Heathrow Express

Heathrow Express have engaged Swithland Systems LLP for the Design, Technical Specification authoring, Cause and Effects mentoring and programming, Assurance and Certification of their new replacement Fire Detection and Alarm Systems across the HAL Rail estate at Heathrow Airport.

The project started in February 2012 and is due for completion at the end of 2018. The new system comprises 24 Control Panels and 19 Vision Repeat panels all connected via a copper and fibre network across 5 miles of estate and included the protection of sub-surface Rail Stations at Heathrow Central and Terminal 4 and numerous Escape and Intervention shafts along the sub-surface stretch of the route from Paddington.

The project also includes for the design of 28 Aspirating Systems, 4 Gas Extinguishant Systems and 6 Linear Heat Systems all interfaced with the Fire Detection System.

For Swithland the project involved a year of intrusive and complicated design works for a Category L1/P1 system in accordance with BS5893 Part 1 culminating in the production of drawings, schedules and specifications and further acting as the clients representative (clerk of works) throughout the installation and commissioning phases of the project. Swithland were also responsible for the production of Cause and Effects and associated programming and thereafter the full end to end testing of all 23000 Cause and Effects scenarios. This phase alone required the co-ordination of 5 people witnessing and recording all of the tests during 4 night shifts per week over a 6 month period.

The design phase required engagement with interested parties and stakeholders such as HAL insurers (Allianz) and the London Fire Brigade (LFB) in order to obtain necessary approvals and provide the client with third party Assurance.

Swithland have produced over 300 drawings to include layouts, schematics, schedules and isometrics for the Fire detection, Gas Suppression, Aspirating and Linear Heat systems. Documents produced include a Basis of Design, Details of Design, Technical Specification, Interface Schedule, Cause and Effects brief and a final Migration Plan detailing the process of change from the existing to the new system.

This has been a very challenging scope of works given that the site is a sub-surface Rail environment located below Heathrow Airport but one that Swithland has continued to perform and deliver against.