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The Company
Typical Set-up
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Directive 94/9/EC

II 2 G

The company SafeHouse Habitats (Scotland) Ltd are
the owners of the SafeHouse Habitat system.
The services provided by the company are as follows:
Offshore survey to establish commercial and
technical proposal.
Participating in project planning and risk evaluation
processes to satisfy hazardous operations analysis.
Supply of the SafeHouse habitat on either long or
short-term rental basis.
Installation of the habitat by in house technicians.
Training of contractors personnel to recognised
competency level.

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The Company
The Safehouse pressurised habitat system has been used
successfully by the Upstream and Downstream Oil & Gas
Industry for many years, the safe deployment has allowed
naked flame and other hot work to be carried out without
the need for a Production Shutdown.
The system is ATEX Certified for use in
Zone 1 & 2 Areas.
The Safehouse system offers 2 critical
Containment the panel arrangement
ensures that grinding sparks and/or
welding slag have no possibility to escape
from the enclosure.

The Safehouse habitat system is typically

used for the following construction
Installation & tie-in of new pipe work
for Brownfield developments and
Installation of new structural supports
and skids for platform/plant upgrades.

Pressurisation the inflation method

Repair of critical plant & equipment,
creates an internal overpressure which acts cable splicing and housing
as a barrier to prevent the ingress
non-EX equipment.
of hydrocarbons.
Repair of Process Vessels where
internal entry is required.
To summarize
Hydrocarbons + Hot Work = Habitats

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The principal components are Modular Panels fabricated
from high specification flame retardant and fire proof fabric,
the panels are zipped together to create the required size
and shape of the habitat, the internal seams are lined with
Velcro strips to minimise pressure loss.
The inflated habitat can form most shapes,
this is particularly important where the work
area is within a confined space or where
there are restrictions preventing the
installation of a standard cube or box shape.

Gas Detection & Automatic Shutdown

Capabilities there are 2 separate solutions
selection of the most suitable option will be
determined by risk analysis and the
plant/platform operating conditions

The standard panel sizes are:

1m x 2m

Supply Air Gas Detection Unit (GDU), this

device is connected upstream of the
supply fan, its purpose is to sense the
supply air ensuring that hydrocarbons are
not pulled in and pushed through to the
habitat internal, the internal gas detection
is set at 10% LEL (methane).

2m x 2m
The minimum habitat size is 2m x 1m x 2m,
there is no maximum size, habitats as large
as 12m x 14m x 6m for use as temporary
fabrication shops have been constructed
Because all of the panels are interchangeable
a multi purpose kit made up from different
panel arrangements can be recycled through
a programme of hot work tasks.
There is no waste; the panels are tear
resistant and durable.

Automatic Gas Detection and Shutdown

Unit (ASU), this sophisticated device is
engineered so that all of the welding
plant and electrically driven tools used in
the hot work task are connected to a
central controller, if any of the units remote
gas detectors sense hydrocarbons the
power is automatically cut shutting down
the hot work without human intervention.

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The panel design allows for construction materials and equipment
for example pipe spools or steelwork to be brought in and out
of the habitat without need to completely dismantle it; one side
can be simply unzipped or the roof panel can be rolled back to
allow the crane to drop pipe spools in situ.
It should be noted that where the work
area is located in an exposed location,
below deck for example, the habitat can
be dismantled very quickly and flat packed
ready for re-construction when weather
conditions abate.
The standard kit includes a lightweight
aluminium door which is self closing to
minimise pressure loss, a pressure monitor
is mounted on the outside of the door, a
window used as an observation port for
the firewatcher.

There is an air lock module supplied in the

standard kit, this is a necessary provision
to prevent the ingress of gas or other
hazardous substances if the entry control
procedures fail.
There is an escape panel included in the
standard kit which allows an easy escape and
stretcher to be brought into the habitat should
it be necessary to evacuate a casualty.

There are transit panels in the doorframe

through which all welding and other cables
are passed through, this eliminates trip
hazards on the habitat floor.

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The package of modular panels is completed by 2 different types of
penetration panels, firstly there is the standard penetration panel
which is designed to accept single spools or pieces or equipment
up to a diameter of 42 inches, these panels are particularly suited
for applications like riser connections or large bore hydrocarbon
lines, all of the panels are interchangeable allowing them to be
used on the floor or the roof or through the side walls.
Secondly there is the quadrant penetration
panel this is used where the application calls
for a habitat where pipework or equipment
must be installed on different elevations and
orientations, this is achieved by removable
quadrants and inlay panels, these panels are
similarly interchangeable.
The utilisation of this combination of panels
allows the habitat to be used for most
applications irrespective of the surrounding
area, the problems created by the need to
install a habitat in the most congested or
restricted locations can be solved without
recourse to fabricating special one-off
panels or parts.

The use of the Safehouse habitat eliminates

the waste and disposal of scrap materials,
typically sheet metal, wood and sheeting
which are by products of traditional habitats.
The materials used in the construction of
Safehouse habitat are very robust allowing
them to be continually re-used.
The habitat is inflated by means of
compressed air supplied from a compressor
or from the platforms plant air utilities
system; the requirement is less than 1 bar.
The supply air delivered to the habitat
environment is of breathing quality, there
is also an exhaust facility to remove
welding or other harmful fumes. Total Air
change is typically 7-8 seconds in a
2m3 habitat.

