Berlin's new airport's fire alarm/suppression system didn't work. The solution? Interns!



  • Exerpts (it looks like one big long quote but it's not because Discourse is a fart):

    In March 2012 the group submitted its stopgap: Eight hundred low-paid workers armed with cell phones would take up positions throughout the terminal. If anyone smelled smoke or saw a fire, he would alert the airport fire station and direct passengers toward the exits.

    It was, says Martin Delius, “an idiotic plan.” Delius is a physicist and member of Berlin’s parliament who has conducted an extensive investigation of the airport’s troubled infrastructure.

    On May 7, less than four weeks before the scheduled opening, Loge met with Schwarz for the first time. The airport, Schwarz conceded, would have to open using the army of human fire detectors.

    “Professor, let me understand this,” Loge said. “You are talking about having 800 people wearing orange vests, sitting on camping stools, holding thermoses filled with coffee, and shouting into their cell phones, ‘Open the fire door’?” Loge refused the airport an operating license. Schwarz stood up and walked out without another word.


  • area_deu

    Yeah, BER is a clusterfuck. By the time it will finally be ready, it would probably have been cheaper to tear it down and start over.

    Wikipedia has some nice details why the fire suppression system doesn't work:

    **For aesthetics, designers decided** that the terminal would have no smoke extraction ducts on its rooftop. In case of fire, smoke would be pumped into exhaust ducts running **below** the structure, requiring the natural behavior of hot air to be reversed. Achieving this on the scale necessary for this airport is a unique undertaking and, thus far, this elaborate smoke extraction system has not worked as planned. To meet the requirements for the fire system to pass the acceptance test, large scale reconstruction work might be needed.


  • @ChrisH said:

    In case of fire, smoke would be pumped into exhaust ducts running below the structure,

    So in the case of fire they have to turn on more electrical equipment? Awesome design, Germans.



  • But almost as a mocking counterpoint, the lights in the terminal couldn’t be turned off because of a computer glitch no one could fix, and the electricity bill soared.

    :wtf:



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So in the case of fire they have to turn on more electrical equipment? Awesome design, Germans.

    I would not be surprised if a plan involving 800 low paid workers to suck the smoke out, is on the table. One of the benefits they are offering, is being allowed to smoke at their work place.



  • @cvi said:

    But almost as a mocking counterpoint, the lights in the terminal couldn’t be turned off because of a computer glitch no one could fix, and the electricity bill soared.

    They can just have the interns physically plug and unplug lights, as needed.



  • Sounds like an opportunity for Greece to earn its bailout.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    That's as seen by the Star Trek School of Engineering.



  • @FrostCat said:

    That's as seen by the Star Trek School of Engineering.

    Really sucks to be one of the interns that gets a red vest/shirt.

    Edit: Guess that would be one of the following guys:

    [...] some students would be stationed near the smoke evacuation channels, where in a fire temperatures could reach 1,000F [...]

  • mod

    Oh this is great:

    When they simulated a fire, though, the system went haywire. Some alarms failed to activate. Others indicated a fire, but in the wrong part of the terminal. The explanation was buried in the 55-mile tangle of wiring that had been laid, hastily, beneath the floors of the building where ORAT technicians soon discovered **high-voltage power lines alongside data and heating cables—a fire hazard in its own right**. That wasn’t all. Smoke evacuation canals designed to suck out smoke and replace it with fresh air failed to do either. **In an actual fire, the inspectors determined, the main smoke vent might well implode.**

    So the fire suppression system is a fire hazard‽ :headdesk:



  • Hey - they fixed it!

    Smoke now channels upward through chimneys, in accordance with the laws of physics.



  • @dcon said:

    laws of physics

    A harsh mistress if there ever was one



  • Reading through this now (again) I had the most evil and wicked thought. On the surface, it would seem that somebody, somewhere has perpetuated the most beautiful building corruption scam, ever. Now, that is not the sort of thing you would expect of the Germans as a culture, or of Europe generally. peaking as a "European" it is something, I have been told and learnt, to be expected in America. It is also something that you would expect as the result of using cheap unsupervised labour.

