Underlining the specialist nature of fire protection for high-value buildings, a UK company has supplied market-leading fire doors for the headquarters of HSBC Bank in Malta.
Wrightstyle Limited was chosen because it is one of the only suppliers of fire and smoke-protected unlatched doors on the international market, and able to provide a one-stop design through to fabrication service.
The Valletta contract not only involved significant design input for the prestigious location, but had to be delivered as complete and finished systems within a three-week timeframe.
HSBC Bank Malta plc is the largest bank in Malta, with a network of around 60 branches and offices. The Bank’s regional headquarters is therefore an extremely high-value asset and Wrightstyle’s systems had to meet stringent international fire standards.
The breakthrough fire door system from Wrightstyle, launched in the last year, offers designers internationally a range of entirely new and fully-glazed interior or exterior door options that give complete practicality coupled with absolute fire safety.
Wrightstyle’s unlatched door systems have also been independently tested against the passage of smoke – a common requirement for doors situated in high-traffic areas, although smoke-seal testing is not standard across the industry.
“In the event of a fire, the passage of toxic smoke and gases through an unlatched fire door could be just as serious as the fire itself. Our unlatched doors have all been smoke-seal tested and, because they are often located in cross-corridor or stairwell areas, we believe that all unlatched doors should carry that same level of protection,” said Lee Coates, Wrightstyle’s technical director.
It was Wrightstyle’s ability to demonstrate independent testing against both fire and smoke that was an important factor in the Malta contact award, underlining the highly-specialist nature and international context of the steel glazing market.
That internationalism was reflected two years ago when Wrightstyle was appointed to provide structural glazing for HSBC’s commercially strategic HK$900 million (£62 million) financial data centre in Hong Kong, helping to secure the building against terrorist, fire and weather-related threats.
For the Malta contract, the Wrightstyle concept in door fire safety also significantly pushed the design envelope because it provided a technological solution for what has always been an interior design problem. Traditionally, interior fire doors in their closed position had to be manually opened with a lever handle and latch - a less than optimal solution in a busy working environment.
The Wrightstyle system entirely does away with the need for latches because in normal use the doors allow free passage, either swinging back automatically into the closed position or fitted with an automated swing door operator to aid disabled access.
“The rising volume of international business that we are involved with clearly demonstrates how the glass and steel glazing sector has become increasingly specialised, with products and systems capable of meeting evermore stringent fire and building regulations,” said Lee Coates.