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Bosch Energy and Building Solutions Global
Life safety and security solutions at Hoog Catharijne mall

Fire protection in grand style

The Hacousto Protec team of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions in the Netherlands ensures topnotch fire protection in Hoog Catharijne, one of the most popular shopping centres in the Netherlands, thus providing greater safety for more than 30 million annual visitors. This megaproject breaks new ground in terms of size and complexity.

Außenansicht Einkaufszentrum Hoog Catharijne Utrecht

As one of the country’s largest and most popular shopping centres, the Hoog Catharijne is filled with hundreds of stores, offices and restaurants as well as hotels and parking garages. It also hosts major events, most recently a spectacular show to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Practically an urban district in its own right, it spans more than 100,000 square meters of retail floorspace in the centre of the city Utrecht. Each year more than 30 million people come to take advantage of its attractions. This megamall is a bustling metropolis in its own right, making appropriate security and safety measures an absolute must – and especially fire protection.

Enrico Zonneveld, Sales Manager von Hacousto Protec, Portrait

The individual areas and shops are constantly being changed and redesigned. So it’s important to be able to quickly adapt the fire alarm solution to their changing requirements

Enrico Zonneveld, Sales Manager at Hacousto Protec

The team of Hacousto Protec joined Bosch Energy and Building Solutions in the Netherlands in 2021, but it has been responsible for fire protection at Hoog Catharijne since 2008. Since meeting the customer’s first request – a fire alarm system for two office towers – it has replaced and modernized all of the fire protection systems to create a complete, comprehensive solution. A total of 60 fire alarm control panels have been installed and networked with a wide variety of smoke and fire detectors as well as evacuation systems. Special challenges had to be met in many parts of the shopping centre, including installion of special aspiration smoke detection systems on 20-meter-high ceilings in some of its parts. Challenges are also posed by the fact that the passageways in the Hoog Catharijne have the status of semipublic streets and must therefore meet the corresponding security requirements. Extensive outdoor areas adjacent to the large roofed-over part of the mall also had to be secured.

Innenansicht Einkaufszentrum Hoog Catharijne Utrecht

Huge project for a megamall

From the start, the solution was intelligently designed and implemented so that it could be flexibly extended and adapted to the shopping centre as it continued to grow and evolve. “The individual areas and shops are constantly being changed and redesigned,” explains manager sales Enrico Zonneveld of Hacousto Protec, who is in charge of the project. “So it’s important to be able to quickly adapt the fire alarm solution to their changing requirements. Over the years, the networked fire alarm solution has not only grown with the shopping centre but also increased in complexity.” All has happened while complying with strict legal requirements.

A case in point: Dutch regulations require buildings spanning more than 10,000 square meters to be equipped with a fire alarm system with full surveillance according to NEN2535 regulations and a voice-alarm evacuation system according to NEN2575. This is the case in all of the central areas of Hoog Catharijne, and appropriate steps were therefore taken. Almost all of the businesses in the mall are connected to a centrally controlled and monitored fire alarm and evacuation system. Among other things, this makes it straightforward to identify and swiftly fix faults in individual building or system parts.

Außenansicht Einkaufszentrum Hoog Catharijne Utrecht, Detail Fassade

Overall it is a huge project: “This is one of the largest building complexes in which Hacousto Protec has implemented solutions to date,” according to Enrico Zonneveld. Those in charge at Hoog Catharijne are so much satisfied with the technical solution and support provided by Bosch’s Dutch team, that the collaboration is being extended in scope. A dedicated team member is on-site for 5 days a week for control and maintenance. Currently a fiber-optic network is being installed at Hoog Catharijne while all of the fire alarm panels are being upgraded once again and linked to it. These future-proofing efforts have a strong history – thanks to Hoog Catharijne’s partnership with the Hacousto Protec team of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions.