Project Fire makes landmark Glasgow School of Arts building fire safe.

Project Fire worked with the renowned Glasgow School of Arts to ensure that one of their landmark campus buildings is kept safe from fire.

The School of Arts has had 2 fires on their campus in both 2014 and 2018. Both fires started in the Macintosh building during renovation works, which were public funded, much like the Notre Dame catastrophe.

90% of the listed building was saved after the first fire but cost £35 million in subsequent restoration costs. In 2018, the fire totally destroyed the historic building and a subsequent strategy is being put in place to dismantle and reconstruct the Macintosh building as part of a campus-wide regeneration project. A comprehensive investigation is also being carried out by Scottish Fire and Rescue as to the cause of the fire.

Project fire was asked to work on making the Stow building fire safe. Stow College 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 in 2016 and planned to carry out an extensive refurbishment plan to innovate the 1930’s building while keeping its character.

However, since the two Macintosh fires, the School of Arts decided that the priority was to fully protect the building from fire and has used a substantial part of their regeneration budget to ensure that the best fire protection products are installed in their campus building so that faculty and students are kept safe and to mitigate any further fire damage costs.

Project Fire was asked to carry out a full sprinkler retro-fit in the landmark building which included an addressable system, 4 Gemini (in four comms rooms) and 7 Zonechecks (five in the risers, two in ceiling voids). Project Fire tailored this solution to the exact needs of the College which will provide:

  • Around the clock monitoring of system components
  • Fully automated routine testing
  • Pre-action Gemini sprinkler heads which protect the server rooms with double knock system
  • A life safety system

The Glasgow School of Arts wanted the building to be completed quickly so that Stow College could be used as part of its campus. Project Fire worked closely with Ketallen Mechanical services, who installed the system, to ensure work is completed quickly and as safely. The contractors worked over the Christmas period to ensure that the system is safely installed and so that faculty and students can move in as soon as possible.

“We are the on-site electrical contractors for Glasgow School of Arts and make it our mission to ensure that any contracting work we do across all campus buildings are as safe as possible. We found working with Project Fire very productive and appreciate how hands on they were when supporting us. We particular found their Youtube tutorials helpful, which we have been using throughout the installation period.”

Project Fire was originally briefed on installing Gemini to protect the College’s comms rooms. After careful review of the project and collaboration with onsite contractors, the sprinkler monitoring and testing company subsequently added 7 Zonechecks to help the college automatically monitor and test for fire safety.

Jake Walker, Commercial Director, Project Fire added “We were very pleased to work with the historic Glasgow School of Arts. Since the two tragic fires in such an iconic building we were able to offer them the peace of mind in another campus building by installing robust and innovative fire prevention technology. We were especially glad that they were so open to installing monitoring and testing technology which will make Stow College safe for its entire lifecycle.”