When The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham redeveloped its concert arena in conjunction with electronics giant LG to become the LG Arena, ADT Fire and Security upgraded the existing fire alarm and extinguishing systems, as well as its intruder alarm system. This ensured that the venue was protected with the help of a reliable integrated system providing comprehensive fire and intruder protection.
The NEC, which opened in 1976, attracts more than three million visitors a year and was originally designed by architect Edward Mills. The aim of the US$44.6-million redevelopment project was to increase the capacity of the Arena to 15,700 and to enhance the customer experience by improving existing facilities and installing additional toilets, bars and restaurants. At the same time as increasing capacity of the venue, the existing ADT fire detection and security systems were upgraded.
The venue was originally served by ADT's Minerva system installed in 1989. This project involved the upgrade of the old Minerva addressable fire alarm equipment to the latest digital MX technology, incorporating multisensor technology which copes well with changes in environment during live performances.
"The upgrade has enabled the LG Arena, formerly NEC, to move to a digital addressable system, providing more advanced technology. Digital systems offer a superior robustness and reliability and can support a higher number of devices on one loop, giving increased flexibility, whilst allowing for the system to be readily extended if required in the future," said Roger Harrison, Fire Sales Consultant from ADT.
The detection panels control hundreds of devices and interfaces into a public address voice alarm system. The intelligent programming allows for thousands of event action groups, which determine alert and evacuation procedures depending on the location and type of any incident.
The ADT products were installed in the LG Arena entrance originally the forum building and the LG Arena (formerly The NEC Arena). The ADT team had to work to a tight deadline to install the system, whilst working around a major event being held at the same time.
"ADT was tasked with delivering the upgrade of the fire detection and security systems in time for the Horse of the Year Show in October 2009," said Andy Henderson, M&E Manager at The NEC Group. "This proved particularly challenging given the size of the upgrade and the fact that The NEC hosted the 100th Rotary International Convention, with key speeches in the Arena during the middle of the installation program. We were however delighted that the ADT team worked around this event and successfully delivered the completed project on time."