World's largest smoke ventilation order for Colt at Sky Plaza, Hong Kong

Mar 2007

The Hong Kong Airport Authority and its Main Contractor Chun Wo Fujita JV has awarded a major order for a natural smoke ventilation system to Colt International through its local Distributor FAS Engineering Ltd, which the company describes as "probably the largest in the world in the last year (2007)."

More than one thousand Colt Kameleon automatic glazed smoke release ventilators have been integrated into the skylight system of Hong Kong International Airport's SkyPlaza, a HK$2 billion (£130 million) airport terminal, office, retail and business complex. The skylight system, which covers a vast ceiling area in the shape of gentle waves, is a distinctive feature of the building's interior design.


Simon O'Hea, Marketing Director of Colt International, commented: "SkyPlaza is a world-class development which demanded world-class technical solutions for fire engineering. The architect, SOM Aedas JV, demanded that the smoke control systems should not compromise the building's aesthetics and should provide the maximum of natural daylight, whilst the Consultant Engineers, Arup Fire, demanded that the system should effectively provide the necessary smoke release in a fire emergency. Colt designed and supplied a natural smoke ventilation scheme which gives significant performance and cost advantages over an alternative mechanical system which was in the original design specification."

SkyPlaza, which is integrated with Hong Kong International Airport's main passenger terminal and express railway station, features airline check-in facilities, a new terminal for coaches, and a 38,000 square-metre retail and entertainment centre including an IMAX theatre. With phased building, SkyPlaza will also include a World Trade Centre in one of two office towers.

Colt natural smoke release ventilators are fitted over 15 roof-level smoke zones in SkyPlaza. In the case of fire, roof vents open to release smoke and hot gases whilst make up air is provided by automatic sliding doors and by smoke ventilators that open in the unaffected smoke zones. Control is by two pneumatic compressed air systems comprising air receivers with a capacity of 12,000 litres and compressed air distribution ring-main system. The system's operation is linked to the building fire alarm, with BMS monitoring.

Along with its local Distributor FAS Engineering Ltd, Colt manufactured and assembled all the ventilators in China and Hong Kong under strict Colt quality assurance procedures and provided the full scheme design and application engineering.

In addition to releasing smoke and heat if there's a fire, Kameleon allows natural daylight to enter the building, and at the same time reduces overheating problems. Kameleon is highly aerodynamic efficient and is available in a variety of sizes, glazing options and finishes to suit most commercial and industrial applications.  


Kameleon ventilators have been installed in a number of stylish, contemporary buildings. In Hong Kong these include Union Square, Disneyland, Cyberport and The Hong Kong Science Park. In the UK they have been installed at the Glasgow Science Centre, the Public Records Office in Kew, and Midsummer Place shopping centre in Milton Keynes. More information on Kameleon is to be found here.

To meet the client's high specification, a series of performance tests were conducted to much more stringent levels than those usually demanded by recognised standards for smoke ventilators. These included structural adequacy tests under BD PNAP 106 and ASTM E330, relating to water-tightness and air-tightness. The structural safety test was carried out under a loading of +4.80kPa and -5.25kPa.

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