Birmingham Library archives protected

By Fire-Free Technology

 WAGNER UK’s OxyReduct® fire-free technology will be at the heart of the fire protection solution for the new Library of Birmingham. Opening in 2013, the £189m project is one of the most significant developments and cultural projects to have been undertaken in the UK in the past decade. The Library of Birmingham will be a striking architectural landmark that transforms not only Centenary Square, but the city of Birmingham. OxyReduct® will be protecting the library’s internationally renowned archives, in 5 separate areas ranging in size from 200 m2 to 8,000 m2 as well as equipment in the plant room on the 8th floor.

OxyReduct® creates an environment where fires cannot start, by continuously reducing the oxygen level in a closed room through adding nitrogen to the air. The oxygen is reduced to a level in which most combustibles do not inflame and an open fire is impossible. Importantly, people can enter and work in the protected area at any time. Unlike traditional fire protection technologies, OxyReduct® ensures that the valuable archives will not be damaged by smoke or water/gas from extinguishing systems.

“We chose OxyReduct® for the Library of Birmingham because it gives us complete fire protection for the Library’s unique collection of archives, photographs and rare books. The system also allows regular staff access to storage areas, a vital part of running Europe’s busiest public library”, explains David Bishop, Development Manager, Archives & Heritage. “OxyReduct® also does not compromise the storage space, or significantly reduce overall storage capacity, which is important for the long-term development of our collections.”

WAGNER UK’s oxygen reduction technology is fully compatible with the controlled environments required for the archives and the equipment footprint is much less than comparable sprinkler and gaseous extinguishing systems.

Over 550 major organisations throughout Europe, including the British Library, Jaguar Land Rover and British Airways, have already installed OxyReduct® systems in a wide range of applications including IT data centres, communication suites, archives, museums, cold/freezer storage and warehousing. OxyReduct® has proved itself to be cost effective compared to traditional protection systems for high-value storage and mission critical applications.

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