Modern commercial structures benefit from the latest architectural, construction and fire safety innovations - giving designers almost limitless possibilities for creativity. One of the greatest fire safety innovations driving the change in architecture is the horizontal fire curtain. Where can horizontal fire curtains be used, and how are they changing the shape of new buildings? Designing a tall, open atrium allows an architect to create a sense of scale and grandeur, by drawing in huge amounts of light.
This breaks away from the oppressive, utilitarian designs focused on square footage over all else, while still providing an enormous amount of usable working space. Atriums give designers an almost limitless supply of options for creativity. With the addition of skylights, an atrium can become an oasis; trees and lawns can be planted to create indoor parks, fed by sunlight from above and nurtured with climate controls.
Building fire safety
Atriums can become the centerpiece of a building - a space where people can congregate and enjoy the space
Atriums can become the stunning centerpiece of a building - a space where people can congregate and enjoy the space. It’s common to find atriums in shopping malls, modern office buildings and museums - but how can fire safety be maintained in such large, open spaces? A large atrium can be protected with horizontal fire curtains, like Coopers Fire’s FireMaster Duplex system.
As the company has previously discussed, compartmentation for fire protection plays a major role in the control of fire and smoke in large spaces. In the event of a fire, an atrium can act like a giant chimney - funneling smoke through to the top of the building and helping feed the flames with a fresh supply of oxygen from below. With horizontal fire curtains, vertical space can be compartmentalized, slowing the movement of smoke and fire. over multiple floors.
Fire safety systems
Stairs not intended for escape can also become conduits for smoke and oxygen during a fire. By sealing them off with horizontal fire curtains like the FireMaster Simplex Horizontal Fire Curtain and directing occupants to a protected means of escape, compartmentation can be achieved in a multitude of layouts.