The team at Active Building Control are delighted to congratulate the Royal Northern College of Music, architects BDP and the main contractor, Styles & Wood, on the completion of the redevelopment of the Concert Hall. The 10 month project included the construction of two new seating balconies, replacement stage, new performers’ changing rooms, a students’ learning space and the associated upgrading of fire safety measures. This all happened as the College remained in use making the logistics very challenging.
The increase in audience numbers at first floor level led us to re-assess the capacity of all escape routes, using BS9999:2008 ‘Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings’. We worked with BDP Architects to make the best use of existing escape route capacity and so minimise the additional costs and disruption associated with ‘back of house’ works. The feedback that Active Building Contorl have had back from the management team at RNCM has been extremely positive. The audiences have been impressed by the acoustics, performers by their much improved facilities, and students by the peaceful work and relaxation area. Looking ahead Active Building Control has now been appointed to carry out a fire risk assessment of the College’s estate, again using the approach in BS9999. This has included giving a presentation to their premises management team on the implications of adopting this standard, and training them in the assessment of an escape route design.