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Multi-level living space given beautiful open plan overhaul

Project manager: Cato Creative

Property type: 3 storey residential

Property location: London

Open Plan rooms: Kitchen, dining, living space

Size of open plan space: 250 to 500 sq ft

The brief

The original design of this London home made for a disjointed split level ground floor, obstructing the flow of light from the front to the rear of the house, leading to a dark, anti-social ground floor level with segregated spaces. The family living here wanted the space to feel far more bright and inclusive. Cato Creative worked with them to produce a beautiful open room with clearly defined living spaces that were light, bright and a joy to spend time in together as a family.

The limitations

The fire escape route to a fire exit (either the front or back door) needs to be guaranteed to remain clear in the event of a fire for at least 30 minutes. With this ground floor level being entirely open plan, if a fire starts in the space, it needs to be suppressed so as not to obstruct the fire exit. The only way to suppress the fire is by closing up the open plan space using fire doors or adding a water sprinkler/suppression system. With fire doors not being an option, a water sprinkler system was looked into but the install is intrusive and would potentially require a water tank the size of a small room, not to mention that when active, water sprinkler systems cause a lot of water damage due to the amount of water used.

The solution

Automist has been tested and certified to suppress fire effectively in an open space using a retrofittable pump which can fit inside a cupboard. The technology ejects the water in a mist using typically 90% less water than a traditional sprinkler system, saving on both water bills and water damage to furnishings. When Cato Creative were put in touch with Blue Light and learned how Automist works, they saw this as the ideal solution.

Potential benefits of using

James Dyson said of the device, after it won the James Dyson Award in 2009: "This simple but clever device should become a permanent safety feature in the home. Smoke alarms are an essential part of modern life but have remained fundamentally unchanged for forty years. Automist not only detects a fire but can put it out as well.
James Dyson