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Americold - fire protection case study

As part of the largest cold storage network in the world, Americold has a key warehouse at Auckland Airport. Due to the issues with the existing Glycol sprinkler system installed in the warehouse, the consultant chose to replace it with a roof only preaction system.

The Victaulic Upright LP-46 was chosen as the sprinkler head for the project due to its low pressure requirements, and its ability to provide roof only protection and eliminate the need for in-rack sprinklers. The fact that the LP-46 had undergone full scale testing to authenticate its performance with FM Global, gave comfort to all parties with regards acceptability.

The harsh environment of -28˚C in an operating freezer, with business needing to continue as usual for Americold, meant for the contractor, Argus Fire Protection, the labour force were only allowed to work cold side for 30 minutes in the hour. The electric powered platforms used for installation of the roof level pipework were also affected by the extreme cold and tool battery life was seriously lessened.

The contractors, Argus Fire Protection, sought innovative products that could reduce the time in the freezer that would bring a competitive advantage as well as health and safety benefits.  Victaulic FireLock EZ® Style 009H rigid couplings were used as they significantly reduced the time spent in the cold, and the shape and performance of the gasket meant they could be used right out of the box. Victaulic FireLock NXT® Series 769 Pre-action device was the valveset of choice due to its speed of response, simplicity of operation and reduced footprint. The valvesets were delivered to the site in Vic® Quick Ready (VQR) fully pre-trimmed, requiring only minimal on-site work.

Project Vitals

Location: Auckland Airport

Date: December 2011
Systems: Fire Alarm Systems, Fire Sprinkler Systems, Special Risks

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