Cutting-edge gas suppression system for textile museum

Updated: May 19, 2019, 08:47 IST | Arita Sarkar

Kalachowkie's museum will have a state-of-the-art fire-fighting mechanism to protect its artefacts

Cutting-edge gas suppression system for textile museum
A picture of the museum building. Pic/Ashish Raje

Apart from a swanky multimedia fountain which will show holographic visuals, the BMC's elaborate plans for the textile museum at Kalachowkie now includes a state-of-the-art fire-fighting system. Instead of the usual fire-fighting equipment, which involves sprinklers, the JJ College of Architecture, which is responsible for the design of the museum, has suggested a gaseous fire suppression system to ensure that the artefacts are not damaged in case of a fire.

The textile museum at Kalachowkie is the BMC's tribute to the city's once thriving mill culture. As part of the `300cr project, the mill structures will be restored and converted into a museum that will showcase various artefacts related to the life of mill workers and the history of the textile industry in Mumbai Rajiv Mishra, principal of JJ and member of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee, pointed out that the museum will get a unique fire-fighting system. He said that since the gaseous suppression system, otherwise referred to as the total flooding system, is a more expensive alternative, many establishments don't opt for it. "Fire safety of a structure is as important as water supply. In this project, we have upgraded the form of fighting. We have recommended the total flooding system which uses gas instead of water and it will not destroy the artefacts while dousing the fire," said Mishra.

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The JJ College's suggestion was sent to the Fire Department for its remarks and fire officials have made certain recommendations in a report they filed on May 6. In it, they have stated that since the museum premises occupy a significant area, JJ College will have to compartmentalise the space using fire resistant glass doors to increase the effectiveness of the fire suppression system and minimise the damage. "Installing fire resistant glass doors will prevent the fire from spreading from one zone to another. This can provide more time for safe evacuation and will require less amount of gas for flooding," said a fire official.

Last week, the heritage department sent the fire department's remarks to the JJ College of Architecture and they will have to include the partitions using fire resistant glass doors while designing the interiors of the museum.

Spread out over an area of 61,000 sqm, the design of the museum premises proposes to utilise the open spaces within the mill site, a heritage precinct. Similar to the concept of Dilli Haat, shops will be set up within the textile museum premises, which will provide a platform to craftsmen producing ethnic products from across the state to sell cloth-based items.

The contract for the phase I of the project which includes the multimedia fountain and the entrance to the museum has been awarded and the work will begin soon. The second phase involves the construction of the textile museum and setting up the artefacts. The BMC is yet to constitute the expert committee comprising personalities from the film industry and the field of architecture, who will decide on the artefacts that will be put up on display in the textile museum.

Also Read: Let's talk museums

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