Case Study

Pioneering Fire-Rated Air Pressure Stabiliser


Fire-Rated Air Pressure Stabiliser Developed for The Grange University Hospital


Apreco engineered a pioneering smoke/fire-rated Air Pressure Stabiliser for Operating Theatres at The Grange University Hospital. The healthcare project required a stabiliser that met the smoke/fire protection requirements of the operating theatre.


Air pressure control specialists with over 20 years working in the Healthcare sector, we often come across engineering challenges and work to meet the individual needs of each project. Working closely with the project team for the £350m NHS super hospital in Gwent, the issue of fire and smoke control arose.

We found that existing products on the market offering smoke/fire protection did not meet the relevant test standards. These units would not comply with the latest certified test standards and wouldn’t be deemed fit for purpose by the local Fire Officers. 

Existing products on the market also tend to be bulky and cumbersome, often installed by methods that do not lend themselves well to sterile areas. Space is a premium in hospitals, with all the services running throughout, so we wanted to develop a slimline solution that would save space and reduce theatre downtime. 


Apreco met with Laing O’Rourke on-site to discuss the project requirements. Our focus was to develop a fire/smoke rated product that simplified installation and maximised space, whilst maintaining the sterility between pressure-controlled areas.

Our designers later met with a team from Warrington Fire to guide us through the best-suited test protocols for the project. We used the latest fire integrity and smoke leak standards to evaluate the performance as if in real-world scenarios.

Fire test of APSX-FSS fire rated air pressure stabiliser

We also built a test room wall at our West Midlands factory to carry out trial installations. This helped us to iron out any potential issues before launch.


Our designers worked closely with BPD Design Architects to provide the NHS with the best possible solution for this hospital and future builds. We understand that installation must be efficient while maintaining the integrity of the room. Our APSX-FSS Air Pressure Stabiliser is quicker to install than most. It will not require supporting drop-rods in the wall, as is standard practice when installing other smoke/fire type dampers.

Installation of APSX Air Pressure Stabiliser

The well-being and safety of patients and staff in an Operating Theatre suite are of paramount importance. Our new design ensures this continues to be the case. The APSX-FSS is now accepted by Fire Officers, Architects and Installers as the number one choice on the market.


The APSX-FSS Smoke Fire-Rated Air Pressure Stabiliser provides fire safety compliance while ensuring that the sterility between pressure-controlled areas while providing a compact solution to our clients.

Air Pressure Stabiliser for Operating Theatres
The APSX-FSS is a pioneering product that provides a fire/smoke rated certification

Operating theatre suites typical include stud walls, often referred to as Flexi-walls, as they are non-blockwork construction. These walls typically need to have fire integrity of between 30 & 60 minutes. 

The time spent installing these units must be efficient while maintaining the integrity of the room wall. The installation method of our APSX-FSS is quicker than most, as it does not require the need for drop-rods. The reduction in labour time gives a saving to the client while maintaining the walls fire integrity.

The primary function of Air Pressure Stabilisers is in the application of differential air pressure in areas that require infection control.  This system protects patients and staff from airborne contamination. The stabilisers used for this project has a pressure control range of 3 – 50 Pa with a setting of +/- Pa over the operating range. Coupled with the crucial benefit of smoke/fire protection makes this product a first to market leader.

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