products and technologies including dedicated smoke shafts, automatically opening window vents and roof vents, which are thermally broken to maintain thermal efficiency, but also provide sufficient free area to allow smoke to escape if a fire should occur.

    Steve Judd, Business Development Manager for SE Controls, worked with Countryside Properties on this project, and said: “We have a very good relationship with Countryside Properties and we provide a range of services such as technical back up and support as well as CFD modelling, for example, to ensure our smoke and environmental systems meet their precise requirements. We’re not only delighted to be working with them on Dollis Valley, but must also congratulate their site manger, Steve White, who has won an NHBC Pride in The Job award.”

    Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.com, or calling +44 (0) 1543 443060.

  3. SE Controls Project Wins LABC Award
    20 July 2017

    SE Controls has been named as a winner at this year’s Local Authority Building Control (LABC) West of England Building Excellence Awards, as part of the project team involved in Crest Nicholson’s Electricity House which won the ‘Best Change of Use or Conversion of an Existing Building’ category.

    Originally designed by acclaimed architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1930s for the Bristol Electricity Board, Crest Nicholson’s stylish conversion of the Grade II listed building into 85 luxury apartments, incorporates a smoke ventilation system from SE Controls.

    Congratulations to everyone at Crest Nicholson and to SE Controls’ own team for playing a part in achieving this award from LABC. The project now goes forward to the Grand Final in London on 10th November 2017.

    The full SE Controls case study can be read here.

    SE Controls Project Wins LABC Award
  4. SE Controls Sponsors Housing Services Conference
    12 July 2017

    One of the UK’s most prominent housing events, The Housing Services Conference, is being sponsored this year by SE Controls as part of the company’s ongoing program of promoting higher standards and improved fire safety in the social housing sector.

    Co-hosted by the University of Salford and ONECPD, the event is being held at the Manchester Airport Radisson Blu Hotel on 13th July 2017 and is focusing on the future of social housing, exploring the current issues, as well as how to meet the challenges it faces over the coming years.

    The full day event includes a range of keynote speeches and case studies from well known industry figures, commercial organisations and academics, which combine to provide a detailed mix of market intelligence and best practice.

    Conference information, an agenda and speaker details are available here

    Simon North, Service and Maintenance Division Manager with SE Controls, said: “Among the many operational, financial and cultural challenges that face the social housing industry, fire safety is an essential obligation for many housing associations and management organisations where understanding and compliance to legislation is critical.”

    He added: “By sponsoring the conference and being present at the event, it allows housing professionals to access our expertise in a comparatively informal environment, but one which is also firmly focused on supporting their needs to ensure compliance.” 

    Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.com or calling +44 (0) 1543 443060.

    SE Controls Sponsors Housing Services Conference
  5. Statement from the Smoke Control Association on the Grenfell Tower fire
    12 July 2017

    The Smoke Control Association has recently published a statement on the Grenfell Tower fire:

    "The Smoke Control Association (SCA) would like to pass on their heartfelt condolences to the families of those that tragically lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire last week.

    We would also like to express our utmost respect for the bravery, professionalism and dedication of the Emergency Services who carried out their duties during this tragic event.

    The specific circumstances of this fire and how the smoke control system and all of the other fire protection systems performed cannot be commented on until the results of all the official investigations have been realised.

    The SCA openly offers support and advice during the investigations.

    We will continue to represent the smoke control industry on all relevant standards, legislation, codes of practice and we are keen to help in any way we can to help stop this happening again."


    If you would like further information, please visit http://www.feta.co.uk/associations/hevac/specialist-groups/smoke-control-association

    Statement from the Smoke Control Association on the Grenfell Tower fire
  6. SE Controls Project Named as Local Authority Building Control Award Finalist
    12 July 2017

    SE Controls has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2017 Local Authority Building Control (LABC) West of England Building Excellence Awards for its contribution to Crest Nicholson’s stylish conversion of a Grade II listed former Bristol Electricity Board building into 85 luxury apartments.

    Originally designed by acclaimed architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1930s, Crest Nicholson’s ‘Electricity House'development incorporates a smoke ventilation system from SE Controls and has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Change of Use or Conversion of an existing building’ category’ in the LABC awards.

