Westland Shopping
Smoke and heat ventilation systems
Fire compartmentalisation

Westland Shopping Center

Westland Shopping Center

Some three years ago, AG Real Estate had a master plan ready to take Westland Shopping into the 21st century. The shopping centre was given a thorough renovation and expanded by more than half. In a place where so many people come to shop and relax, close attention to fire safety is essential. Altebra Waregem provided that with smoke control and fire compartmentalisation, at various points throughout the site.

From a single job to an entire site

Altebra Waregem's initial assignment at the Westland site was to install a SHE (smoke and heat extraction) system in the brand new underground car park. "As we gained some name recognition with that assignment, additional requests gradually came in," explains Jan Lobbestael, Project Engineer at Altebra Waregem. "For example, on the ground floor of one of the new wings is a Delhaize. There, in a second phase, we installed a fire screen EI(1)60, fire-resistant glass EI(1)60 and a large fire gate EI(1)120. These are flameproof for 60 and 120 minutes and isolate the heat. In the same shop, we installed fire-resistant glass between the shop and the butchery and fish shop in each case. Between the Delhaize and the existing building, we installed a large fire gate." The existing building also received a fire-safe update during the renovation with a smoke extraction system in the central hall. In a third phase, Altebra Waregem tackled the second new wing. "Ten large openings were made between the existing and the new building. We installed ten large fire gates in those. Inside the building, in the new shops, we also fitted smoke extraction systems," says Jan. "This is a great example of a project where we started with one job and gradually tackled the whole site."

Wide range installed, thanks to our partners

"Here too, we were able to rely on Lybover METAL for metal structures and sheet metal work. Our partner LyboPro was responsible for the fire-resistant glass. For the wiring of the SHE installation, we worked with an external partner. We install our components spread throughout the building. They connect everything and programme the installation according to our guidelines. We do the start-up together." As the project gradually expanded, up to three times more work than first anticipated, Altebra Waregem ended up installing pretty much all its products in Westland Shopping. "In the car park and the superstructure, you will find smoke extraction and mechanical SHE systems," Jan lists. "In terms of fire compartmentalisation, you will find fire gates, fire screens and fire-resistant glass." And yet most visitors will not notice all these solutions at all. The shopping centre, with an area of up to 50,000 m², feels light and open. So in addition to safety, due attention was also paid to aesthetics and experience.

The 4 extraction fans extract 550,000 m³/h of smoke in case of fire. Due to the presence of smoke control valves, the flow rate is extracted on the right floor. Functional maintenance wiring guarantees operation in the event of a fire for one hour.


The challenges of a comprehensive project

A large project with many people involved and different types of work does bring some challenges. "It was a mixture of new construction and renovation," Jan explains. "New construction is simpler because it is easier to plan. In renovation, you have to take into account the existing situation. In the central hall, for example, the false ceiling was replaced. There were already a lot of cables and pipes in there that couldn't just be removed. For us, it is then a bit of a puzzle to fit all the new components in between." "Another difficulty was that the shopping centre remained open. So the works on the central hall had to be done in the evening and at night," Jan continues. "Especially logistically, this did require some planning. On site, we were part of a well-oiled team, so we were able to deliver all installations correctly and on time, inspected by the fire brigade. And that is, after all, the most important thing for us, that people will soon be able to safely enjoy a relaxing moment."

Westland Shopping

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