Project Case Study: Bahrain Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Staying true to the design intent of a building is a fundamental value we bring to each project. This core pillar was evident during our latest project in Bahrain, the new aquarium and underwater zoo by Abu Dhabi-based developer, Eagle Hills, and Emaar Entertainment. A project of national significance for Bahrain, the 26,900 square-foot attraction is the first-of-its-kind in the kingdom, and the 360,000 litres of water will become home to over 200 species of fish.

Collaborating with the architects from the beginning of the concept phase right through to the detailed design stage, our team of fire engineers reviewed the architectural concept design and provided performance-based design guidance in accordance with the relevant fire and life safety codes and standards. This collaborative approach allowed us to map out and rectify any areas of concern before applying for and obtaining the relevant local approvals.

For entertainment projects, in particular, the travel distance to fire exits is a key area within which the design that must meet all fire and life safety codes and standards. To ensure each detail is compliant, our fire engineers used state of the art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling technology to simulate a fire scenario, demonstrating the tenability of the design. As per Code 150 of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the fish housed in the aquarium were also taken into consideration as, in the event of a fire, they cannot easily be moved and therefore breathing zones were provided by compartmentation and smoke exhaust, demonstrated within the CFD analysis.

All fire and life safety drawings were then developed in accordance with the requirements of Bahrain’s codes and standards. Throughout this performance-based design process, our fire engineers were on hand and available to ensure the designs received the necessary approvals in order to move into the construction phase.

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