|The refurbished Langham, London boasts a hi-tech infrastructure with PA/VA systems from TOA |
London hotels don't come much more historic or prestigious than The Langham, London in Portland Place at the top of Regent Street, London. Opened in 1865 as Europe's first ‘Grand Hotel' and reopened in June 2009 after an £80 million refurbishment, it is the flagship hotel of Langham Hotels International. Beneath the Victorian splendour of its fabric, however, the refurbished Langham, London boasts a hi-tech infrastructure in which PA/VA systems from TOA
play a pivotal role.
With 380 elegant guestrooms, three restaurants (including the dazzling Palm Court, where the tradition of ‘afternoon tea' was born), a Chuan Spa opening in 2010 and no fewer than 18 different conference spaces, The Langham, London is as extensive as its impressive façade suggests.
Systems integrator Safetech Systems designed, supplied, installed and commissioned a complete voice alarm setup for the The Langham 18 months ago, with three racks of TOA's VX-2000 at the hub of the system. Since then, the system has been upgraded to take into account new developments in the hotel's layout.
"The system has worked consistently ever since it was installed, and the fire-detection component remained in use even while other aspects of the system were being updated," comments Kobus Maree, Safety, Risk and Security Manager at The Langham. "What's unique about the VX-2000 is that as well as voice evacuation, it can also be used for general voice announcements which, because of the unit's built-in zoning capability, we can restrict to specific floors or other areas of the hotel if we need to."
Part of TOA's voice evacuation range, the VX-2000 is fully compliant with BS5839 pt8 (British Emergency Voice Communcations) and EN/IEC 60849 (International Sound Systems for Emergency Purposes) standards. A typical rack comprises a System Manager, Surveillance Frame, Power Amplifiers, Power Supply, Emergency Power Supply, Fireman's Microphone, and a user-specified number of Remote Microphones.
Kobus Maree, Safety, Risk and Security Manager at The Langham and Surinder S. Grewal, M.D., Safetech Systems
Each VX-2000 rack can be configured to accept up to 18 inputs, eight remote microphones and two voice-announcement boards, as well as a built-in announcement chime. These sources can be routed to up to 50 output zones and a maximum of five surveillance frames can be administered.
Safetech Systems' Managing Director, Surinder S. Grewal enthuses: "Working in such a large and historic building as The Langham poses unique challenges and we are delighted that our work has been appreciated by such a prestigious customer. TOA provided us with invaluable technical support throughout the system design and commissioning process and, most importantly, after the system was installed - this enabled us to upgrade the setup with the minimum of inconvenience and disruption."
Brett Downing, Sales & Marketing Director at TOA Europe, concludes: "As large, public spaces with an ever-changing number of occupants, hotels have their own distinct set of fire regulations that need to be complied with. With their modularity and flexibility, our PA/VA systems provide efficient solutions for hotels of all sizes, and can be easily updated if the facility is enlarged or altered. We take the issue of customer support very seriously and, of course, TOA's renowned sound quality is second to none in this industry."