New Library of Birmingham archives to be protected by fire free technology
Wagner UK’s OxyReduct fire free technology will be at the heart of the fire protection solution for the new Library of Birmingham.
Opening in 2013, the £189m project is one of the most significant developments and cultural projects to have been undertaken in the UK in the past decade. The Library of Birmingham will be a striking architectural landmark that transforms not only Centenary Square, but the city of Birmingham. OxyReduct will be protecting the library’s internationally renowned archives, in five separate areas ranging in size from 200m2 to 8,000m2 as well as equipment in the plant room on the eighth floor.
OxyReduct creates an environment where fires cannot start, by continuously reducing the oxygen level in a closed room through adding nitrogen to the air. The oxygen is reduced to a level in which most combustibles do not inflame and an open fire is impossible. Importantly, people can enter and work in the protected area at any time.
‘We chose OxyReduct for the Library of Birmingham because it gives us complete fire protection for the library’s unique collection of archives, photographs and rare books. The system also allows regular staff access to storage areas, a vital part of running Europe’s busiest public library,’ explained David Bishop, development manager, Archives & Heritage. ‘OxyReduct also does not compromise the storage space, or significantly reduce overall storage capacity, which is important for the long term development of our collections.’