    The building’s main atrium is at the heart of the SE Controls solution, as the system is designed to improve safety by enabling smoke to be vented from the atrium in the event of a fire to ensure escape routes are kept clear.

    The award winners are being judged and announced at the LABC West of England Awards, presentation event on 14th July 2017 at the Bristol Marriott Hotel, with the successful entrants going forward to London’s Grand Final on 10th November 2017.

    The full SE Controls case study can be read here.

    Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.comor calling +44 (0) 1543 443060.

    SE Controls Project Named as Local Authority Building Control Award Finalist
  7. SE Controls Appoint Scotland’s First Certified Installation Partner
    12 July 2017

    Glasgow based William Brown & Co Ltd has become the first certified installation partner to be appointed in Scotland by leading international smoke and environmental solutions specialist, SE Controls, as part of its global partner development program.

    With more than 40 years experience in the supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of ventilation and smoke control systems, William Brown successfully completed the detailed business audit, capability evaluation and training to ensure they can fully support SE Controls’ extensive product range.

    As part of the SE Controls Partner Network, William Brown has access to the company’s full product range and technical expertise, as well as a wide range of installation and project information to help develop new opportunities and ensure installations are compliant with all necessary legislation.

    In return, SE Controls gains a fully trained, expert partner with detailed regional knowledge and contacts, which allows the company to extend its market reach while maintaining the high quality, product, installation and maintenance standards, which it has developed over more than 30 years.

    Paul Hunt, Supply and Distribution Divisional Manager with SE Controls, explained: “This is a true partnership arrangement, as both SE Controls and William Brown have complementary skill sets, capabilities and a shared aim of raising standards across the industry by working together. A key part of the partnership is the ongoing training and development for William Brown’s team to not only enable them to be fully conversant with all aspects of our products, but also provide a competitive advantage in terms of quality and expertise, which will ultimately benefit their customers.”

    These views were echoed by William Brown’s Managing Director, Colin Kilpatrick, who said: Wm. Brown & Co. is delighted to be appointed as SE Controls’ first Certified Partner and we are confident this will strengthen both our own and SE Controls position within the Scottish market. Access to their knowledge base together with the support and training they have provided over the years has proven to be a huge benefit to us and we look forward to continuing to support and advocate SE Controls’ products North of the border.

    He added: “Naturally, as part of the process, we have already started to collaborate on new projects and maintenance contracts so that we can enhance our services to customers while growing our business. Also, the partnership with SE Controls coincides with our move to larger premises later in the year, which will give us greater capacity and will allow us to hold a wider range of stock, for an even faster response to our customers’ needs.” 

    Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.com or calling +44 (0) 1543 443060.

    SE Controls Appoint Scotland’s First Certified Installation Partner
  8. SE Controls Gets Up and Running to Support Live Life Give Life Charity
    12 July 2017

    Support for SE Controls’ nominated charity for 2017, Live Life Give Life (LLGL), has already got of to a flying start with £265 being raised at the Florette Fradley 10k run as part of an extensive program of fund raising event planned during the year.

    Each year SE Controls invites employees to make a presentation to fellow staff, nominating a charity that they believe should be chosen as the focus for joint fundraising activities during the year and Live Life Give Life was selected.

    LLGL, which encourages people to join the organ donation register and funds initiatives to improve outcomes for transplant patients, was nominated by Support Services Administrator, Louise Collett. Louise’s sister Rachel and their family was supported by the charity whilst she waited for her life saving lung transplant which she received in May 2012. 

    Louise has already led by example, following her sponsored run at the Fradley 10k, which she completed in just 58 minutes. Other initiatives planned include a Midsummer Night’s Dream charity ball on May 6th 2017 at the famous Belfry Hotel, near Sutton Coldfield with a 4-course meal and live music for £50 per ticket, as well as a sponsored cycling challenge around India in early 2018.

    Louise said: “This charity is very close to me, as it provided such tremendous support to my sister Rachel and our whole family as she underwent her long process of treatment. Already everyone at SE Controls is coming up with new fundraising ideas and I’m sure we’ll make fabulous progress throughout the year.”

    She added: “Everyone put in a fantastic effort to support last year’s chosen charity and we all managed to raise £8,500 so it would be great if we could achieve that again or maybe even better it.”

