Heritage Building – Rondebosch, Cape Town


A university’s OHSE (Occupational Health and Safety Environment) division ensures compliance with all Occupational Health and Safety Act regulations on campus. Health and safety on campus extend to all its occupants, including customers, contractors, and the public in general, when visiting any of the university’s campuses.

The OHSE division of a university in Cape Town is located in a heritage building, and a fire detection system was needed for the building to maintain its occupation status.

In South Africa, all structures over 60 years old –including their fixtures and fittings– are protected by the National Heritage Resources Act. Since the building is a historic structure and the OHSE staff needed to continue their essential work with minimal disruption during the installation, Hyfire’s Taurus wireless technology was deemed the perfect solution. With the additional costs and labour to restore and refinish walls and ceilings after a typical wired system installation, the Taurus system ticked all the boxes: it is not intrusive to the historic structure, it is leading-edge technology that is faster and less disruptive to install, and more cost-effective.

The walls in the core part of the building are about 600 millimetres thick, which posed a potential challenge since the wireless signals attenuated drastically between translators, expanders, and devices when running diagonally through the structure. The wireless survey, a standard practice with this technology, indicated where the signal was strongest and where the expanders needed to be placed to ensure maximum signal strength and redundant paths at all times.

Some of the larger rooms have beautifully decorated and painted old ceilings. Therefore, the detection devices needed to be placed at the edges of these areas to not interfere with the building’s integrity while covering and protecting the area effectively.

FS Systems has been a long-standing installer partner to Technoswitch and has maintained numerous of the university’s sites for many years, with staff placed permanently on-site. Technoswitch assisted the FS Systems team with programming and commissioning the system during the installation. The project was completed in April 2023 in only ten hours over two days – with no disruption or mess, while the occupants continued their daily operations as usual. Installation of a wired solution would have taken two to three weeks, with significant and costly repair work required after the cables were installed. In addition, the SA Heritage Resources Agency would have been required to approve such an installation, adding more delays and costs to the project.

The initial goal was to ensure the building maintained its occupation status by installing a fire detection system. Still, its historical structure also had to be preserved without the client needing to evacuate the building during the installation. We achieved all this with the Hyfire wireless system: under budget, in less time, with minimal disruption and no alterations or impact to the historical integrity of this old building.

Industries: Education

Products Included: Hyfire Systems, Wireless Detection