Promat meets Class 9B Passive Fire Rating at Somerville House Library in Brisbane

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The refurbishment of Seymour Library at Somerville House, Brisbane was launched to transform the existing infrastructure into a flexible space that would establish the renowned school as a leader in education.

Designed by ThomsonAdsett and built by Badge Constructions, the new $4.8 million library redevelopment project came with a brief to revive, invigorate and expand the existing infrastructure to support a learning environment in 21st century.

“The goal was to accommodate enrollment growth more effectively and create additional flexible learning zones. We have designed dedicated study spaces, meeting rooms and an academic research center, which will provide the opportunity for increased student exposure and collaboration,” said Chad Brown, architect and group director of the education at ThomsonAdsett.

Comprised of timber joist systems, the design included two mezzanine levels, which increased the existing library space by 537 square meters. A range of wood and glass fixtures have been incorporated into the new internal design to complement the existing structure.

The design team saw great opportunities with the height and volume of the existing building. They also had to ensure that Australian Building Code Class 9B passive fire ratings were met for multi-storey buildings with a public character.

Building renovations are subject to many dynamic challenges; some of these challenges include the fire resistance of new areas and finding solutions to join new equipment to existing materials without exceeding budget expectations.

After extensive research and fire testing, Promat Australia worked with Michael Greenwood of Walker Bai Engineers to create a cost effective new flooring system designed for the lightweight flooring requirements of this build. The SYSTEMPANEL floor system was used on approximately 800 square meters, complying with fire and acoustic requirements, and achieving a fire resistance level (FRL) of 120/120/120.

The SYSTEMPANEL floor system was a lightweight, economical material allowing for easy installation – an ideal result for the builders in relation to the cost and complexity of pumping the concrete slabs into the multi-level structure.

Promat was also able to help with the firestopping of penetrations and the sealing of joints. PROMATECT 100 provided a single coat system for walls, ceilings and steel protection. The unique design of the PROMATECT 100 allows the following performance improvements:

  • Superior insulation properties when exposed to fire
  • Excellent maneuverability – easy to use and cut
  • Smooth and flat surface design
  • Cost effective, saving time on labor costs

Construction was completed in December 2017.

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