The Beeches, Brentwood


Signature Senior Lifestyle & Higgins


DWA Architects



A 5 storey residential care home with 74 assisted living suites, dining room, lounges and activity rooms and 25 en-suite bedrooms with associated communal facilities for people living with dementia.

Some of the lounges are open to the corridor. Also, minimal disruption was needed for residents in the dementia area, in the event of a fire.

Innovation Fire Engineering used CFD modelling to look at the movement of smoke within the corridor and assess if the mechanical / natural smoke extract system would clear the corridor within a reasonable time for the evacuation phase. Further CFD modelling was used to refine the amount of smoke extraction required to achieve an adequate level of safety without over specification.

Although some lounges are open to the corridor, the provision of a mechanical smoke extract system with sufficient inlet air enables the visibility and temperature within the corridor to remain tenable during the escape phase and for Fire Service attendance.

We enabled the open plan design to be achieved and a stay-put policy to be developed using careful specification of the fire resistance, the placement of automatic fire detectors and sounders and defining a robust staff-led evacuation procedure.