GN Focus | BIG 5

Fire-testing lab on show

TBWIC is one of the exhibitors at The Big 5

  • GN Focus Report
  • Published: 08:53 November 5, 2012
  • GN Focus

big5  tom bell_wright
  • Image Credit: Supplied Picture
  • Tom Bell-Wright, founder, CEO and Chief Technical Officer of Dubai-based engineering firm Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants (TBWIC) says, "Fire-testing is vital because your office or flat needs to be protected from any kind of carelessness or activity that some other tenant may engage in."
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Fire separation systems are vital in all buildings to protect inhabitants from potential harm. Typical systems include fire doors, wall construction, dampers, garbage chutes and also glass partitions — all of which need to be fire-rated, says Tom Bell-Wright, founder, CEO and Chief Technical Officer of Dubai-based engineering firm Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants (TBWIC).

"It is vital," he says, "because your office or flat needs to be protected from any kind of carelessness or activity that some other tenant may engage in.

"Different fire ratings apply to different areas in the building, but there has to be fire separation protecting electrical rooms, stairwells, lift shafts, and especially the walls between tenants.

"These days people like to have glass interior partitions in offices, and where these occur on the path to an exit, they have to be fire-rated to contain the fire and heat and allow people to evacuate safely," he says.

TBWIC also tests materials and finishes used in construction, such as insulation, ceiling tiles, upholstery, floor coverings, paint and wallpaper, none of which should contribute to the spread of fire nor generate excessive smoke.

"We are in fact the only fire-testing laboratory in the entire region, and I am personally very proud of our contribution to the safety of our society and also because local testing stimulates local manufacturing and thus the local economy," says Bell-Wright.

There a number of testing and calibration laboratories here.

Independent laboratories are regulated by the Dubai Central Laboratory and are required to meet an international quality management system.  TBWIC carries out tests for building construction including facades on high-rise buildings.

What are you looking for?

This year's The Big 5 show features 2,500 exhibitors. Here are a few you might want to visit:

Mapei  marks 75 years
Mapei, manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and chemical products for buildings, is exhibiting at The Big 5 for the eighth consecutive year — and this year it will be celebrating its 75th anniversary. It is also the fifth year since the Milan-founded company opened its UAE office and subsidiary, known as Innovative Building Solutions (IBS-Mapei). Mapei will offer two seminars: Low VOC building adhesive materials for Leed compliance and safer working environment on November 6, and Understanding ISO 13007 and how it can help avoid tiling and stone installation issues on November 7.

Eco-advice from TerraVerde
UAE landscape company TerraVerde, known for combining natural elements with contemporary style and design, is the sole distributor in the GCC of DuraLife, a zero-maintenance eco-friendly composite wood decking with a lifetime warranty. Ideal for the extreme conditions of the region, DuraLife is made from recovered hardwood fibre and recycled polypropylene. TerraVerde, for the third time, received the Landscaping Company of the Year award at Facilities Management Awards 2012.

Libart raises the roof
Libart, a Turkish company, will be focusing on its retractable roof systems at The Big 5. Libart retractable structures boast that in minutes an outdoor pool can be converted into an indoor recreational facility. A Libart retractable roofing system combines the security of a fixed skylight with the convenience of an outdoor feel when opened. There are operational cost savings too, as air-conditioning costs are reduced.

Yes for automated products
Zennio offers products for the automation of homes, buildings and hotels. The manufacturer of KNX products will provide an interactive platform where visitors witness a practical demonstration of the advantages of its advanced solutions. Three products take centre stage: The energy economiser KES (KNX Energy Saver) promotes the reduction in electricity consumption by monitoring consumption in monetary units, KWh and quantity of environmental emissions. The Z41 touch screen with capacitive technology, a 4.1” colour display and IP capability can be controlled remotely via mobile devices. The novel capacitive switch TouchMyDesign allows clients to incorporate their own designs.

Steeling the show
Emirates Steel, owned by the General Holding Company, is the only integrated steel plant in the UAE, utilising the latest rolling mill technology to produce reinforcing bar, wire rod and heavy sections. The company is currently implementing a comprehensive business development plan, and once complete, will be one of the largest and most competitive steel producers in the GCC.

Finger trap protection needed? See Hörmann
Door manufacturer Hörmann Middle East (pictured above)will showcase a host of new custom-made solutions for logistics companies and food and dairy companies, plus there's a strong focus on the residential market. For the latter, features such as a door operator that is virtually maintenance-free, and wicket doors with trip-free thresholds to decrease the potential for a person to trip on the way through are available. Innovative safety features visitors can see at the stand include finger trap protection, photocells that immediately detect people and objects and BiSecur handheld transmitters with FM signals to open automatic doors and gates.

GN Focus