Historic Miramare Castle

A fairy-tale castle built for an Emperor is one of the first buildings to be equipped with the new Taurus range of wireless fire devices, design and manufactured in Italy by Argus. More than 150 high-performance wireless detection, control and alarm devices from the Taurus range, which goes on worldwide sale in November, are now protecting Castello di Miramare, a coastal landmark in Trieste.

Castello di Miramare was built by Ferdinand Maximilian (1832–1867), younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. In 1850, Maximilian came to Trieste, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and fell in love with the sea, leading to his eventual appointment as Commander of the Imperial Navy, a role that required a suitable home in the city. He lived in the castle until 1864, when he left Europe to become the first, and only, Emperor of Mexico.

The new Taurus wireless range from Argus was the perfect choice for Castello di Miramare, facilitating replacement of the 15-year-old wired fire system with a wireless alternative that required up to 90 percent less cabling, while offering superior protection to the historic fabric of the building. Taurus can handle up to 128 devices per wireless translator and 240 per hybrid loop, with a 10-year battery life on inputs and 5-year on outputs.

Iuri Carlucci, owner of Tecnotem, the company in charge of the installation, commented: “It was 1990 when I was involved in the first wired fire system installation at Castello di Miramare. The lack of official standards, which were published only five years later, allowed us to use non-intrusive cables. However, it was a difficult decision because cables were visible on the hand-carved wooden ceilings.  A few years later, fires destroyed the Petruzzelli Theatre in Bari and La Fenice in Venice, demonstrating the absolute necessity of protecting valuable buildings from fire.

“30 years later, Argus released Taurus, a range of devices that, with minimal cabling, ensure continuity of communication, allowing us to preserve the elegant and imposing rooms designed by Pietra Bianca d’Istria without unsightly cabling. My team was able to easily install the new Taurus devices and remove all the cables from the previous installations.”

Daniel Saturno, Tecnoteam’s designer and executive director, commented: “Our priority is to ensure maximum safety, complying with the latest regulations, without compromises. In this historic building, the choice of wireless was obvious, to preserve the historical and artistic heritage of the fabric. Taurus proved to be the ideal solution because of its versatility and ease of use.

“We appreciated the ability to set up the devices in discovery mode during installation, and then complete the configuration via the dongle, without any wired connection to the translators. The TauREX software is intuitive and easy to use, and advanced features such as Site Map Import simplify system configuration and testing. Taurus demonstrated consistent communicational stability, even in a complex environment such as the Castello di Miramare, with its thick 19th century walls.”

The system installed at Castello di Miramare is a hybrid one, using the Taurus wireless network to complement wired devices, with the whole system controlled by an Advanced MxPro5 panel. The entire installation of the Taurus system, from survey to final testing, took just nine days, a fraction of the time that a fully wired system would have required.

Giorgio Koursaris, General Manager at Argus, commented: “It seems fitting that one of the first buildings to benefit from our world-class Taurus range was a world-famous landmark! Wireless was traditionally seen as a niche product for heritage buildings and, although it has now become mainstream across the industry, it’s still the ideal solution for a building like Castello di Miramare, where the historic interiors require careful handling and minimal intervention.”

“Put simply, the Taurus range offers all of the advantages traditionally associated with wireless, such as convenience, speed of installation and simplified system specification, and adds performance that will not only equal traditional wired systems but exceeds them in most areas. Systems are designed and specified using the bespoke TauREX software, which features a user-friendly graphical user interface and innovative features, such as EasyScan and ConfigWizard, to help specify the optimum system for each site in an easy and intuitive way.”

Taurus Expanders use SafePath Mesh Expander Technology to deliver unprecedented system reliability and performance. If any expander in the chain fails, the transmission path finds an alternate route, ensuring communication continuity. Every Taurus translator supports up to 15 network expanders and the best possible redundant communication paths are identified and tested to provide the most reliable and robust communication pathway possible.

Giorgio Koursaris added: “Taurus takes all of the advantages of wireless and builds on them, offering superior performance and adaptability. All devices communicate in real time, so we don’t waste power listening or transmitting unnecessarily. This means our battery management is among the best available, with 10-year battery life for sensors, call points and inputs, and five years for outputs, sounders and VADs. All devices can be pre-programmed remotely, which is a major advantage in a building such as Castello di Miramare, where awkward spaces and high ceilings can make access complicated.”

Taurus uses Argus’ NetworkOptimiser technology, with intelligent signal processing across 60 communications channels to avoid communication interference and channel collisions, regardless of the extent of the fire network or the scale of the building. NetworkOptimiser checks and confirms that every packet of data is sent and received as expected, ensuring absolute confidence in safety signalling. Every Taurus device also features Argus’ SafeSwitch dual redundant channel technology, so if one channel fails, the other automatically takes over, ensuring unprecedented levels of reliability and performance.

Argus is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of wireless and wired smoke detection and alarm devices.  Argus has been established for 20 years and today employs over 100 experts in the design, manufacture and supply of high-performance fire protection products for international OEMs, panel partners and fire system integrators. The Argus global centre of wireless fire device design is based in Trieste, Italy, working on a portfolio of world leading innovative detection and alarm devices.

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