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Ramtech delivers wireless fire protection for new eco design in heart of Paris

The Arboretum, in the heart of Paris, involves the major transformation of a brownfield site into a 125,000 sqm, low-carbon office campus. Due to its solid wood structure, wireless solutions experts Ramtech was approached by contractor, The GCC Groupe, to provide reliable protection.

Situated within a nine-hectare park on the banks of the River Seine, the Arboretum is the largest tertiary campus currently under development in Paris. Work commenced in October 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Throughout this time, and up until its completion, the under-construction site has needed protection from the risk of fire.

Why is fire a concern?

Due to the scale of the project and the fact the site is made largely of wood, the threat of a fire breaking out and destroying the development is a real risk – while responsibly sourced wood is a sustainable building material choice, its combustible nature poses risks. The threat of fire isn’t limited to wooden structures, however. All building materials, even with fire stopping and fire-retardant measures in place, can also be at risk. Therefore, having a reliable fire alarm system put in place during construction is always going to be crucial to ensuring the safety of workers and the development itself – with the Arboretum no exception.

An innovative solution

To provide a solution worthy of such an innovative project, the Arboretum required a fire alarm system that could quickly be installed, would not damage the structure, or require wiring, which would not be possible during the construction phase. A reliable supplier, who could also design and deliver the system, despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, was another key factor.

The Arboretum used contractor GCC Groupe, which recommended the Ramtech WES3 wireless fire alarm system. Having used the fully EN54-25 compliant system successfully on previous projects, GCC Groupe knew that the system would be able to meet the needs of the Arboretum with ease. A major benefit of the WES3 is how scalable the system is, so even large projects like the Arboretum can be protected without a problem. To provide complete coverage, around 300 units, using Ramtech’s WES3 system, have been deployed across the site. This included 218 dust resistant smoke detectors placed at strategic points across the building, leaving no potential gaps.

In addition, 70 manual call points were put in place, with the added security of unit numbering, which would aid pinpointing the exact unit triggered in the event of an alarm. Five links were installed to cater for the large and complex construction site, which acts as a relay to link geographically separated sections of the site together. The WES temporary fire alarm is then linked to other systems through one interface. This ensures elements such as turnstiles work together efficiently within the whole system.

One CONNECT and one GSM base station was also included in the set up to enable GCC to receive configurable SMS notifications of alarm, tamper or system faults. Christian Valero Rose at Ramtech, said: “Having a solution that is both time and cost effective has never been more important, and when it comes to safety there can be no compromises. Being able to deliver for this project throughout the pandemic was another challenge, but Ramtech was able to supply the completely wireless system, which has been designed bespoke to the needs of the project and can also change and adapt as the development progresses.

“The impact of coronavirus has brought about a new age of risk for the construction industry. Despite a strong recovery, the industry is still faced with both short- and long-term challenges in overcoming the shortage of key equipment and materials, the spike in procurement costs, longer lead times, schedule and cost overruns, compromised supply chains, skilled labour shortages, ever-changing workplace protocols, and increased competition for limited work.

“Being able to find effective solutions that require minimal time and expertise, allowed for this project to get underway safely and not rely on additional workforce to keep the site under observation. WES acts in place of multiple roles and is easy to set up, which was undoubtedly a key factor during the pandemic.”

The mesh network that connects these individual units together meant that across the large site, there was still connectivity which played into the decision to go with Ramtech. With an impressive three-year battery life, WES3 also works well in eliminating the need to reinstall throughout the project. It will instead see the development through to the end and for some time after that, giving full 24/7 coverage.

For more information on Ramtech’s solutions, please get in touch either by phone on +44 (0)115 957 8282, by email to solutions@ramtechglobal.com or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.