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Building Products April 2017

HOTELS, LEISURE AND HEALTHCARE aesthetic over an extended lifecycle is vital, as the hospital must continue to inspire confidence and reflect the cleanliness of the clinical environment over time. Using a material like ceramic granite, which is impermeable, helps to safeguard against staining, fading and discolouration and resists algae growth and chemical contaminants, reducing maintenance costs and extending service life. Hospital builds can take 2-3 years and, as one of the final elements of construction, the façade often has to be delivered to a very tight programme. A system that is easy to handle on site and fast and simple to install can be pivotal to achieving business critical deadlines. Early engagement with the façade provider is key, particularly on larger projects where façade panels needed to be fabricated in multiple sizes 18 BUILDING PRODUCTS | APRIL 2017 and delivered in an installation-ready format with all fixings, brackets and straps attached for delivery on a just-in-time basis, in line with a predetermined installation plan. Any supply issues could compromise completion dates so early procurement, selection of a supplier with their own production facilities and close collaboration with the supplier’s technical team are all advisable. The installation method can also be essential in achieving a high standard of finish within a tight time frame. Prefabrication of panels will ensure that the fixings on each panel are securely fastened in the correct location and, by sourcing the installation-ready panels and the rails for a ventilated façade system from a single supplier, the contractor can be confident of an exact fit. A façade system that allows non-sequential installation of panels offers greater flexibility for working around other trades or completing the most business critical areas of the building early. For example, it may allow the contractor to complete works at street level during a short road closure window before returning to other areas of the façade. This non-sequential installation approach can also be vital to legacy management of the building too, as panels can be removed and reinstated individually to allow access to the building services or insulation. This can be a significant benefit in healthcare buildings where there is a frequent need to remodel the interior space and re-route services. As with most sectors, operational cost management is a vital consideration when specifying healthcare projects, particularly with large hospital buildings that are heavy energy users. For NHS schemes, the whole life costs and lifecycle of the chosen system also forms part of best value criteria. A ventilated cladding system draws air through the cavity, removing heat buildup and moisture from rain or condensation, while enabling the installation of continuous insulation, to provide exceptional thermal and acoustic performance and indoor environmental quality to reduce the heating and cooling load required. These sustainability benefits can contribute to BREEAM accreditations and can also help to upgrade existing healthcare buildings to extend their service life and improve their operational efficiency. The façade system plays an important visual, material and environmental role in hospital design and construction, so selecting a system with a proven track record in healthcare environments helps to ensure the finished façade will meet the varied needs of complex hospital buildings. Brian Newell is founder and chief executive of Shackerley <<< Continued from page 17


Building Products April 2017
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