    SE Controls Gets Up and Running to Support Live Life Give Life Charity
  9. Specifying the right life safety system
    12 July 2017

    The issue of poor and unplanned maintenance for vital life safety fire and smoke control systems is a key concern, which also has potentially fatal consequences. In particular, there have been a number of recent reports where smoke control systems in some housing association (HA) properties have been poorly maintained or neglected completely, placing tenants at risk.

    Recognizing the need to raise the standards when it comes to maintenance, SE Controls has launched SECloudlink™, an innovative ‘remote services’ solution, which provides detailed, around-the-clock system status interrogation. This comprehensive system enables SE Controls’ maintenance team to provide planned and corrective maintenance when needed, driven by regulatory demands or by notifications direct from the smoke control system.

    Using integrated 4G communications technology, it enables the system to be constantly monitored, as well as allowing any adjustments and tuning to ensure it matches the needs of the building and occupants, whether it is for smoke control only, environmental ventilation or a hybrid of both systems. 

    This approach not only provides an effective solution for buildings where ongoing maintenance might be an issue, but is also applicable to all buildings where smoke control systems are installed and demand regular maintenance to the standards demanded by BS9991, BS9999 and BS7346 Part 8, together with Building Regulations ADB; European EN12101, and others.

    The key benefits of SECloudlink™ remote services include:

    • Proactive management of life safety systems to ensure building compliance 
    • Improved efficiency and budget control, minimising disruption and reducing costs associated with expensive site visits 
    • System performance, including historical data, for individual sites or a portfolio of buildings 
    • Highlight faults and service requirements with fast problem resolution 
    • On-going support with advice and assistance when needed 
    • Management reporting 


    Simon North, Service and Maintenance Division Manager with SE Controls, explained: “The priority to install a legally compliant smoke and fire safety solution, means the onus of maintenance and servicing that system is often neglected, however, the potential costs associated with reactive maintenance e.g. sending out an engineer to site, as and when there is an issue, or when the system needs servicing, begs the question - why wouldn’t you want to engage an SECloudlink™ solution?”

    He added: “One of the key values of SECloudlink™ is that once the data is captured, a much more proactive and cost effective maintenance regime can be implemented. This includes the production of management information reports, system performance reports and early warnings, such as battery life, together with documentation to demonstrate compliance with the relevant regulations, which are a legal requirement.”

    The system can also provide significant benefits to contractors, particularly where they are responsible for maintenance on multiple sites. Due to the efficiency of SECloudlink™ software, every installation can be monitored remotely where an SE Controls solution has been installed.

    Individual rooms can be monitored on a floor-by-floor basis and using the system’s graphical interface, which can be configured to notify SE Controls, or the appointed maintenance contractor, when an issue appears. Any alert or notification can be immediately interrogated on screen with data logs to show details of the reported event to speed up corrective actions.

    The SECloudlink™ solution is already in place on several sites where life safety systems are installed and the resulting benefits to landlords have also been significant. However, the most important benefit is for the building’s residents; if a fire should occur, then the system will operate flawlessly and escape routes will be kept clear of smoke, as the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

    Click to view brochure: SECloudlink_Brochure.pdf

    Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.com or calling +44 (0)1543 443060.

    SE Controls has NBS Clauses and BIM Objects available on NBS Plus, BIM Object and at http://www.secontrols.com

    Specifying the right life safety system
  10. Expertise from SE Controls forms part of innovative energy saving building research
    12 July 2017

    A new research project being undertaken by the University of Sheffield into the use of predictive modelling to save energy in non-domestic buildings, is drawing on expertise and data from leading smoke and environmental ventilation specialist, SE Controls, to help support the study.

    Funded by a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the new research programme explores the potential of making energy savings of up to 25 per cent through the development and use of Model Predictive Control (MPC) in commercial buildings.

    The project will use advanced machine learning techniques, a branch of artificial intelligence, to construct a building control system that produces good internal conditions while using the smallest amount of energy possible, allowing more sustainable design and usage.

    This knowledge and expertise of controlling natural ventilation was one of the reasons behind SE Controls being invited to form part of the project steering group for the MPC research.

