• Capabilities: Strategic Environmental Consulting
  • Sectors: Government & Municipalities

Solihull ExtraCare Retirement Village

United Kingdom, West Midlands - Solihull Retirement Village is a new state-of-the-art development providing homes and a host of vibrant facilities for the over 55s. Due to open in 2021, it is being designed to ensure residents can stay active and take part in the community right on their doorstep. With resident wellbeing and safety at the top of the agenda, Arcadis is working with The ExtraCare Charitable Trust (www.extracare.org.uk) and in partnership with Solihull Council and Homes England to provide independent fire safety consultancy advice for the project.

260

safe and secure homes

Exceeds

regulatory standards
Solihull ExtraCare Retirement Village

Solihull Village will have 260 homes, with 104 for outright sale, 104 for shared ownership and 52 for rent from the local council. It will have 170 car parking spaces. All homes will be designed to be fully accessible for people with reduced mobility, including wheelchair users. Each home will have its own front door, leading to a bright hallway, kitchen, living room, bathroom and one or two bedrooms.  

ExtraCare – a registered charity - is investing heavily in the safety and well being of its residents. Fire enhancements and ensuring that building materials do not compromise fire safety is of paramount importance. As a result, the apartments at Solihull Village are being built to the highest fire safety standards, which go above and beyond current statutory and regulatory requirements, thereby ensuring security and peace of mind for residents.

The following fire safety enhancements are not exhaustive. However, these serve to illustrate that with the independent fire safety assurance and support from the team at Arcadis, combined with the drive and efforts made by ExtraCare, its partners and architects, residents can feel safe and secure in their new homes.


  • The whole building will be provided with a fire  detection and alarm system that will comply with the highest regulatory standards.
  • A residential life safety sprinkler system designed, installed and maintained to regulatory standards will be provided throughout the building, including the under-croft car park.
  • The fire detection and sprinkler systems will all be certified at every stage of design, installation and commission to ensure that technical specifications are applied in a seamless manner.
  • The kitchens in ExtraCare apartments are modern and include carefully chosen, high-quality electrical units with low susceptibility to electrical faults.
  • The width of and distance to fire escape and evacuation routes have all been designed to ensure an adequate means of escape. 
  • Fire door ratings in strategic locations exceed regulatory limits. 
  • A major area of focus has been how susceptible the external walling system is to the spread of fire. Following guidance issued by the government’s Building Safety Programme and the National Fire Chiefs Council, the choice of construction materials has been guided by an enhanced layer of scrutiny.
  • As guidance is continually evolving, it has been imperative to ensure that construction materials will be robust enough to comply with retrospective requirements and regulations to avoid potential future remediation's. As such, the proposed external facade comprises a brick slip cladding system, which is in compliance with the materials of limited combustibility classification.
  • Current building regulations require that the spread of flames over or within an external wall should be controlled to avoid creating a route for the more rapid spread of fire that bypasses compartment floors or walls. This is seen as a crucial consideration in the design of the external wall and is of fundamental importance where a ‘stay put’ policy is in place.  Hence using carefully selected vertical and horizontal cavity barrier products to sub-divide and compartmentalise concealed cavities means that the rapid spread of fire from one home to another can be prevented.
  • During the specification and receipt of any new construction materials, a Declaration of Performance will be verified, ensuring it has been tested and approved in line with the Construction Products Regulation.
  • For additional safety and security, apartments are protected by a number of features, including the Village’s closed-circuit security cameras, and an emergency call system connecting residents to staff 24-hours a day in the case of an emergency.
  • Evidence will be submitted at each RIBA stage to the approving authorities and building control body, ensuring a process of quality control is ingrained throughout

Solihull ExtraCare Retirement Village



Outcomes

260

safe and secure homes

Exceeds

regulatory standards

Questions about this project

Kevin O'Neill

Senior Fire Safety Engineer Ask me a question