Greene Fire supplied their FireMaster Concertina curtains to a new nine-storey office building, Vicinity Tower in Chadstone, Victoria to meet BCA regulations for interconnecting floors.

A Bates Smart Architects project, Vicinity Tower is located in the heart of Victoria’s most well-established suburbs. To open up the space visually and allow occupants to move freely around the building, four floors are connected together with one stair; however, since BCA regulations didn’t allow more than two interconnected floors, the stairs on one level had to be compartmented to protect occupants in the event of a fire.

Greene Fire’s FireMaster Concertina fire curtains were used to connect the four interconnecting floors.

The internal stairs on Level 3 were fire separated with a FireMaster Concertina curtain, allowing Level 2 through to Level 4 to be connected. Level 3 was compartmented using a guideless Concertina fire curtain with flush ceiling mounted obstruction sensors, light warning and voice warning alarms.

The FireMaster Concertina curtain was suspended from the soffit and installed flush with the ceiling with a fire rated baffle installed above the curtain headbox to create a continuous fire separation barrier between the floor slabs as required under BCA clause C3.12 and C3.15.

Key features of the FireMaster Concertina fire curtain installation also include red light warning strobes, located on both sides of the curtain active until the curtain is fully deployed, and continuing to operate until the curtain is reset; voice warning alarm stating ‘fire curtain descending’ whenever the curtains are deploying; flush mounted obstruction warning sensors fixed to the ceiling notifying of any obstruction left underneath the curtain for more than 5 minutes; and emergency retract button on the inside of the enclosed curtain to raise the curtain for a set time for emergency evacuation.

Key benefits of FireMaster Concertina fire curtains include ability to provide fire protection without the need for corner posts or side guides, giving architects, consultants and specifiers more flexibility in building design; simple control panel with internal battery backup controlling the operation of the curtain; up to 4 hours of fire integrity; and obstruction sensors, light warning, voice warning, split drop delay, emergency retract buttons and battery backup system equipping the system with additional safeguards.

Vicinity Tower was built by Probuild Builders Pty Ltd with Norman Disney and Young serving as the fire engineer.