Friars Walk, Newport - Voice Alarm - Vaughan Sound

Vaughan Sound has completed the design, installation and commissioning of a comprehensive voice alarm system for South Wales’ newest retail destination – the £90 million Friars Walk in Newport.

Developed by Queensberry Real Estate in partnership with Newport City Council, the retail and leisure space covers almost 400,000 sq. ft. of the city centre.

It is anchored by a 90,000 sq. ft. Debenham’s store, and also includes an eight-screen Cineworld alongside a wide range of shops and restaurants.

Appointed by local M&E contractor Whitehead Building Services, Vaughan Sound was tasked with providing a system which complies with BS 5839-8:2013 – the code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of voice alarm systems.

Vaughan Sound worked closely with the design team to meet the stringent architectural requirements, whilst ensuring full compliance.

We also successfully dealt with the challenge of integrating a solution which would overcome the difficult acoustic environment and high reverberation levels, caused by reflections from the many hard surfaces, including glass walls and solid columns.

In house computer modelling and physical site verification ensured that the necessary dB and intelligibility (STI) levels were met.

Vaughan Sound also maintained compliance with the Fire Strategy Report, BS 5839-8:2013, plus BS EN 54-16:2008 (fire detection and fire alarm systems – voice alarm control and indicating equipment) and BS EN 54-24:2008 (components of voice alarm systems, loudspeakers).

Comprising over 300 loudspeakers (including horn, projection, ceiling mounted and wall mounted models), the voice alarm system provides full coverage to eight individual broadcast areas, and allows zoned evacuation in the event of an emergency.

A BVRD8 desk mounted voice alarm microphone console was fitted in the Management Suite Office, allowing routine paging broadcasts to any or all zones on the network. The unit can also assume a ‘Fire Control Mode’, meaning live broadcasts will override any commands from the Fire Alarm Panel.

A number of messages are stored digitally for easy selection and playback.

Upon completion, Vaughan Sound commissioned the system and provided all certification to the client during the handover process to fully underwrite the design and installation.

We were also responsible for the supply of the disabled refuge system at Friars Walk. This system includes six master panels and 15 surface mounted refuge points. Each of the master panels can communicate with any refuge point installed throughout the shopping complex.