FARMINGTON, Conn.—UTC Fire & Security will break ground on a new Fire Innovation Test Center in Florida in December, the company announced Wednesday.
UTC officials say the facility to be located in West Palm Beach will strengthen the company’s ability to design and deliver industry-leading fire/life-safety solutions that meet customers’ needs.
The facility will also enable UTC to test the its broad range of technologies as well as demonstrate products in real-world situations to customers. The new facility is expected to open in 2011.
“We see this as a center of excellence for fire testing, application engineering and customer demonstration,” says William Brown, president of UTC Fire & Security. “The integration of these capabilities into one state-of-the-art facility will significantly contribute to the delivery of cost effective solutions to our customers, while also providing an environment where new technologies and applications can be developed, tested and refined.”
A test observation room, with viewing windows into the main test hall, will be able to accommodate witnessing of live fire tests. An adjacent customer conference room and product display area is also in the plans.
The new facility will allow testing at a scale that is currently not available for UTC Fire & Security products such as water mist, chemical suppression, foam and all types of portable extinguishers.
A further advantage is the capability to accurately measure and demonstrate product compliance with regulatory standards as well as conduct scientific observations on temperature, oxygen levels and other data points crucial to the fire safety industry, according to the company.
The new Fire Innovation Test Center has been developed applying the design principles of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). These criteria for building energy efficiency were set out by the U.S. Green Building Council with the goal of achieving the highest level of LEED certification.
“The facility will reduce the environmental footprint of operations to the lowest extent possible and meet stringent requirements with respect to wastewater, emissions and other environmental regulations,” says Brown.
The test center will be built on land owned by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a sister company within United Technologies.