Hall and Kay Fire Engineering

Solihull Community Housing

H&K successfully completed the largest residential retrofit project of its kind, installing sprinklers across 37 residential tower blocks and more than 1,900 apartments – which remained occupied while the work took place.

Client: Solihull Council via Dodd Group

Hall & Kay are proud to retrofit sprinkler installations within 37 residential tower blocks.


BSEN BS9251:2021 cat 4 regulations

Installation requirements

  • Sprinkler heads: 15,000+
  • Fire pumps: 46
  • Tank: 46
  • Valve sets: 8 wet control valves (duplicates) so 16 in total


2 years

Year of completion


Solihull Community Housing run a large portfolio of housing on behalf of Solihull Council, and decided that the single most effective method of improving fire safety in high rise buildings was to install sprinklers. But since SCH manages dozens of tower blocks which house nearly 2,000 apartments, and within each apartment several rooms needed sprinklers, this was a gigantic project and not one to be taken on lightly.

H&K were selected to design, supply, install and commission the sprinkler systems throughout the estate, which meant protecting 37 residential blocks, including 423 floors and more than 1,900 apartments.

The systems are designed to comply with BS 9251:2021 and provide full protection. Since some of the buildings have standalone water supplies while other blocks positioned close together have communal water supplies, we installed category 4 systems with duplicate water supplies, all backed up by standby generators. This means that even if the buildings’ power supply fails, the sprinkler pumps will still operate.

Within each tower block, fully automatic addressable system monitoring was installed, which automatically self-tests the sprinkler zones. The addressable system ensures that if a sprinkler goes off the exact device can be identified.

The project took a full two- years to complete, working on site to install more than 15,000 sprinkler heads. This was the largest residential retrofit of its kind, but what made it even more complex was the fact that we were working in occupied homes and operational premises.

This gave us some tough logistical challenges, as we had to liaise with each tenant and coordinate closely with other service providers. We were working to a tight, robust programme to ensure the shortest impact on the occupants of each apartment.
“It’s been a really interesting and demanding project, in fact sometimes eye opening,” said our site manager, Howard Jenkins. “Overall, it was very challenging to work across a portfolio of this size and keep over 2,000 individual tenants up to date and happy. A really interesting challenge but a successful outcome for all.”

“Hall & Kay did a great job. It’s a tough job retrofitting in people’s homes, their teams on site were fantastic and they integrated well into what was a challenging sequence of working. The project management team, Howard, and Ian were absolutely key to the success of this project.”

George Dawson

Dodd Group

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To speak to one of our team, call us on 0121 4321 3311 or email enquiries@hkfire.co.uk