Jason Cross joins Britplas as Operations Director

Britplas is pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Cross to the new position of operations director.

With overall responsibility for delivering operational excellence across the design, manufacture and installation of Britplas projects, Jason brings considerable operational experience and skills to the role, having worked in the commercial glazing sector for some 32 years.

“I am thrilled to be joining Britplas at such an exciting time” commented Jason. “This is a progressive business with strong values and a unique proposition in the market. Our pipeline is strong and I’m looking forward to delivering continuous operational improvement with the support of a great team.”

Britplas Group is forecasting another year of impressive turnover growth, and Jason’s is one of several recent appointments which have been made in order to support the continued expansion of the business.

We are also delighted to welcome Gill Gribbin as financial controller to lead the accounts and finance team. In the factory, Ian Mitchell has been promoted to Commercial Line Production manager.

The sales team has also recruited a new member, with Matt Gorman moving from the estimating department to take on a business development manager role.

All smiles as Fortress Fencing is installed!

Britplas have completed the refurbishment of the courtyard fencing on Holt Ward at Newtown Hospital in Worcester – a mental health assessment ward for patients in acute crisis. The project was commissioned by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, who needed a more secure perimeter solution than the previous installation, reducing the chance of absconsion whilst helping to create a relaxed and calming environment.

Our Fortress Fencing was installed over two phases to minimize disruption for the day-to-day operation of the ward and the lives of service users living there. The 2.4m fence, printed with a woodland scene, was designed in collaboration with the client to provide a therapeutic space which would also contain people with wide-ranging mental health issues.

People are admitted to Holt Ward for a 14-day assessment period to understand their care -requirements. As service users’ needs are wide-ranging, the facility must conform to the standards expected of high secure facilities.

Bev Hardiman, the Ward Manager commented “We wanted a fence which would meet our security requirements but would also add an ambience to the environment where it could be used as a therapeutic calming space. The Britplas team were fabulous from start to finish, they took our ideas and created something fit for purpose! The team worked for a cause and not for applause!”

Bright Thinking leads to continuous development of products

Since its inception in 2006, Britplas’ Safevent window for mental health has evolved through 8 models whilst the sill used has remained the same until recently.

With every detail of our proprietary window products under constant review, our dedicated research and development department has recently been focusing on improvements to the sill design of the Safevent. Key to the drainage efficiency and the overall aesthetics of the window, the development process has resulted in a new, mental health specific, Safevent variant with four brand new sill profiles for both internal and external sliding Safevents following a 6-month process.

By switching from face drained to bottom drained sills, we removed the need for press-in plastic drainage caps and minimised the chances of the drainage channel being blocked, creating a more efficient system.

 

The Britplas way

Bright Thinking is one of our core values at Britplas, and the continuous improvement of our products through the R&D department is key in Britplas maintaining this principle. The Safevent window, our flagship product for the mental health sector, is always under review. The new sill is the latest adaptation using our philosophy to ensure that clients have access to the best products and service possible

Britplas’ Research and Development Manager Steve McGuire explains more about this latest development:

 

How long did the process take?

The process took around 6 months – the new sills were designed in about a month. We then had to produce die drawings and source which thermal breaks would work best with the extrusions. Accurate die drawings were then sent out to 3 extruding companies for pricing. We then produced a cost comparison spreadsheet to compare all the extrusion costs including die costs. The next task was to look at rolling and painting costs from the powder coaters. This all took around 6 weeks.

The next stage involved ordering sample extrusion lengths for testing. Drainage test results for all four sill profiles were excellent, so we knew we had cracked the design. Production was ordered including extrusion, rolling and painting, and we prepared the product for internal launch including the creation of an ECN pack, issuing of Britplas part numbers and drawings for the sills and end caps, and full briefings held with our procurement, design, production and sales teams.

 

When was the Safevent mental health sill last altered?

The Safevent sill design has not altered significantly over the past six years.

 

What extra functionality has been added and why is this important in mental health?

By switching from face drained to bottom drained sills, we have been able to remove the press-in plastic drainage caps which service users could potentially break off the windows leaving unsightly slots in the face of the Safevent. There was also the possibility of blockage due to the path of the drainage through the frames.

By switching the drainage through the bottom of the frames, no slots are visible so there is no need for plastic drain covers any longer. This has also allowed us to extend the drainage slots through the frame to allow water to drain through the system much more quickly and effectively. This prevents any water from pooling in the frame.

Maritime defence facility brings Britplas on-board

Britplas have been appointed as the external envelope supplier for the latest development of Qinetiq’s Portsdown Technology Park (PTP). Main contractor Volker Fitzpatrick will be completing the project for client QinetiQ, who have a long-standing interest on site which had its first military facility built in 1870.

The complex project will require Britplas to design, manufacture and install a mixture of curtain walling, cladding and soffit systems as part of a facade package worth in excess of £2m, made up of 1,450m2 cladding, 1,900m2 curtain walling and 675m2 fire screens. The new facility will offer 6,320m2 office space, an auditorium and accommodation, forming the National Maritime Systems Centre.

For over 45 years PTP has integrated and tested combat and communications equipment and software for all Royal Navy warships prior to their deployment at sea. The new £23m facility will continue this by securing 100 new jobs in addition to the 300 based at the site.

Recent examples of technology that has been tested and integrated with existing equipment includes BAE Systems’ Artisan surveillance radar and MBDA’s Sea Ceptor Air Defence System.

The exact systems being used are:

  • Schueco FWS 50+ capped curtain walling system
  • Aluprof MBSR50N fire rated curtain wall
  • Aluminum cladding system

Installation of the façade is scheduled to start on site in July 2019 with Britplas due to finish in by the end of 2019.

