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When it comes to fire safety, the brand new Byron House student complex currently taking shape in the heart of Nottingham, will surely pass close examination with honours!

The £60 million development, masterminded by Wakefield-based Vinci Construction, forms part of a major overhaul of Nottingham Trent University’s property portfolio with work commencing in early 2012.

Designed in close liaison with students, the 5,500 square metre new build will incorporate social, leisure and wellbeing facilities as well as hundreds of new student bedrooms. There will also be bespoke accommodation for the university’s Student Union body.

Arkoni has manufactured and installed a wide range of fire-rated and acoustic glazed screens throughout the building with bulkhead sections supplied by another West Yorkshire firm in steel construction frame specialists U-Roof.

Pete Wilson, Senior Design Manager with Vinci, took up the story: “The City Centre Campus of Nottingham Trent University has been transformed in recent years. Major investment in its estate has culminated in the delivery of the award winning redevelopment of the Newton and Arkwright building.

The existing Byron Building at the northern entrance to the City Centre Campus no longer matched the quality of the built environment that is offered elsewhere on the campus with this new scheme offering the opportunity to address these issues and produce facilities that reflect the quality of the rest of the campus. “

In order to meet these objectives, the project involved the demolition of the existing Byron building, infrastructure and landscaping and its replacement with a new student facility. Built above were four blocks of student accommodation, ranging from four to nine storeys, together with supporting infrastructure, hard and soft landscaping and public and private open space."

The student facility at ground level included student union accommodation, café and lounge, venue space and bar, sports hall, exercise studio, fitness studios and retail over three floors beneath a residential landscaped deck. Above deck the student accommodation comprised of 559 student rooms organised into 67 clusters. The student accommodation is be supported by an FM suite with laundrette, two wardens flats and 146 bike parking spaces. “

The student facility included within it a large amount of high specification glazed screens, fundamental to the interior design solution. The Arkoni screens achieved a variety of acoustic, fire and balustrade loading performance requirements,” added Pete.

Arkoni MD Mark Prentice commented: “This is a major project to be involved with and all of the glazing screens conform to the E130 standard which offers fire protection integrity for at least 30 minutes which means that individual sections of the building will be able to stop fire spreading for that length of time."

”The complexity of the bulkheads meant that we required a bespoke system that could be slotted into the required spaces to support the glazing and the U-Roof system offered the perfect solution,”,he added.