Listed Barn Conversion Protected with Automist

This grade II listed building required a fire suppression solution that was discreet without compromising safety


Automist System in Open Plan Kitchen
Protecting grade II listed barn conversion with Automist
Automist watermist system installed in barn conversion
Protecting property with Automist
Automist fire suppression installation

Approved Automist installer Vapourmist worked closely with a couple based in Oxfordshire to increase fire protection of a listed building, which they were converting into their dream home.

The brief

Fifield Barn, located in Oxfordshire, is part of a Grade II Listed Building complex comprising of several barns, stables and shelter sheds, as well as a farmhouse – which over the years have all been regenerated into new homes.

Mr and Mrs Kitchener purchased the only remaining 18th century barn, yet to be converted, as a ‘passion project’. 

Whilst preserving the building’s history and character, the couple secured planning permission to convert the building into a contemporary five-bedroom home across two-storeys.

Constructed from red and glazed brick, with a clay tile roof and a veranda running along the rear of the property featuring four sets of aluminium doors, building control recommended the installation of a fire suppression system to protect the homes means of escape.

The challenge

Determined to fulfil their open plan dreams for the barn, whilst retaining as much of the original structure as possible, the Kitchener’s requested a quote for the installation of a traditional sprinkler system and Plumis’ Automist technology – which the couple had discovered at the Homebuilding and Renovation Show a year before buying the barn.

The cost quoted for a traditional sprinkler system was significantly higher than the couple were expecting and meant that the renovation project itself was no longer financially viable. Fortunately, Automist was not only a fifth of the cost, but protection could be provided across the 5,425 square feet building whilst also fitting with the aesthetics of the home.

Our approach

As with many housebuilding projects there were a number of unexpected delays and changes that were made. Automist approved installer Vapourmist, however, were able to accommodate the Kitchener’s needs and begin the installation whilst other works were being carried out.

In total, 15 wall-mounted sprayheads were installed across Fifield Barn – ensuring the vast space is well protected in the event of a fire. 

Designed to be discreet – without compromising safety – once the system is activated and the alarm is raised, a pump drives mains water through the unique sprayhead’s nozzle unit, targeting the fire with a dense fog of watermist. This approach removes heat and displaces oxygen from the fire zone, resulting in fire control, suppression, or extinguishment.

Using 90% less water than a traditional fire suppression system, subsequent water damage following an activation is also reduced.


Due to layout changes, Vapourmist visited the site a number of times to assess whether the system would still be fit for purpose. 

Once the project was in a position to go ahead, Vapourmist’s team carried out the installation across a total of three days, with minimal disruption.

“After the work that’s gone into making this project possible, the last thing that neither I or my wife wanted was to have a fire suppression system that would be really intrusive and spoil the design of our home, but also would result in costly consequential water damage if activated,” commented Mr Kitchener.

“We honestly thought after having the quote for the traditional fire sprinkler system, we were either going to have to scale back completely or ditch the project altogether. 

“Given the increased capability Automist offers in comparison, we’re really pleased that the fire engineers and building control approved us opting for this alternative. We’ve been really grateful for Vapourmist’s flexibility throughout the two-year project, and we’re really pleased with the final install.”

If you are interested in knowing more about how Plumis’ Automist technology can support your conversion plans, get in touch on 020 7871 3899.

Download - A guide to getting rapid Building Control sign off with Automist

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