Britplas secure glazing package for Edinburgh St James, one of the UK’s largest private sector regeneration projects

Britplas has recently secured a contract worth in excess of £8m for the design and installation of the glazing to a large section of Laing O’Rourke’s landmark Edinburgh St James development.

With a total investment value of £1.7billion, Edinburgh St James is one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects, located at the top of Leith Walk. Its predecessor, the St James shopping centre, was built in the 1960s and has recently been demolished to make way for 850,000 sq. ft. of retail space, a luxury hotel, 150 new homes, 30 restaurants and a cinema.

At a pre-construction level our team worked with Laing O’Rourke and BDP Architects to deliver both the aesthetic and performance requirements of Edinburgh’s new centrepiece. The end result was a multi-faceted package consisting of:

  • Kawneer AA100 capped curtain walling
  • Kawneer AA720 window/ door suite
  • Kawneer AA4110 sliding door
  • Kawneer AA190 thermally broken and non-thermally broken commercial doors

Work on the site started in 2016, with extensive demolition and excavation required (to a depth of some five storeys). Britplas are due to begin installing the external facade in February 2019, finishing 10 months later in Q1 2020. The whole program is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

3 Peaks raises £4k for Warrington Youth Zone

After months of planning and practice walks, a group of 11 intrepid Britplas staff have completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge, raising an impressive £4,000 for OnSide Warrington Youth Club in the process.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge takes on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, in under 12 hours. These peaks form part of the Pennine range, and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The challenging route is 24 miles (38.6km), and includes 1,585m (5,200ft) of ascent.

An early start in the Yorkshire Dales saw the team set off at 6am and quickly conquer the first peak within 2 hours, with some of the group now realising what they had let themselves in for. A hard 12 mile slog saw them get to the second peak which was quickly followed by a steep third and the last 5 miles into Horton in Ribblesdale for a well-deserved drink. All team members finished within 11 hours 15 minutes, well within the 12 hour target.

As a founder patron of the new Warrington Youth Zone, Britplas has made a formal commitment to support the local charity over a four year period. The team have undertaken various fundraising initiatives, with the Yorkshire 3 Peaks sponsorship money allocated to help maintain WYC’s Buddy Up system, supporting disabled children in the Warrington area.

A big thank you to all those who donated!

Britplas take on the Yorkshire 3 Peak challenge

In the latest adventure with Warrington Youth Zone (WYZ) a team of 9 intrepid explorers from Britplas will be aiming to complete the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge in less than 12 hours.

Money raised will go towards WYZs Buddy up system. Buddy Up is a befriending service for disabled young people, they train young people from mainstream education to become buddies and then match them with disabled young people who need support in a number of areas of their lives.

The programme, which was developed in 2009, has supported over 500 disabled young people from across Warrington, by providing them with a volunteer Buddy. The Buddy supports the disabled young person with a range of issues including becoming more confident with using public transport, handling money or developing friends.

The three peaks challenge takes in the top of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire dales as part of a 24.5 mile route which ascends/ descends 1600 metres.

If you’d like to donate then please click here.

Britplas make it to the final!

After the summer where England couldn’t quite reach a final, Britplas have made it that one step further!

For the second time in our history we’ve been selected for the final shortlist of the prestigious Building Awards, in the category of Specialist Contractor of the Year. The awards are hosted each year to celebrate those who’ve had an exemplary year within the construction industry, and we’ll be there on November 6th.

Britplas has had another terrific year growing its turnover again, completing a number of landmark projects and further establishing itself as a facade contractor.

For the full list of finalists please click here.

New project, old client: Britplas bolsters mental health project pipeline

Britplas have been appointed to supply the windows and glazing package to Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s new mental health facility in Southport, in the continuation of a relationship which started 12 years ago with the installation of the first ever Safevent windows.

The brand new £20million facility is being built adjacent to the existing Boothroyd Unit which is currently in use as an acute assessment ward for over 65’s with functional and organic mental health problems, and which will eventually be replaced. The new unit draws on the latest in industry standards and will have Britplas’ Safevent Access window complete with integral blinds fitted to each of the 44 bedrooms.

In addition, Britplas have also been chosen to provide the whole external glazing package including curtain walling, doors and standard casement windows, with design, manufacture and installation all tailored to meet the standards required of a medium secure mental health unit.

“We are delighted to have such a longstanding relationship with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and to be working with them again on the new facility at Southport” commented Britplas head of sales Neil Guest.

“Rathbone Hospital was the first facility to have Britplas Safevent windows installed, some 12 years ago, and we have continued to develop the product to ensure that we are still at the forefront of design and usability in the mental health sector.”

Work on site has already started with Britplas having installed a number of windows on the ground floor, and is due to finish in late October.

Britplas appointed to Norton Street residential scheme

Britplas have been awarded a £4.2m contract to design and install the external vertical envelope to The Weavers, Norton Street – a £36m student accommodation development in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.

The scheme is located in Islington, 400m from both Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, and will house a total of 748 students across three blocks of eight, eleven and fifteen storeys.

Britplas were appointed to the 220,000 sq. ft. scheme by main contractor Create Construction, and are due on site in late August 2018, finishing early January 2019.

The in-house design department at Britplas have worked in collaboration with the client and scheme architect to choose a specification consisting of both Aluprof and Smartwall systems which have been chosen to meet both aesthetic and technical requirements. Products used will include:

  • Aluprof MB-SR50N capped curtain walling;
  • Aluprof MB-SR50N SG silicone pointed curtain walling;
  • Aluprof MB-70Hi window suite: Opening lights glazed internally, fixed lights externally; and
  • Smartwall thermally broken commercial door system.