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Liverpool Central Library

After gradually falling into disrepair over many decades, Liverpool’s Central Library is being restored to its former glory including the important Grade II listed parts of the building. The successful contractor – which beat off competition from other short listed organisations – is a joint venture between Amber Infrastructure and Shepherd Construction.

The project will include a new home for the Liverpool Record Office which will house some of the city’s most historic treasures from the last 800 years – such as the original 1207 charter – in purpose built secure, climate controlled storage. Also included in the development project will be five new floors with capacity for 20 years of new archive space and a doubling of the number of public computers.

Given the value and overall importance of the facilities in this landmark building which is due to reopen in Spring 2013, the contractors are ensuring that only the very best systems are installed to provide protection against any future potential damage or loss.

There are special challenges associated with accomplishing effective property fire detection and suppression in these types of facilities where even a small fire can have far reaching and expensive consequences as far as a valuable and un-replaceable archive material is concerned.

The footprint of the restored and developed building poses unique fire protection challenges and of course the project also calls for rapid installation and competitive pricing.

For that reason, Shepherd Engineering Services has appointed Nobel Fire Systems to help advise and then supply and install the most appropriate and efficient fire suppression system for the job. The specific task for Nobel is to protect 5 key repository areas and after careful consideration an IG541 Inert gas system is being installed in each of the areas, all of which are fed from a central cylinder bank on the ground floor.

Using IG541 presented the best option for this risk considering all of the systems available to us with consideration given to safety, the environment, physical onsite restraints and of course financial implications.

In addition to installing the IG541 system, Nobel has also installed two FM200 systems to protect a cellulose film store and an environmental room in the library.