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

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

by Brian Sims

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.

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