Life Safety Upgrades for a Classic Colorado Hotel

The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs is one of the state's historic jewels and an enduring classic among luxury accommodations. Opened in 1918, the Broadmoor has provided respite to presidents, statesmen, celebrities and sports figures. Last year, the hotel underwent a $75 million renovation, including major upgrades to the life-safety systems.

05/01/2003


The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs is one of the state's historic jewels and an enduring classic among luxury accommodations. Opened in 1918, the Broadmoor has provided respite to presidents, statesmen, celebrities and sports figures.

Last year, the hotel underwent a $75 million renovation, including major upgrades to the life-safety systems. Three new elevators, two emergency exit stairwells and a complete fire-protection system were installed in less than six months. By selecting building materials that allowed for quick installation, especially the CPVC sprinkler system, Broadmoor director of facilities management Terry McHale and crew were able to cut the original 18-month installation estimate by two-thirds.

"We selected [CVPC] over metal because it offered a much quicker installation," McHale says. "We couldn't have completed the project on time had we used metal."

According to Western States Fire Protection, Colorado Springs, the system's installer, the lightweight nature of the equipment made it easy to transport. Since it required only simple hand tools to assemble, fabrication and alterations were done on site, accelerating the pace of the installation.

"The renovation was completed floor by floor with all of the tradesmen working simultaneously," McHale says. "Western States Fire Protection was able to install the system so quickly that they often had to wait for the other trades to catch up before moving on to the next floor."

In total, the company installed sprinklers in more than 150 guest rooms. While these rooms were completely gutted during the renovation, the historical, elegant areas of the lobby and mezzanine level had to be left intact for purposes of preservation—but they still needed sprinklers.

The system proved once again to be the right choice, as it employed a solvent-cement joining system as opposed to the need to meld the system with torches, thus lessening the risk of damage to the irreplaceable decor. McHale explains that these high maintenance areas were initially perceived as challenges due to their delicate nature. However, the system's flexibility allowed the installers to go under the existing ceiling voids with the mechanical equipment and ductwork without disturbing these areas' aesthetic elements. Western States was able to integrate the sprinkler heads into the interior architectural detail in such a way that they blended in and caused no water damage.

"We were dealing with very small spaces," says Rick Charles, area manager for Western States. "The fact that the system employs a solvent-cement joining system rather than using torches or heavy equipment made the installation much faster and safer."





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