    Now, given the relationship between Germany and,Greece, and the low GDP of the latter. It would not be unreasonable to conclude that the latter's GDP is the result of former exploiting the latter, to the extreme, and the latter' physical response to such exploitation.

    But then the former have always done this, and appear to have not learnt any lessons and it could explain the former's apparent wealth.

    Basically: you get what you pay for.


  • area_deu

    Even more laughable is that they want that thing to replace both TXL and SXF.

    Like that won't end in the biggest air-borne traffic jam ever.



  • When the US fucks up big infrastructure projects, it's not because the money's getting skimmed by some scammer, it's because the project is genuinely mis-managed by wasteful morons.

    Now, defense contracts on the other hand...


  • area_deu

    @blakeyrat said:

    When the US fucks up big infrastructure projects, it's not because the money's getting skimmed by some scammer, it's because the project is genuinely mis-managed by wasteful morons.

    It's a combination of both, with the morons as potential scapegoats for the scammers.

    @loose said:

    Now, given the relationship between Germany and,Greece, and the low GDP of the latter. It would not be unreasonable to conclude that the latter's GDP is the result of former exploiting the latter, to the extreme, and the latter' physical response to such exploitation.

    Of course it is. The German administration even forced them to pay for submarines they had ordered before the "crisis" (yes, pacta sunt servanda, but come on. What does Greece need submarines for if it can't even pay its pensions?).



  • Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

    I choose to substitute incompetence for stupidity in that lemma as I am an optimist that believes incompetence is more widespread than stupidity.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Why is an article about BER/EDDB illustrated with a picture of Paul McCartney?



  • @cartman82 said:

    @cvi said:
    But almost as a mocking counterpoint, the lights in the terminal couldn’t be turned off because of a computer glitch no one could fix, and the electricity bill soared.

    They can just have the interns physically plug and unplug lights, as needed.

    You joke, but I'm sure this would work far better than whatever system those morons in charge can come up with.



  • @loose said:

    Now, that is not the sort of thing you would expect of the Germans as a culture, or of Europe generally. peaking as a "European" it is something, I have been told and learnt, to be expected in America.

    Sounds more like the sort of thing you'd expect in China or any other communist sort of place.



  • I can only hope that the entire administration is sacked and replaced by competent people, and that everyone responsible is jailed. Wasting tens or hundreds of M€ of public money should not be a joke.


  • area_deu

    Well, the airport is being built in a location that was formerly part of the GDR ...


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Pretty sure thats why we elected her! I mean, don't you secretly also wish Paul McCartney was Americas president?

    Filed Under: It's all a giant scam! That is not McCartney, just a fake! But we noticed to late and even reelected her!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @aliceif said:

    Well, the airport is being built in a location that was formerly part of the GDR ...

    It's part of the same airfield as SXF (but on the opposite side of the runways) so it's entirely arguable that they are indeed going for “tear it all down and build afresh” except that they're building it first.

    Which is about the only sensible thing in the whole affair.



  • @Kuro said:

    That is not McCartney, just a fake!

    Well duh, the guy's been dead since 1966 :trolleybus:



  • They wanted to rely on cell phones to resolve an emergency? :smiley: ? :smile: ? :laughing: ! Haven't seen those details before. Bunch of imbecile wishful airheads. Would laugh again.


  • area_deu

    @gleemonk said:

    airheads

    :eyes:


  • SockDev

    @gleemonk said:

    Bunch of imbecile wishful airheads.





  • @blakeyrat said:

    When the US fucks up big infrastructure projects, it's not because the money's getting skimmed by some scammer, it's because the project is genuinely mis-managed by wasteful morons.

    The Big Dig arguably owed a lot of its cost overruns to corruption. They even arrested six people from one of the concrete suppliers for "Conspiracy to defraud the United States". However, I too am surprised that Europe sees the US as a place where corruption is common. I would think their neighbors to the east would have that honor.

