Holmes Fire took on a challenging brief from the client to have an atrium surrounded by teaching spaces, without any enclosure to the atrium. Additional complexity was added as the building was to sit atop a new train station, which was already under construction. Our brief was to avoid barriers between the atrium and train station as well. It needed to appear just as easy to go downstairs for a train as to go upstairs for an education.
This building was designed as an alternative solution to the NZ Building Code (1992) and involved a bespoke atrium smoke control system which could be run in reverse to prevent smoke spread from the train station. Our analysis involved detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling to assess the smoke migration through the atrium void and this was married with occupant egress modelling to demonstrate that people could evacuate safely.
Holmes Fire also undertook specific assessment of the steel structure (including the external diagrid structure) and our experienced engineers were able to secure significant cost savings for the client by minimising the intumescent coatings required on the structure.