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Basic Method Statement

All of the panels can be fixed in any

orientation. The general rule is to start
with the roof panel, fix it to the scaffold
frame or supports using the cambuckle
straps through the d ring eyelets
around the perimeter edge of the panel.
Do no tighten the straps, let the panel
hang loosely.


Take any of the side panels, (if using an

escape panel check the panel is the
right way up, i.e. the zipper to the top).
Connect the side panel to the roof panel
by fastening the other side place straps
thought the upper corner d rings and
tighten sufficiently to take the strain
from the roof panel zips. The same
procedure applies to the opposite side.


The end panel is next. Fix to the roof

as point 2 then join the sides by
connecting the corresponding zips there
is no need to utilise the side d rings
at this time fit the opposite panel by
the same method.


The penultimate panel is the door panel,

thread the straps through the rings on
the top of the aluminium door frame
then hang up the door from the scaffold
or support frame, this will have the
effect of taking the weight of the straps
making the zips easier to fasten.

5. Fit the floor panel last by connecting all

the zips.

If using panels with dampers fitted it is

good practice to plan the assembly
so that the air enters at floor level and
the extract expels the fumes at roof level,
creating a good air flow through the habitat.

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Basic Method Statement

Once construction is complete tighten

the roof straps to required height,
connect the flexible ducting to the air
fan then connect opposite end to supply
damper, open damper louvres then
connect flexible ducting to the extract
damper. Keep the damper closed,
connect the opposite end to the air
mover (venturi), if using an air fan,
connect the filtration unit to the fan
then connect in the compressed air
supply. Open the valve slightly; this
will gently inflate the habitat to the
required shape.

into place creating a complete 2x2

panel. This is then sealed from the
inside with the quarter overlay panel,
sealing the penetration by using a
flexible light weight sock with Velcro
seals, still allowing the application of
the Velcro strips around the outer
edge of the panels.

Standard Safehouse Modular Panels Habitat Equipment

2m x 2m panels

Venturi Air Mover

2m x 1m panels

Supply and Extract ducting

300mm diameter

2m x 2m penetration
panels standard

Local Extract Ducting

100mm diameter

2m x 2m quadrant panels

Manometer, mounted on
door panel Aluminium door,
fixed to front panel
Pneumatic or *electrically
driven fans

* Dual voltage, 110 or

240 volts

8. Cover all the internal seams with

the Velcro strips to complete the

sealing process.

The manometer pressure gauge is

mounted on the outside of the
aluminium door by means of a bolt
fixing. The gauge is used as visual means
of monitoring pressure differential.

10. Finally, the multi-penetration panel is

a 2x2 panel divided into four quarters

held into place with zips, each

quarter can be removed individually

and placed over a penetration or

multiple penetrations then zipped back

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Typical Set up
Explanatory Notes:
Detachable airlock omitted for clarity.
There are 2 methods for inflation; the method illustrated using a stand alone compressor and
the air receiver or by plant air, this method requires a minimum 0.8 bar of pressure.
Note the supply air will be taken from a designated safe area; the air delivered into the habitat
internal will be of breathing quality.
The lengths of flexi ducting are connected into 300mm volume control dampers fitted to
the sidewalls, for supply and extract.
Excludes guidance notes for GDU and ASU, see separate notes.

Extract Ducting

Flexi Ducting

Air Fan

Escape Panel

Gas Detection Unit

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The principal benefit that Safehouse will deliver to any
project is the speed of installation, whether it is a small
standard cube shape or larger 4m habitat the standard
time for installation is 4 hours.
If the project scope includes a requirement
for a number of habitats to cover different
work faces, the habitats can be dismantled
and re-erected as the work progresses.
This feature delivers significant benefits
to the project schedule while minimising
the manpower allocation and the offshore
accommodation requirement.
Typically 2 or 3 habitats are supplied to be
recycled around 9 or 10 different applications,
this highlights the versatility of the habitat.
The package is very light, the weight of a
2m3 package is only 92 kgs. All of the
component parts can be easily lifted and
carried by one man reducing the risk of
manual handling injuries, there is also the
possibility of transporting the habitat by
helicopter should the requirement merit
this type of arrangement in the event of
a failure of critical equipment or any
emergency situation.

The lightness has a further benefit when

the application determines that a scaffold
platform is required to support the habitat,
the habitats lightness permits the scaffold
arrangement to be only light duty or general
purpose instead of complex specially
designed structure.
To summarise, the Safehouse habitat has
proven to many operators and contractors
after rigorous examination and evaluation
exercises that it is a significant innovation
compared to the traditional type habitats
when the applied criteria is either safety
performance or cost effectiveness.

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Habitat Users and Accreditation
The Safehouse System is in use
worldwide, among the companies and
projects which have benefited from its
deployment are;
BP Worldwide: including onshore refineries
and offshore platforms in Angola, Australia,
Sharjah, Trinidad & Tobago, Azerbaijan,
Indonesia UKCS and Europe
Exxon Mobil: Qatar, UKCS, Canada and
Conoco Phillips: South East Asia, Australia
and UKCS
Chevron: West Africa and UKCS
Total: UKCS
Talisman: UKCS

Shell: South East Asia, UKCS, Netherlands,

Nigeria and Russia
BG Group: Tunisia, Kazakhstan India,
Trinidad & Tobago and UKCS
Statoil: Norway
Petro Canada: Newfoundland
Repsol: Trinidad & Tobago
BHP Billiton: Trinidad & Tobago
Maersk Oil & Gas: UKCS
ENI: Kazakhstan

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