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Britplas Wins Better Healthcare Award

27 November 2008

Cheshire based Eurocell Profiles fabricator Britplas is celebrating winning The Best Construction Product at the prestigious ‘Building Better Healthcare’ Awards for its SafeVent window.

Britplas developed the Safevent anti-ligature security window, in collaboration with Eurocell, in order to meet the needs of its customers in secure hospitals. It is also now installing Safevent across a much wider selection of healthcare projects. The Safevent window uses Eurocell profiles, along with Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass as its major components. Britplas also produces an aluminium version of the Safevent which is also proving popular.

The Building Better Healthcare Awards is organised by Architects for Health and aims to recognise individuals and organisations who share an interest in excellence in healthcare facility design. Judged by leading experts in the field of architecture, design and build, Safevent won against strong competition.

Kevin Gorman, a Director of Britplas and inventor of the Safevent Window, in conjunction with Ian Kernaghan, Product Design Manager at Eurocell, explains: “After coming up with the original design Eurocell’s profile range and design team were key to the further development of the product, as it allowed us to produce a solution that is very simple in its principles and execution, but which more than satisfies the strict criteria of the client.”

The Britplas SafeVent window has an in-line horizontal sliding action, which allows up to 50 per cent of the window area to open without the need for hinges, locking points, levers or handles that may be used as ligature points. It has an easy sliding action that allows frail or elderly patients to operate it unassisted.

Safevent’s open area is covered with a sheet stainless steel punched with tiny holes to create a virtually invisible mesh. Although, in description, this sounds austere, it is actually surprisingly discreet. The mesh prevents escape and the passing of contraband, while allowing fresh air, natural sound and light to enter the room.

As proven by extensive and violent independent testing, the Safevent Window is highly secure, whilst also complying with thermal performance requirements, in accordance with Part L of the Building Regulations. Crucially, for many specifiers, the windows provide an appearance and performance similar to that of conventional frames.

At the same awards evening, Safevent won through to the finals of ""The Best Ecological Product”, principally because it allows the window to be opened fully, providing adequate natural ventilation and therefore reducing reliance on mechanical and electrical cooling systems. Previously, windows supplied into any hospital, school or similar developments had to comply with Building Regulations, which state they must only be capable of opening to between 100mm and 150mm and therefore in summer would often require air conditioning in every room.

Reducing reliance on air conditioning is better for the environment as it saves a huge amount of electricity – on one particular project, they reduced the utility bill by over £250,000 during the first year after fitting SafeVent.

The BRE Green Guide recently awarded PVC-u an A* rating for sustainability when used in commercial developments, the highest possible, which helps with the ecological credentials of the Safevent window.

Since being launched, the Safevent system has been used by over 20 different NHS Trusts and private hospitals companies on over 100 projects. Their clients include Laing O’Rourke, Kier, Costain, Interserve, Balfour Beatty, Bethels, AllenBuild, Morgan Ashurst and many, many more.

For more information about the innovative SafeVent window fabricated by BRITplas, telephone: 01925 577801, or visit the website at www.britplas.com

For more information about Eurocell profiles contact the Eurocell Customer Care Team on 0300 333 6525. Alternatively fill in our contact form here.

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