    SE Controls’ Design Manager, Dr. Chris Iddon, who will attend the steering group meetings, explained: “Non-domestic buildings, such as office spaces, currently account for 18 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions and between 40-90 per cent of this is energy consumed in the heating and cooling of buildings. Also, data from The Carbon Trust estimates that around £500 million worth of energy is wasted by commercial buildings every year, so this research into more effective building control and management is essential.”

    In addition to the involvement of SE Controls, academics from the university’s departments of Civil & Structural Engineering, Electronic & Electrical Engineering and School of Architecture are also working with other leading industry partners, including Arup, Buro Happold, LCMB and Trend Control Systems as part of the process of exploring methods to make MPC economically viable for building energy management.

    Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.com or calling +44 (0) 1543 443060.

    Expertise from SE Controls forms part of innovative energy saving building research
  11. SE Controls to deliver key session at new Smoke Control Association (SCA) training course
    12 July 2017

    A new training course has been developed by the SCA to provide an insight into smoke control legislation and practices. The new course includes a key lecture on the latest systems, installation methods and maintenance requirements, which will be delivered by Will Perkins, Group Managing Director of SE Controls.

    The SCA is an independent body of experts involved in various aspects of the smoke control sector, all keen to promote best practice in the industry, particularly when associated with life safety systems. 

    The half-day course ‘Introduction to Smoke Control – A Beginners Guide’, is being staged for the first time on 29th March 2017 in London at Trox UK’s offices and is aimed at building services engineers, building control inspectors, fire engineers and SCA members.

    A key objective for the course is to provide delegates with a better understanding of smoke control by increasing their knowledge of legislation and systems, whilst also helping them identify best practice and improve industry standards.

    Will Perkins commented: “Unfortunately, it’s often smoke rather than fire that claims lives and a building's smoke control system can significantly improve life safety protection by enabling escape routes to be kept clear.”

    He added: “In comparison with the fire alarm and sprinkler industries, this is a nascent area of building services and although there are many businesses providing high quality, well designed solutions, not all are of equal quality, with smoke control in high-rise residential buildings being a particular area of concern. This new course provides an essential and valuable introduction to smoke control, compliance and the importance of ensuring that industry standards are constantly being improved and enhanced.”

    To secure a place on the course, a booking form can be downloaded from the FETA website

    SE Controls to deliver key session at new Smoke Control Association (SCA) training course
  12. UK manufactured products give competitive edge for SE Controls post referendum
    21 February 2017

    With predictions of price rises immediately following the Brexit vote now becoming a reality for many businesses relying on imported products, international smoke and environmental ventilation specialist, SE Controls, has found that its UK manufactured products have provided a competitive advantage.

    As many of the products used in the UK window manufacturing, contracting and commercial glazing sector are manufactured overseas, particularly hardware and actuator systems, the impact of the drop in the pound’s exchange rate against other international currencies has inevitably led to price rises across the industry. 

    For SE Controls, however, its UK manufactured product range is free from the impact of currency fluctuations, enabling the company’s pricing to be more stable and competitive, which has attracted interest from the industry that is keen to manage costs more effectively, wherever possible.

    SE Controls is a member of the national ‘Made in Britain’ initiative that recognises and promotes British manufacturing and has had a production base in the UK for more than 15 years. Will Perkins, Group Managing Director for SE Controls, explained: “We manufacture our control systems and actuators in the UK, so our products have become more price competitive in the marketplace since the drop in sterling."

    “As some of our competitors rely on imported products, such as actuators for automated building ventilation systems, the higher product costs from their suppliers has prompted some firms to increase prices. This is an inevitable outcome to offset cost increases, as the alternative of absorbing the rises is not sustainable and will impact on profitability."

    “The real benefits of manufacturing in the UK are that we have more control over our quality, costs and supply chain”, continued Will Perkins. “Although the current pricing advantage being experienced by SE Controls and other British manufacturers could only be temporary, our collective reputation for innovation and quality remains unchanged, irrespective of the fluctuations in currency markets,” he concluded.

    Further information on SE Controls' products, solutions and projects can be obtained by emailing sales@secontrols.com or calling +44 (0) 1543 44306

    UK manufactured products give competitive edge for SE Controls post referendum

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