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Britplas launch new Multask handle for mental health environments

Britplas have launched a new operating handle for their award-winning Safevent window. The Multask was launched at Design in Mental Health 2019 and replaces three separate pieces of hardware, bringing improvements in both functionality and aesthetics.

The Safevent window is designed specifically for mental health environments, providing safety and security whilst also allowing natural light and ventilation and a high degree of patient control. Up to now, the window controls have comprised a ‘wizzy winder’, patient thumb lock and staff lock. The new patented Multask handle provides the functionality of all three components within an anti-ligature, stainless steel shell that has passed all relevant industry tests for mental health environments.

The brand-new handle can be stopped at any point of being open or closed, giving both the service user and staff increased flexibility over both ventilation and privacy. The anti-tamper design of the staff lock greatly reduces the potential for damage and associated maintenance costs.

“The Multask was very well received at the recent Design in Mental Health exhibition” commented Britplas head of sales Neil Guest.

“Innovation is an important part of our culture at Britplas and the continuous improvement of our proprietary product range will always be a priority. We have completed the first window installations using the new hardware and feedback has been very positive..”

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.

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!

Safevent Access now available in uPVC

2018 looks set to be another year of innovation for Britplas with our latest window model, the Safevent Access, now available in uPVC. Originally developed in aluminium, uPVC prototypes were developed and tested throughout 2017, and the new window is now finalised and in production. Working with our profile suppliers Eurocell, new dies have been cast to ensure that production capacity is able to match demand for the new Safevent Access. The product is already proving of interest to several of our key clients within the mental health sector.

The continuous development of the Safevent aims to ensure that our clients have the most comprehensive range of solutions available to choose from. The Access offers a high degree of flexibility for maintenance and ease of access whilst retaining industry leading levels of robustness and natural ventilation.

Since its inception in 2006, Britplas has supplied and fitted over 40,000 Safevent windows to facilities around the world. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions regarding this or any Britplas product, or if you would like to request a demonstration.

Continuous improvement for Britplas Fabrications

Following another year of record sales, Britplas has modified the layout at its 42,000 square foot Warrington fabrication facility in order to further streamline its manufacturing operations and cope with increased demand going forward. The changes have been designed to help ensure continuous working lines for both aluminium and uPVC, with a newly consolidated façades area dealing with curtain walling and door orders.

The Britplas factory manufactures the company’s patented Safevent window, allowing for tight quality control of this specialist product, and is also now set up to deal with the various different product types and systems required by the wider commercial facades market.  A number of factory staff have been cross-trained, and supplemented with specialists brought in to ensure we remain at the forefront of manufacturing best practice.

The new modifications mean that lines can be adapted for free flow of product on any given day, with the following results already achieved:

  • Improved workflow
  • Adaptable workforce
  • Efficiencies expected to be plus 20%
  • Designated visitor route with information points
  • A safer environment to work in.

Further amendments will continue to be made as we look to adapt and optimise to keep providing the best service possible to our customers.

Britplas boost fabrication team with local apprentices

As a growing business and one that is committed to encouraging young people into the construction industry, Britplas has for some years been a firm proponent of apprenticeships. This has been continued recently with the appointment of five new apprentices to our fabrication team, with four more due to start before the end of the year.

All of the new starters are local to Britplas’ Warrington head office and factory. The company offers structured training, and over 56% of manufacturing staff have passed an NVQ or are currently enrolled on one, in addition to regular Health & Safety refresher courses.

This approach coupled with managerial support and a tailored personal development plan, supports a clear line of progression from apprentice to more senior roles within the factory and the business. The solid platform compliments a broadened knowledge of all areas of manufacturing curtain walling, aluminium doors and specialist fenestration.

Britplas offers apprenticeships to different age groups, both 17 to 21 and 22 to 30. This allows for people currently employed in other industries to start a career in construction at an age not normally associated with apprenticeship schemes. All are recruited without manufacturing skills.

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