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.

Westgate Oxford opens to the public

Oxford’s new £440million Westgate Shopping Centre, where Britplas delivered the full external glazing package for two blocks, was completed and opened to the public on the 24th October.

Britplas were appointed to the two stage project, which brought with it various challenges particularly around access, by main contractor Laing O’Rourke. Westgate block 1 comprised the installation of multiple aluminium door varieties and a unitised curtain walling system creating a technical challenge for our design team which was overcome with collaboration from the system supplier, Schueco. Block 4 involved the manufacture, supply and installation of aluminium doors, Schueco FW60+ curtain walling and fixed light glazing. Together these packages totalled £2.4m and represented several months on site for our installation team.

The Westgate development was a joint venture between Land Securities, The Crown Estate with Westgate Oxford Alliance to improve facilities in Oxford City Centre, with the revitalisation of the 1970 built shopping precinct central to this. 125 shops including the major new John Lewis with its Britplas façade are expected to bring in triple the amount of shoppers as previous years.

Britplas proudly become founder patrons for Warrington Youth Club

Commercial glazing specialist, Britplas, based in Woolston Grange, has recently become a founder patron of Onside Warrington Youth Club. The company led by Kevin Gorman, John Blackwell and Colin Duncan has been working closely with the charity to gain a clear understanding of the impact that the new Warrington Youth Zone will have in the town. Employing over 90 people locally, the company is firmly grounded in Warrington and has strong connections with the local community.

Warrington Youth Club is the largest voluntary sector youth club in the town and currently works with over 2000 young people each month from ages 7-25. They believe in “Inspiring young people to achieve”. As well as their action-packed school holiday clubs they support young people with social, emotional, fitness, educational and personal development programmes. The club is currently raising funds to create a new purpose built Youth Zone at Winwick Street, Warrington which will provide them with a permanent base from which they can continue to provide excellent social and educational opportunities for children and young people from across Warrington every day of the year.

Britplas’ support as a founder patron includes a financial commitment over the next four years and the company will be encouraging staff to get involved in fundraising and other volunteering opportunities. Through this invaluable support the charity will move a step closer to making the vision of a new Youth Zone in Warrington a reality.

Colin Duncan of Britplas, commented “We are very proud to be associated with OnSide Warrington Youth Club and the development of a purpose built Youth Zone in Warrington. As a local business, we are always keen to give back to the community in which we operate and our staff are really looking forward to getting behind the cause and doing some fundraising.

The new facility will allow the charity to give local young people the same excellent support and opportunities they have in many other towns across the country.”

Dave McNicholl, CEO said “I am delighted that Kevin, John, Colin and the team from Britplas have decided to support OnSide Warrington Youth Club, we recently had the opportunity to talk at their staff conference and one issue connecting us both is mental health. One of our members explained how the Youth Club had provided a support net for her when she was faced with severe mental health issues. As a registered charity we are not guaranteed funding and rely on supporters and fundraising. Founder Patrons give us a regular source of income towards the development of the Youth Zone and its running costs which currently stand at £1,250,000.

We are absolutely thrilled to have them on board as we enter the next stage of the development of the charity which was established in Warrington in 1930.”

Annual Britplas Team Conference

Britplas recently held its Annual Team Conference at Craxton Hall near Chester.

A fixture in the Britplas calendar since 2014, the day sees all employees coming together for a review of business progress over the past year and an update on strategy and targets moving forward, followed by some fun team-building activities. Staff also received an introduction to Warrington Youth Club, which Britplas will be supporting as a founder patron from 2018. “Our annual away day is an important fixture in the Britplas calendar” commented Britplas Chairman Kevin Gorman. “Bringing the team together helps reinforce one of our core values, being Better Together, and it’s important to reflect as a business on where we’ve been and where we’re going next.”

