PwC Power Room Vent Solution

Background

Following two burst water mains incidents that swamped the underground car park and basement area at their London offices, PwC decided it was time to take action to prevent this from happening again.

The basement area flooded to a depth of approximately 800mm, submerging rooms and flowing through the power room ventilation shaft to knock out power and telecoms/IT to the whole building.

Aquobex was engaged to ensure these critical areas were protected from future events. As PwC is a tenant in the building, the landlord also had a large input into the proposed final decision.

Solution

Because the power and telecoms rooms require good ventilation to keep the equipment running at optimum levels a simple flood barrier could not be clipped over the ventilation grill as the equipment would soon have overheated.

Aquobex engaged with its existing partner at FloodBreak and explored the use of the VSL Louvered Vent System they were deploying for horizontal vent protection in New York. The vertical version proved to be ideal for this application in London.

The system comprises a number of horizonal buoyant panels that float up and close off sections at a time as the flood waters raise.

This approach allows the air to keep flowing above the flood line meaning the equipment rooms will keep running until they can be safely shut down if the water reaches to eth top of the flood defence barrier

Result

Similar versions of the VSL that fit horizontally under air intakes for subways and the metro are being installed in New York but, and now this VSL has been installed at PwC, it is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

David Chambers, PwC, is very excited to be at the leading edge of flood protection solutions and feels confident that his operations are now secure from future flooding at their London headquarters,

Passive flood protection solutions are the most effective when dealing with flash flooding, however Aquobex can also work within given parameters to find the optimal solution to match the flood type with warning times, building structures and people issues. All of these are an important part of the solution provided.