‘The Italian Job’: Hochiki protects Venice’s tallest tower with life safety solutions

As part of a project to revitalise a semi-abandoned Venetian suburb and transform the district of Mestre from industrial precinct to recreational ‘hotspot’, HTM Hybrid Tower has undergone an extensive redevelopment of late. The project was supported by Hochiki Italia, the Italian arm of life safety systems manufacturer Hochiki, with the business selected to provide solutions that would protect this now iconic building and its occupants.

HTM Hybrid Tower is the tallest building in the Venice metropolitan area, standing at no less than 84 metres tall. The redevelopment of the tower, which was previously occupied by one of Italy’s foremost transport providers, cost €18 million in total.

The 19 floors of the HTM Hybrid Tower are comprised of commercial offices, a beauty centre and residential and retail environments, as well as dining and garage spaces. Comin Impianti srl, a local civil and industrial systems installer, was selected to specify solutions which would meet the key needs of such a versatile building.

The installers chose to specify Hochiki fire detection systems which would suit each of the different environments within the building. Working closely with Comin Impianti srl, Hochiki Italia identified the clear need to use solutions that could be networked with one another via multiple control panels and then programmed in such a way that each device is interconnected.

The system also had to be capable of identifying issues and reasons for alarms on a swift footing in order to give building occupants as much warning as possible.

Enhanced Systems Protocol range

Hochiki Italia specified a range of solutions from the Hochiki Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP) range to meet these challenges. The collection of intelligent, addressable fire detection and alarm equipment offers the HTM Hybrid Tower high performance and reliability combined with an enhanced open protocol, in turn giving building owners added control of their systems.

Over 180 ALN-EN smoke detectors and ten ACC-EN multi-sensors have been installed throughout HTM Hybrid Tower. The devices can all be controlled from eight panels networked such that, in those instances where there’s cause for alarm and/or evacuation, only the affected zones will be notified.

In addition, Hochiki’s devices offer both visual and audio alerts, which can be individually managed so that only one operates in a given zone when needed, reducing the need for a full building evacuation for minor incidents.

Products for networking

Ezio Danese, project manager at Hochiki Italia, noted: “Mixed use sites like the HTM Hybrid Tower require a range of complex devices. As well as solutions that offer unrivalled reliability, it’s essential to use products that can be networked to suit specific environmental considerations. A restaurant kitchen will require very different levels of monitoring than a garage space, for example, and these variables need to be monitored and controlled. The Hochiki ESP range allows building owners to do just that, affording them a control system that can be tailored to ensure optimum performance.”

Angelo Comin, owner of Comin Impianti srl, added: “The HTM Hybrid Tower is a contemporary hybrid project wherein multiple functional levels co-exist. Protecting such a complex structure from the risk of fire was a challenge. However, the fact that Hochiki’s systems are able to communicate on the network was a key element in the specification process. It’s also an added benefit that the audio and visual capabilities of the installed solution can be managed separately which helps to avoid any unnecessary panic in the event of a false alarm.”

Hochiki’s systems are now installed and fully operational throughout the occupied floors.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

Related Posts