Protecting Glasgow’s educational landscape.

Project Fire’s innovative products help to make Glasgow School of Art building safe from fire.

The loss of the Glasgow School of Art library at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building in June 2014 was a devastating moment for the people of Glasgow and Scotland. The landmark building is a piece of Scottish architectural history and its priceless library was reduced to ash.

The iconic library was set to be restored to its former glory with the help of millions in public funding but after several years of renovation works, in Aug 2018, a second more devastating blaze gutted the historic building, much like the more recent Notre Dame catastrophe. The Chief Executive of BAFSA told Glasgow Live that “a fire suppression system was only weeks away from being installed” and added “during reconstruction we recommend a temporary system, particularly where you’ve got a building of such value”.

Details of the fires at the Mackintosh building and Notre Dame have not been confirmed but experts say the ongoing restoration works is likely to have led to both fires. Only months after the building was set to reopen a subsequent strategy is being put in place to dismantle and reconstruct the Mackintosh building as part of a campus-wide expansion project.

Stow College, a part of the Glasgow School of Arts (GSA) Garnethill campus expansion, is a landmark building and has been a part of Glasgow’s educational landscape for 80 years. The Glasgow School of Arts bought Stow College to house the new School of Fine Art in 2016 and planned to carry out extensive refurbishments to innovate the 1930’s building while keeping its original character. 

However, since the two Mackintosh fires, thoughts were diverted to fully protect the building from fire and a focus on fire safety ensued. The Glasgow School of Arts also needed the building to be completed quickly so that the Stow College building could be used as part of its campus. A full sprinkler system has now been carefully retrofitted to the building as a part of ongoing renovations. 

“We were very pleased to work with the historic Glasgow School of Arts. Since the two tragic fires in such an iconic building, our Zonecheck Addressable system will be able to offer them proof of compliance and peace of mind ensuring testing is carried and the system is monitored.”

Project Fire’s Zonecheck Addressable system was highlighted as a way to prove compliance with fire codes, while automating sprinkler system testing, the system also provides around the clock monitoring of installed components ensuring that faculty and students are kept safe whilst mitigating any further fire damage costs. Project Fire worked closely with Kentallen Mechanical services, who installed the system, ensuring that our technicians were on hand for the commissioning to guarantee the system was up and running so that faculty and students could move in as soon as possible.

Project Fire was originally briefed on installing Gemini pre-action sprinkler heads to protect the College’s comms rooms. After careful review of the project and collaboration with on-site contractors, Zonecheck Addressable was added subsequently and installed throughout the risers to help the college automatically test and monitor the system, and provide proof that testing is being carried out in compliance with fore codes and regulations.