Author Bio ▼

IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
October 30, 2023


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

case study

Fire resistant glazing upgrade for Rochdale Town Hall

A large gothic window in the Grade One listed Rochdale Town Hall has been given a fire protection upgrade using Promat SYSTEMGLAS as part of a multi-million pound restoration project.

Promat-Rochdale Town Hall window-23

Installed adjacent to the gothic window, this separate timber framed window matches the shape of the original pointed arch to minimise its visual impact.

The window is a key feature of the newly created Bright Hall, a new community space on the second floor of the 19th century building designed to be used for smaller events such as weddings and functions, which has been converted from offices.

The hall has been named after the Victorian philanthropist and Rochdale resident John Bright, a reforming politician who became famous for his campaigning work for free trade.

Architects Douglas Insall Associates wanted to ensure the window’s stonework and glass would be effectively protected in the event of a fire but also balance aesthetics.

Working in conjunction with fire safety consultants Jerry Quayle Associates, a design was agreed using the Promat SYSTEMGLAS Ligna fire resistant glazing system to provide EI60 integrity and insulation.

Accurate templates to match original shape

Installed adjacent to the gothic window, this separate timber framed window matches the shape of the original pointed arch to minimise its visual impact.

To ensure the window would provide appropriate protection, the timber framing also features PROMASEAL-PL graphite-based intumescent seals, and the glass is an external grade product offering additional UV protection.

Promat UK and its installer, Rated Solutions, worked together to ensure the new window would match the gothic shape of the existing window, which involved multiple site visits to obtain accurate templates.

A certificate of conformity was provided to the client upon the project’s completion, with Promat UK explaining it has full control of the raw material sourcing, manufacturing and installation work.

Preserving aesthetics 

According to the firm, its installer had to overcome a number of installation challenges, including accessibility to the window’s second floor position, where the glass and frame had to be carefully winched into place to avoid damage.

Jerry Quayle, the fire consultant advising on the glazing installation, said: “Given that national significance of Rochdale Town Hall, it was crucial that any measures taken to improve fire safety were handled sensitively to preserve the aesthetics and to ensure its original character and features were retained. In addition to this feature window, I am also working with the heritage doors on the building to remediate them sympathetically to provide the required fire resistance for a building of this type.”

“The solution developed by Promat here met the performance and design criteria extremely well, and is a key part of a passive fire protection strategy which works to maintain the safety of people should they need to evacuate the building in the event of a fire, and protect this unique building.”

Said to be one of the UK’s finest examples of Victorian gothic architecture, Rochdale Town Hall has evolved since its first opening in 1871 from a symbol of the town’s industrial standing to a building now suitable for public use to be enjoyed by local residents and visitors.

After falling into a poor state of repair in recent years, urgent action to reverse and prevent further decline was put into place. A two phase restoration and transformation project commenced in January 2021, with Promat fire resistant glazing being part of the second phase due for final completion late 2023.

EBOOK: Lessons from FIREX 2023 – Emerging challenges in fire safety

Read our FREE eBook, which provides a summary of the key debates and presentations that took place at FIREX 2023 in May, alongside additional exclusive content for readers.

Chapters cover new fire safety construction guidance, how to mitigate the risk of lithium-ion battery fires, and evacuation planning. There's also exclusive insight into the resident's view of the building safety crisis, and how the fire safety and sustainability agendas can work together.


Related Topics