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ADI Launch MTF Fire-Rated LED SCREEN: A Technical Innovation in Venue Safety

LED Screens as an Architectural Material

The installation of vast LED screens and digital canvases to transform interior spaces and building facades is becoming more commonplace in major cities and urban developments internationally. With clever and creative integration of screens, architecture can evolve into anything we want: a giant artwork, interactive experience or 3D advertising campaign.

The technology has developed so that we can install LED displays and digital signage in more places than ever before. But beyond the spectacular visual experience and dynamic versatility that LED technology brings, architects and technical specifiers are increasingly mindful of the materials they use for public venues, commercial and residential property.

Venue Safety Concerns

The Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017 was a turning point for the industry, with increased scrutiny not just of building regulations, but also architectural cladding and surface applications based upon their flammability and fire-resistant qualities.

In the UK new developments and refurbishment projects have venue safety as their priority, with a stringent assessment and procurement of architectural and cladding elements. As screen technologies are increasingly becoming an architectural material inside venues, it seems sensible that fire-ratings and performance are considered in the same way as more traditional surface applications.

World-First Product for a Landmark Project

It was a specific project that led ADI to focus on the fire-safety performance of LED screen modules, through our involvement in the multi-million-pound refurbishment of Printworks, Manchester. CDA Architects, DTZ Investors and Cushman & Wakefield designed a scheme that planned to incorporate the largest digital ceiling in Europe, creating an incredibly immersive experience and totally unique piece of media architecture.

With this popular entertainment complex receiving an annual visitor footfall in the region of 8 million, materials used across the refurb were required to meet strict fire performance standards. When we began consulting on the project in 2021, an LED screen module that rated highly against the British Standard EN13501-1 fire classification for architectural materials didn’t exist. Most LED screens are built using flammable materials – in particular plastics – which can perform badly within a fire scenario. As well as being flammable, they may also create large amounts of toxic smoke and create a risk from dripping in the event of a fire. With a vast digital soffit ceiling proposed for Printworks, it was critical that venue safety, and the product to support that, could be developed.

"Post Grenfell the fire rating and the compliance with reaction to fire was really stringent; it's no secret that we were talking to other providers, but nobody else could give us the certification. ADI were very proactive and jumped straight on it; did the testing, got the certification, and it was actually better than we needed to achieve for building standards."

Product Innovation: MTF Fire-Rated LED Module

With our credibility as an innovator in the market, and as an LED screen manufacturer for over 25 years, ADI worked closely with CDA Architects to develop a certified and rigorously tested LED module.

With over a year of intensive R&D, alongside testing by official fire safety bodies such as WarringtonFire, ADI were able to manufacture what is thought to be a world-first product in the LED screen sector. The MTF range is based on ADI’s tried and tested MT tile but has undergone several major modifications to replace some of the more flammable components. This has allowed us to create a product that delivers exceptional performance whilst receiving a high rating of B-s2,d0 within the British Standard EN13501-1 fire classification framework.

The MTF range has been manufactured with non-flammable materials so that in the event of a fire the ceiling doesn’t contribute to the situation – no falling parts or burning droplets, toxic smoke or risk of fire spreading across the ceiling’s surface. These attributes make the product ideal for integration in public spaces, especially where huge digital canvases will be installed above the public.

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Manchester’s Printworks; Home of the largest LED ceiling in Europe

The largest digital ceiling in Europe – featuring the new MTF product – officially launched at Printworks Manchester on the 20th March 2024. Impressive in its scale and immersive experience, this 1,000sqm digital centrepiece has completely transformed the environment and ambience inside the venue, and created a piece of media architecture not normally seen outside of the US, Asia or Middle East.

"The Printworks refurbishment highlighted the need for technical innovation in venue safety and development of LED products with a high rating in the BS EN13501-1 classification. We’ve been able to use our expertise to produce a world-first solution and provide a new option for architects and developers looking to integrate digital ceilings and creative canvases within their design schemes, while still meeting the highest fire safety standards.”

For more information on the Printworks project click here, or to speak to our Sales Team please call 0800 592 346 or email info@adi.tv

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ADI unveil the largest digital ceiling in Europe as part of Manchester’s Printworks Transformation.

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