A new boutique hotel has recently opened its doors in one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic and culturally-significant buildings at Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. This historic location, now known as the Titanic Hotel, is benefiting from a range of cutting-edge life safety technology supplied by Hochiki Europe.
Throughout the early 20th Century, the now-listed site was the headquarters for world-leading ocean liner builder Harland and Wolff, making it the nerve centre of the largest shipyard in the world. The company was responsible for the design and construction of dozens of ‘floating hotels’, the most famous of which being the ill-fated Titanic.
In more recent years, the area around the listed building has been transformed by property developer Harcourt to create the aforementioned Titanic Quarter, a prestigious new waterfront regeneration. This includes the creation of the Titanic Hotel, designed as an homage to Belfast’s shipbuilding history as well as its namesake ocean liner. The building features an art deco-style interior that mirrors the craftsmanship and precise attention to detail evident in the design of the Titanic’s interior.
Life safety system design
There were various considerations to take into account when designing a life safety system for the hotel. The project called for a solution that could be easily installed with minimal disruption and networked to suit the various environments inside the hotel including bedrooms, kitchens, a public museum and conference spaces.
To meet these requirements, Hochiki Europe supplied a range of products from its Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP) range. This intelligent, addressable fire detection and alarm equipment is designed and manufactured to the highest international standards such that staff and building owners can rest assured all products installed are ultra-reliable.
Sensors in the ESP range are designed to use an electronics-free ‘twist-fit’ mounting base. This gives installers – in this instance Belfast-based Atlas World – the opportunity to fix the bases at ‘first fix’ stage, with sensors added at a later stage once the environment is clean. The ‘twist-fit’ feature also allows greater flexibility when fitting at height or in hard to reach areas. This makes it easier for facilities managers to carry out maintenance as the sensor heads can be accessed from ground level using special smoke poles.
Over 200 sensors from Hochiki Europe’s ESP range have been installed throughout the Titanic Hotel as part of a £15,000 upgrade project. Using a combination of ACC-EN multi-sensors and ALN-EN smoke sensors, Atlas World was able to programme the devices to suit the different environments resident within the hotel as well as their differing life safety considerations.
Unique set of requirements
Richard Wharram, regional sales manager at Hochiki Europe, noted: “Hotels present a very unique set of requirements when it comes to life safety, and even more so when they’re listed buildings like the Titanic Hotel. The need to find solutions that match the different spaces and uses within the hotel, from restaurant kitchens and bars to bedrooms, public areas and lounges, while also ensuring ease of installation, can prove challenging. The ESP range is incredibly versatile and can be installed and networked in a way that works perfectly for each of these environments, ensuring optimum system monitoring across the entire site. It’s fantastic to see how new technology is helping to protect such an iconic project and a unique part of Belfast’s history.”
Robert Creagmile, key account director at Atlas World, added: “Installations in buildings with high ceilings and heritage features require specialist solutions. Hochiki Europe’s range of sensors can be fitted in two parts so the sensors are ideal for use in the Titanic Hotel. Thanks to Hochiki Europe, we were able to install the system with greater efficiency and little disruption to day-to-day operations.”
Complex restoration process
Adrian McNally, general manager of the Titanic Hotel, commented: “The restoration of the former Harland and Wolff offices into a luxury hotel has been a very complex process. It’s vital we have current fire life safety systems in place to ensure that the comfort and safety of our guests is never compromised. However, we also wanted to make sure we preserved the architectural and visible integrity of yesteryear. We believe we’ve achieved our goals. The hotel has the most advanced technology in place.”
Since opening its doors, the Titanic Hotel has welcomed over 55,000 overnight guests and was also named Ulster Tatler’s Hotel of the Year for 2018.