Fire engineering for the Kongresshaus and Tonhalle Zurich

The building complex consisting of the Kongresshaus and Tonhalle Zurich, which is known beyond the country's borders, was in urgent need of renovation. As part of the renewal, it was necessary to comply with today's fire safety regulations. A balancing act between fire engineering, monument protection and usage interests.

In September 2021, the Kongresshaus and Tonhalle Zurich opened their doors after four years of redevelopment. The Kongresshaus shines again in the splendor of the 1930s, the Tonhalle takes you back to the 19th century. We were responsible for fire engineering in the project. Right at the start of the project, it was clear that standard solutions in accordance with current regulations could only be implemented at disproportionate expense. The aim was to develop solutions that would interfere as little as possible with the protected architecture and meet the interests of the operating companies.

Risk assessment instead of standard solutions

If customized fire engineering solutions are used, it must be demonstrated to the authorities that the applicable safety regulations are being complied with. To this end, we created extensive, computer-aided smoke extraction and evacuation simulations for the project. These formed the basis for the risk assessment and planning. The smoke extraction simulation showed, for example, that the smoke extraction in the large sound hall needs to be less powerful than required by the regulations: As the hall is very high, the smoke layer forms well above the balcony, giving people there enough time to escape. Integral tests with our patented "Izar" hot smoke system have shown that the measures implemented meet current safety standards.

Our services

  • Advising clients and architects on fire protection issues
  • Improvement of the escape route situation with variants, in some cases with performance-based verifications
  • Adaptation of the evacuation and fire alarm system to the applicable fire protection regulations
  • Adaptation of the smoke and heat extraction systems in rooms with large numbers of people using CFD fire and escape simulations, among other things
  • Adaptation and expansion of the SHEVS in the escape routes and staircase areas
  • Planning a new room for the emergency power supply


City of Zurich, Office for Structural Engineering


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