Henley Business School, Henley on Thames
University of Reading
RPS advised on Planning and Heritage / Conservation aspects of a programme of critical fire-safety upgrades at Henley Business School.
The college buildings are centred on a Grade II* Listed mansion ‘Greenlands’, formerly the home of W.H. Smith. The College grounds are owned by the National Trust.
RPS worked closely with the University and the project team to deliver a strategy involving fire compartmentalisation and new detection, alarm and emergency lighting equipment and replacement external fire escapes.
As it was demonstrated that the building could be evacuated in only seven minutes, a structured qualitative design review (QDR) process was adopted, following BS 7974:2001. This allows a pragmatic and flexible design approach to fire safety, based on risk assessment rather than on a reliance on the certification of individual components.
Coupled with rigorous assessments of the heritage significance of all spaces affected, this approach has enabled the Listed building to be upgraded with great sensitivity, whilst conserving the maximum amount of historic fabric.