    On a non-corruption note - the Denver airport had a lot of the same problems that Berlin seems to be having. Instead of Berlin's retarded fire suppression system, Denver had it's retarded baggage handling system.



  • Indeed, it is a case of massive corruption owing to the fact that there's one large company (Imtech) behind it.

    It is actually in the interest of such companies to build as slow as they can and to do everything by the design plans to the letter, even when they (should) know that the plans are problematic.

    Particularly when said company relies on a variant of the snowball system to keep afloat.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    Sounds more like the sort of thing you'd expect in China

    Why, that's both ridiculous and racist!

    Oh, never mind.



  • @dcon said:

    laws of physics.

    They're still debating them in the Bundestag (German parliament).



  • @FrostCat said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Sounds more like the sort of thing you'd expect in China

    Why, that's both ridiculous and racist!

    Oh, never mind.

    What? You just pull it up again. Good as new!



  • The baggage handling system was a monumental waste of money yes. But it was based off a German design. Damn Germans, why must they suck at engineering?



  • @Jaime said:

    The Big Dig arguably owed a lot of its cost overruns to corruption.

    That's not the US, that's the East Coast. Them people are like aliens over there.


  • SockDev

    @blakeyrat said:

    Them people are like aliens over there.

    not aliens, foxes!

    :trolleybus:



  • Look, I don't think it's a controversial statement to say that every single person on the East Coast of the US is either insane (thinks they are an animal of some sort) or literally an alien.


  • SockDev

    @blakeyrat said:

    Look, I don't think it's a controversial statement to say that every single person on the East Coast of the US is either insane (thinks they are an animal of some sort) or literally an alien.

    so long as i can make exactly the same generalization for everyone who lives west of the Rockies i'll not argue with that.



  • Except this time it would be true, because California exists. off to /r/FloridaMan


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @gleemonk said:

    What? You just pull it up again. Good as new!

    I would actually like to see a crane big enough to do that. I can't imagine I'd want to live in a building that had fallen over like that--I'd be afraid it would shatter.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Look, I don't think it's a controversial statement to say that every single person on the East Coast of the US is either insane (thinks they are an animal of some sort) or literally an alien.

    If they're aliens, then so are you, by symmetry.



  • @accalia said:

    so long as i can make exactly the same generalization for everyone who lives west of the Rockies i'll not argue with that.

    Well, I live in the middle, so I guess I'm perfectly normal...

    Shut up miniature William Shatner who lives in my nose!


  • SockDev

    @Bort said:

    Well, I live in the middle, so I guess I'm perfectly normal...

    compared to those on the wet side of the rockies..... i would say so!

    :trolleybus:



  • @Jaime said:

    Instead of Berlin's retarded fire suppression system, Denver had it's retarded baggage handling system

    Don't tell me... they tried to suck baggage up through ceiling ducts for aesthetic reasons?



  • @gleemonk said:

    What? You just pull it up again. Good as new!

    What do you mean, "again"? That's how they build them to begin with. Saves all that tedious mucking about with scaffolding.


  • mod

    @accalia said:

    so long as i can make exactly the same generalization for everyone who lives west of the Rockies i'll not argue with that.

    Guess I'm safe, since I'm not really "west of" the Rockies. More like "south of", if anything.


  • SockDev

    @abarker said:

    Guess I'm safe, since I'm not really "west of" the Rockies. More like "south of", if anything.

    True, you're in what i like to call "the land of it's too fucking hot to ■■■■"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Look, I don't think it's a controversial statement to say that every single person on the East Coast of the US is either insane (thinks they are an animal of some sort) or literally an alien.

    @accalia said:

    so long as i can make exactly the same generalization for everyone who lives west of the Rockies i'll not argue with that.

    @JazzyJosh said:

    Except this time it would be true, because California exists

    Hmm - I moved from the East coast to CA. Not sure if insane or alien. Maybe an insane alien?



  • Yep.


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