SE Controls’ smoke and natural ventilation solutions for Pretoria’s new Agrivaal building

The new energy efficient Agrivaal building in Pretoria’s Tshwane Central Business District is using advanced natural ventilation and smoke control solutions from SE Controls to maintain a comfortable indoor environment while improving safety by ensuring escape routes are smoke free in the event of a fire.

Designed by PKA Architects for the National Department of Public Works (DPW), the new 10-storey office block integrates with the original 75 year old Agrivaal building, a site of national heritage importance, with the final structure providing 21,650 m² of rentable space, as well as a restaurant, coffee shops and 545 underground car parking spaces.

The new building incorporates a range of energy saving technologies as part of its design and construction, including recycled materials, water harvesting, energy efficient lighting and the use of natural ventilation, which enabled it to achieve a prestigious 4 Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

SE Controls Africa, based in Durban, worked closely with the project’s fire and engineering consultants WSP Consulting Engineers from the initial concept stage, as well as ventilation contractors, Robertson Ventilation Industries, to develop the combined high level smoke and natural ventilation solution for the building.

The system incorporates an NVLogiQ carbon dioxide sensor and environmental monitor for natural ventilation, as well as a SHEVTEC smoke control panel and 10 SECO N 24 40 chain actuators, which automatically open and close the centre pivot windows in the atrium to vent stale air or smoke from the building.

In normal operation, NVLogiQ sensor monitors the temperature, carbon dioxide levels and relative humidity and signals the actuators to incrementally open or close the windows, if the parameters go beyond preset points. In the event of a fire, the SHEVTEC control panel takes a signal  from the building’s fire and smoke alarm system, which overrides the natural ventilation system and triggers the actuators to fully open the window to vent smoke from the building.

Further information on SE Controls’ products, solutions and projects can be obtained by visiting www.secontrols.com or calling 01543 443060.