Battersea Power Station

Colt involved in multi-phase regeneration plan for the iconic Battersea Power Station.

Creative design thinking ensures safe and compliant systems across a large project. Challenges at the UK's tallest commercial building.

Having built up an excellent reputation with Skanska, Colt was chosen by them to provide the smoke control solutions for Phase 1 of the Battersea Power Station regeneration project.

This is only stage 1 of many in converting the old Battersea Power Station site into a modern, vibrant residential and commercial development.

Colt was tasked with designing the life safety systems for the buildings in this development. For multiple blocks (13) we had to design various powered extract, Coltshaft and natural ventilation smoke shaft systems depending on what the fire strategy was in the particular blocks and cores - some blocks had multiple cores, others only had only one main core.

Due to the nature of the building, this project required a system that would protect the means-of-escape stairs and fire-fighting stairs, for which the ColtShaft mechanical firefighting system is designed. ColtShaft is a mechanical firefighting shaft system that provides equivalent performance to a BRE shaft for the ventilation of common corridors and fire-fighting lobbies. It can therefore be considered to meet the recommendations of Building Regulations (E&W) Approved Document B, BS 9991 and BS 9999 for ventilation of stair cores.

Under design conditions with the lobby doors open, ColtShaft provides a ventilation rate similar to the BRE shaft, but it also offers the benefit of being a lot smaller, providing 20% of the BRE Shaft footprint.

Watch our video which describes how ColtShaft was developed and shows how it works.

There were some special design challenges on this project where Colt’s experience and expertise shone through. In particular, elongated ductwork runs were an integral part of the system’s operation for air inlet or discharge of the smoke. They were needed because, in certain instances, if the shaft was in the middle, there would be no easy way of getting the required make-up air or to discharge the smoke out of the building. Therefore, the system would have to be directed into the basement, around various obstructions and then out the building. The extra-long ductwork runs that connect into the shaft at various levels throughout the building had to be scrutinised and pressure drop calculations had to be done to ensure the system would perform as expected.

Another particularly challenging part of this project was to provide the required 230v power and access control, both for day-to-day ventilation and emergency smoke ventilation to the corridor AOV doors, due to the complexity of the AOV doors’ operational requirements.

An interesting feature about this project was that while there are 13 blocks, they are all connected, meaning our systems’ controls and sensors all needed to be linked up. If one area of a residential space has gone into smoke, the connected sensors and controls will notify commercial spaces to evacuate as well.

  • Project:
    • Battersea Power Station Phase 1
  • Location:
    • London
  • Building Type:
    • Power Station
  • Client:
    • Skanska
  • M&E Consultant:
    • Hoare Lea
  • Architect:
    • Ian Simpson & de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects
  • Main Contractor:
    • Carillion
  • M&E Contractor:
    • Skanska
  • Colt products:
    • ColtShaft
    • AOV
    • ADB Shafts