Paul McSoley, Lucy Craig – Next steps from DCW roundtables

Paul McSoley, Lucy Craig - Next steps from DCW roundtables

Post DCW Feedback

Paul McSoley, Lucy Craig

Paul McSoley, Lucy Craig - Next steps from DCW roundtables-20220610

PAUL MCSOLEY says that it’s interesting how different working groups talk about the same assets from different points of view. Sometimes an asset is only looked at from a compartmentation point of view, not taking into consideration it’s a smoke control system.

He thinks that DCW went very well. However, there was a problem with the diagram - the firefighter’s shaft is treated like an internal wall. It’s looked at from the drywall POV (compartmentation) not from the smoke control POV - it has to be treated as a whole system. It’s a 120 minute function and a 120 minute shaft.

LUCY CRAIG says, regarding the smoke shaft, designers get away with not designing it properly and there is a 60 minute shaft on the drawings. There are no dampers tested in any of the situations which are applicable.

PAUL MCSOLEY shows on screen a fire safety case and golden thread overview slide. There are adequacy discrepancies. He considers that these slides show everything that is wrong with the industry. If there is something discrepant in a contract….

He talks about a fire shaft as an example of a situation where a discrepancy is noted in regards to the wall adjacent to the fire shaft, as often the wall is not built to endure this kind of pressure. We’re dealing with the adequacy (or lack of adequacy) of certain installations/assets and if that is recorded on any kind of level. He also notes how these kind of issues create problems with the sequence of stages of design/construction. He considers that, in reality, Gateway 2 does not finish at the end of stage 4, it finishes at the end before going into close-over and handover. Also, it’s important to look for changes at every stage, to keep refreshing software on a regular basis to track down changes entered by other users. There may be, consequently, coordination problems.

LUCY CRAIG says how shaft walls are sometimes compromised by cost cutting and the use of cheaper materials. PAUL MCSOLEY also points out the challenges involved in combining different materials and assets/products that need to be installed e.g. a door, with different standards of adjacent materials/products. Partly this is due to the fat that architects and designers are not particularly specialised in calculating such details. A Tier 1 contractor is responsible for bringing it all together (it needs to be standardised).

LUCY CRAIG thinks, regarding the DCW, that given the time limitations it may have been more productive to have looked at one option (the same scenario). Taking a smoke shaft as an example would enable everyone to see the problems and the different perspectives that everyone is coming from. Or flight 5 projects could be used, showing how they are wrong but actually in use. She says in the UK there is not the culture to have early contractual engagement and she’s unsure as to whether contractors have the right information to feed into it.

PAUL MCSOLEY says that a lead consultant should be coordinating information which is not happening.