Following the morning’s presentations, the latter part of the day consisted of 90+ employees competing in the Crystal Maze, luckily, in some nice Cheshire weather.  The mixture of mental and physical activities tested the 12 groups with the Blue team coming out on top by one extra ticket collected in the Dome.

Britplas secure Honeybourne Place contract

Britplas have secured a £2.9m glazing contract at a new commercial development in Cheltenham, Honeybourne Place. The mixed use development consists of ground level retail units and penthouse apartments, with the bulk being office space.

The £12m build will complete the redevelopment of the old St James railway site in the heart of Cheltenham, and provide a much needed 64,000 sq. ft. of office space as well as bringing 500 jobs to the area. Britplas are again working with contractor Barnwood Construction who broke ground at the site last month, with Britplas due to start on site towards the end of 2017.

Britplas’ package of works includes the design, manufacture and installation of Schüco FW60+ curtain walling, Wrightstyle SR60 steel fire resistant screens, finished with composite and brick slip cladding.

Britplas reach finals of Building Awards Specialist Contractor of the Year

We are delighted to announce that we have reached the finals of the Building Awards 2017 in the Specialist Contractor of the Year category.

The Building Awards are the industry’s longest running and most prestigious recognition of excellence, celebrating the best of the UK’s construction sector.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 7th November.

For a full list of finalists click here.

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.

Work starts on site at Oxford Science Park

The latest collaboration between Britplas and Barnwood Construction has now started on site, with the steel framework now in place at Plot 12, Oxford Science Park, in readiness for the installation of a Schüco FW 50+ curtain walling system.

Recently named the Schrödinger Building, Plot 12 is a 61,500 sq ft, £13 million state of the art office and laboratory building due for completion early next year.

Britplas Site Manager Kevin Wilkinson is now preparing for the first glazed units to be lifted in to place over the next few weeks. The project is the third secured by Britplas for main contractor Barnwood Construction following the successful design and installation of two building façades on the nearby Milton Park development last year.

Our Pre-Construction Manager Ben Woodward commented “We are delighted to have secured a third project working with Barnwood Construction. The ongoing collaboration is testament to the high standards achieved by our design and construction teams on the recent Milton Park projects, and we look forward to helping to create another great building which will be an exciting addition to our portfolio.”

Work progressing well at Westgate Block 4, Oxford

Building on from the success of Britplas’ work at Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford, Laing O’Rourke has retained Britplas on site to install the façade and glazing on the new Block 4 of the same development.

The £1.1m contract consists of the manufacture and installation of Schüco FW50+, FW50+ SG and FW60+ SG systems, with Britplas also required to provide multiple doorset varieties including frameless, circle slide and swing operation varieties.

Working closely with main contractor Laing O’Rourke and architect Dixon Jones, Britplas has come up with a system adapted to suit this project’s specific requirements, having started on site in February with the program running through to August 2017.

The £440 million redevelopment of Oxford’s Westgate Shopping Centre will have more than 100 shops, 25 restaurants and cafes, a cinema and 61 flats and covers over 800,000 sq ft. The new centre is due to open in October 2017 after a two year redevelopment programme.

Landmark telescope development brings Britplas on-board

Britplas have recently secured a £1.2million package for the installation of the façade at the new Square Kilometre Array (SKA) building at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. Our design department has already started working closely with The University of Manchester and main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, to ensure the solution is fit for purpose as part of this world class research facility.

The high-spec Aluprof systems consists of MB70 doors and windows set within 1200m2 of SR 50N curtain walling system, producing a slim line external profile for the £16.5million project. The external façade is completed with 1000m2 of Trimo Qbiss cladding.

The SKA is the world’s largest multi-purpose radio telescope, based in both South Africa and Australia, with over one hundred thousand dishes and antennae being controlled from Jodrell Bank. About the project, Professor Stephen Watts, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester stated “Our astronomers and engineers are playing a significant role in this revolutionary new telescope, and obtaining planning permission for the new building is a key milestone – we very much look forward to seeing the development move forward over the next year.”