Following the tragic death of 15 people in the Palace Backpackers fire in the Central Queensland town of Childers in 2000, there were calls for tighter fire safety regulations.
Central Queensland University Rockhampton recently upgraded facilities at its Capricornia Residential College to increase safety, enhance student well being and ensure compliance with legislative requirements, building codes and duty of care.
CQU's Division of Facilities Management made alterations to Capricornia College as part of a $6.4 million project to upgrade facilities at Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Mackay campuses.
The CQU division worked alongside Andrews and Girle Architects, Project Services and John Foster Projects to schedule refurbishments during the College's low season to avoid major disruption to students.
ASSDA Accredited Fabricator, Adnought Sheetmetal was contracted by John Foster Projects to fabricate 20 sets of stairs in grade 316 stainless steel mirror polish finish. Previous carbon steel handrails were replaced with stainless steel.
Adnought Sheetmetal also installed 30 radiation shields from 316 stainless steel perforated sheet supplied by ASSDA member Locker Group to minimise the risk of fire spreading to the stairwells.
According to Architect Russell Girle, the specification of stainless steel for the stairwells and radiation shields was essential to ensuring the safety of residents in the potential event of a fire.
“The upgrade uses a fire engineered model that is designed to keep the building tenable for a certain length of time to get people out”.
To enhance safety further hydrant mains were boosted and tactile surfaces and disabled access were upgraded.
CQU is committed to the safety of students, staff and members of the public on its campuses and the essential services upgrades ensure a high level of protection in the event of an emergency.
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 35, Autumn 2006.