At Commercecon, we design and build modern production halls and warehouses. As a general contractor, we complete turnkey projects in the ‘Design and Build’ formula. We put great emphasis on the functionality and safety of the offered buildings.
Ensuring the safety of warehouses is a priority for us and, thanks to our extensive experience, we are well aware of how varied the design factors can be. We focus on delivering the best-in-class durability, reliability and strength standards for structures in compliance with the Polish and EU standards (Eurocodes).
Technical aspects of warehouse safety
To ensure the highest safety level we consider a number of factors in the design of halls. This is primarily affected by the decisions made at an early stage of the design process, as well as those taken at the end of construction and the handover of the project. You can always rely on our technical support and advice.
In technical terms, the safety of halls primarily depends on assuming safety factors of the materials used, to account for the forces they are exposed to and the required strength. Adopting a suitable structural system that takes into account the ground conditions and the performance characteristics of the building significantly affects the safety of a steel hall. Proper design is also an important factor.
We focus on the safety of the warehouse from the very beginning of a project, We focus on the safety of the warehouse from the very beginning of a project, starting with choosing the right protection systems for load-bearing columns, supports and a number of other structural elements. High-contrast guards and barriers ensure protection against impact.
Fire safety of a production hall
Analysing the ways of ensuring safety for the types of structures discussed, the corrosion protection and, another vital issue, the fire safety of a production hall or warehouse, must not be omitted. Engineering structures must be designed in such a way that in case of a fire:
- The load-bearing capacity of the structure is ensured for the required time (fire resistance).
- Smoke and fire formation and propagation is reduced as much as possible.
- Fire propagation to neighbouring structures is minimised.
- All people inside the hall are able to exit safely.
- Safety for rescue teams is ensured.
The ultimate fire safety level of a production hall depends largely on the fire resistance. This should be understood as the time for which a structure subjected to fire can safely withstand the resulting loads. Depending on the intended building purpose, the applicable standards and regulations strictly define the fire resistance time. These parameters vary depending on a number of factors. Note that the fire resistance time will differ slightly for the main structure, the roof and the walls of a production hall or warehouse.
The fire safety of production halls depends to a large extent on the combination of the technical solutions adopted to ensure fire protection. Fire-retardant coatings are the most commonly used for protecting industrial buildings. The coating is sprayed directly onto the steel structure. This type of product typically includes:
- mineral fibres,
Fire-retardant coatings are distinguished by very low thermal conductivity and high stability at extreme temperatures, which may even exceed 1000°C during a fire. This type of protection achieves a fire resistance of 4 h. One great advantage of this method is the short time to achieve the protection and tightness. Before the fire-retardant compound is applied, the structure must be secured with a corrosion protection coating.
Another key aspect for the safety or warehouses and similar industrial facilities is the use of special fire-resistant lining. It can protect a structure for approx. 4 h during a fire. While applying a fire-resistant lining is more time-consuming than spraying a fire-retardant coating, the final result is much more advantageous for the Investor and facility user. Treating steel structures with intumescent coatings is also a highly effective, convenient and economical option for the Investor. The thickness of the protective coating can be easily selected from the manufacturer catalogues according to the required fire resistance time. Intumescent coatings protect structures for one hour during a fire. To provide the highest fire safety standard of a production hall, multiple methods and tools should be used in combination, as long as there is no technical conflict between them.
A modern steel hall meeting all the fire protection specifications should also be equipped with alarm and detection devices (e.g. smoke detectors). Consideration should be given at the design phase to the cost of a smoke extraction system and devices to prevent the spread of fire and its propagation to neighbouring elements, structures, goods or machinery. This is best done using fire sprinklers. The design of a steel hall must also account for escape routes for users and rescue teams.
Corrosion protection for industrial hall safety
Corrosion can significantly compromise the durability and reliability of the structures. As a result, the safety of steel halls relies greatly on applying suitable corrosion protection.
The solution of choice is to treat the structure at the fabrication stage with a specialist coating system. Such systems typically comprise multiple layers, each having a different function. The primer coat ensures proper adhesion to the structure, the interlayer increases the thickness of the barrier layer, and the topcoat ensures direct protection from physical (precipitation or UV radiation) and chemical factors. This layer also enhances the component appearance. Proper surface preparation of a steel component is extremely important as well.
When designing steel halls, we place great emphasis on the safety of the halls as well as on the durability, reliability and appearance. Steel structures built by Commercecon comply with all fire safety requirements. In the construction of the facilities we build, we focus particularly on fitting them with suitable fire safety systems.
Ensuring warehouse safety requires a multi-faceted approach which is why we consider a number of factors at the design phase, such as the safety of neighbouring structures and the characteristics of the site.
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