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.

Kingsland Grange opens its doors

Britplas recently welcomed over 60 key supplier accounts to its offices on a warm Friday afternoon in Warrington.

Britplas’ first Supplier Day was held with the aim of providing an update on key elements of our procurement strategy as well as our overall vision for the business moving forward. The day provided an opportunity for suppliers to engage with the wider Britplas team, and learn a little more about key pipeline projects as well as receiving a tour of the Britplas factory.

A reliable, high quality supply chain is crucial in helping us to achieve the consistently high standards of service and product which our clients expect and in line with our key business value of Better Together, we are committed to continuing to develop and nurture these relationships.

Our Chairman, Kevin Gorman commented “No matter how well an organisation is run, it can only be as good as the companies that supply the goods and materials it needs to deliver a quality project, having a specific day where we can bring our supply network together to show the big picture, made everyone feel included and appreciated.”

We’d like to thank all those who attended, and with plenty of positive feedback already, we are looking forward to making this a regular event.

The day was rounded off with some drinks locally in Stockton Heath, followed by England in the World Cup!

Design to install service from Britplas

The design phase is well underway for Milton Keynes’ new Blue Light Hub, and Britplas have recently constructed a sample section of the vertical façade in order to fully test and refine the glazing system.

The Blue Light Hub is a £14 million development which will create a state-of-the-art combined fire, police and ambulance centre. Its striking curved façade is due to be installed by Britplas towards the end of the year and includes Schüco FWS 50 curtain walling and Schüco AWS 65 windows and doors.

Andrew Harrison, Design Manager for the project commented “Due to the complexity of having vertically faceted mullions sat on a faceted curve the reasons behind the decision to produce a sample were twofold. We needed to provide the client with a full size sample, to allow them to see a realistic representation of their concept and allow us to provide a benchmark for the standard of the internal and external joints, the finish achievable and how the overall appearance of the screen will look using a PPC spandrel panel within the blue framework and clear glass.

Secondly, we needed to fully understand the fabrication and construction of the mullions, connection of the transom upon a faceted joint and complete a time and motion study to ensure our production program will meet site delivery requirements.”

Britplas also understood, from early collabration with the client Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue, the importance of the panel colour reflecting the glazed areas along the shaped façade. The construction of a sample was the best way to ensure that these aesthetic requirements would be met.

The finished sample has also allowed us to develop and improve the mullion joints and transom connections and understand the drainage aspect for the mullions.

Britplas take BIM to the next level

Britplas are proud to announce that we are the first subcontractor in the UK to achieve BIM Level 2 accreditation with Lloyds Register EMEA (LR).

Attaining Level 2 shows Britplas’ commitment to becoming a fully BIM compliant company, along with the advantages that this brings for both our clients and partners. Building Information Modelling (BIM) involves digitally constructing a facility before it is built. The process allows for greater project collaboration, and can bring significant efficiencies in information exchange, training processes and risk mitigation.

Britplas have completed several projects using BIM Level 2, including Project Capella, a new state of the art laboratory building at Cambridge University.

At the core of BIM Level 2 is compliance with the standard PAS 1192. The Lloyds accreditation goes beyond this, however, and also introduces business best practice principles into the scope of assessment.

Areas which Lloyds assessed within the company include

  • advanced 3D modelling tools;
  • appropriate standards
  • methods;
  • procedures;
  • skills;
  • competencies; and
  • infrastructures

Our in-house design and health and safety teams worked closely with Lloyds to ensure that we continue to be compatible with the very latest our industry has to offer. “It’s been a pleasure to work with Stuart Duncan and the team at Britplas on their BIM journey” said Andrew Carter, Lead BIM Assessor (LR).

Presenting their BIM certificate Karl Miller, Utilities Manager (LR) said “We’re seeing a more diverse range of companies now achieving BIM Level 2 accreditation. As a commercial glazing specialist Britplas are showing that this accreditation is not just for architects and constructors”.

Britplas chosen for emergency services reshuffle

Britplas have been appointed to provide the external envelope of Milton Keynes’ new Blue Light Hub. The £14 million development will create a state-of-the-art combined fire, police and ambulance centre to serve as a central command centre, replacing several dispersed services spread through each borough.

The project is being led by Kingerlee Limited who are contracted to complete works on site by August 2019, with Britplas due to start their £2 million external envelope package in late October 2018 and finish late June 2019.

The in-house design team at Britplas worked closely with Kingerlee to create an envelope which worked for the specific needs of this unique building. composite cladding, Schüco FWS 50 curtain walling and Schüco AWS 65 windows/ doors are due to be installed on the landmark project which will form part of a 3 acre site in Thornbury, West Ashland.

As part of the development, services provided by Bletchley and Great Holm Fire stations and Bletchley Police Station will move to the Blue Light Hub.