The first segment of the new smoke extraction control system in the BER terminal has been completed. This marks the achievement of a primary milestone for Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH in the schedule presented in December 2014 for the opening of BER. The ‘general safety-related programmable logic controller’ (GSPLC) is made up of a total of seven segments and one central ring. The now completed segment comprises the main north pier. Work has also been completed on both the hardware, i.e. the corresponding cable ducts and constructing the switch panels, and on the software, i.e. programming. Achieving this milestone has been key to finishing the main north pier and subsequently commissioning the corresponding smoke extraction systems.
Installing the GSPLC resolves a previously key issue, i.e. of ineffective smoke extraction at BER. In the event of a fire, more than 120 smoke extractors must ensure a smoke-free area of 2.50 metres for at least 15 minutes to allow people within the vicinity of the fire to exit the building safely. As proven by hot gas smoke tests, the system was not always reliable. One problem was that the fresh air replacement elements (e.g. facade openings in the main pier) were meant to be controlled directly through the fire alarm system and thus separately from the actual mechanical smoke extraction elements (e.g. smoke extraction fans and flaps). In October 2013, FBB and Siemens AG thus signed an agreement to modify the smoke extraction control system.