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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.

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.

Britplas sign off on two projects in Australia

Britplas have recently completed the installation of their award-winning Safevent window to two new mental health facilities in Adelaide, South Australia.

Flinders Medical Centre

One of only two major trauma centres in South Australia, Flinders Medical Centre has to deal with a wide range of issues and a broad patient demographic. Britplas were commissioned to provide aluminium internal sliding Safevent windows – chosen for their ease of use and versatility across a variety of situations, with integrated blinds to protect from the Australian sun. The overall project value was £100k, and involved the fit out of a brand new 30 bed older persons mental health unit.

Flinders Medical Centre is the second international job that Britplas and Cheeseman Architects, based in Adelaide, have worked on together.

The Veterans Mental Health Precinct

Also based in Adelaide but in Glenside, The Veterans Mental Health Precinct represents $15million investment from South Australia Health to deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related cases.

Britplas provided aluminium external sliding Safevents with integral blinds and flush locks to the new purpose-built facility, and installation was overseen by a Britplas Site Manager, Steven Gittens.

The new facility incorporates the existing Intermediate Care Centre (ICC) building and comprises 24 bedrooms, a gymnasium, research spaces and gardens.

The two facilities are the latest in a series of international projects undertaken by Britplas, as the Safevent window continues to prove itself a global market leader in mental health fenestration.

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