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Article Date: 4th October 2017

Gilberts (Blackpool) - Innovation Extends to Balancing Safety & Wellbeing in New Hospital

GRAHAM-Bam Healthcare Partnership - Fresh Air - Ventilation Grilles

Gilberts - Ulster Hospital

A new hospital is using materials and design innovation to deliver a quality experience for patients - even to the detail of smoke protection.

The GRAHAM-Bam Healthcare Partnership (GBHP) has handed over the new £85million, 30,000m² Inpatient Ward Block, completing the second phase of the £261million redevelopment of Ulster Hospital for South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. The state-of-the-art building has taken an innovative approach to its design to transform patient care, with emphasis on using natural resources to aid recovery - including natural light and fresh air.

To help achieve the latter, whilst balancing the stringent safety requirements, sustainability consultants Cundall, M&E contractor Vaughan Engineering Services and ventilation services supplier WJ Hogg & Co all worked closely together, choosing Gilberts’ innovative Smokegard ventilation grilles as the preferred solution.

WJ Hogg has thus supplied 130no. Smokegard Mode B ventilators, with 60no. Uninterruptible Power Supply panels, to ensure a consistent flow of fresh air throughout the seven-storey hospital corridors, yet preventing the spread of fire and smoke, should the situation arise.

"We partnered with Vaughan to develop a strategy to meet Cundall’s brief. Our technical submission, emphasising the revolutionary approach in Gilberts’ products, satisfied Cundall that Smokegard was a great solution. By using Smokegard, air quality and movement could be maintained, even through closed fire doors, without compromising the integrity of those doors," explained WJ Hogg’s Roger Hogg.

Gilberts’ Smokegard features a unique, patented rack blade linkage that enables a damper narrow enough to fit within the confines of a fire door structure to be used, to allow ventilation in normal conditions, but prevent the spread of smoke and flames in a fire situation. A 24vDC electrical supply powers an integrated electro magnet, which, in normal conditions, holds the damper open to allow free flow of air through the door grille. In fire conditions, when smoke is detected, the fire protection system interrupts the power supply, causing the damper to instantly close; even if the protection system failed, a thermal fuse provides a fail-safe, triggering when external air reaches 72°C. The UPS panels ensure that, in the event of a power failure, the damper would not accidentally trip.

Gilberts - Ulster HospitalThe grilles are manufactured with interlocking stainless steel blades and side seals in a galvanised steel frame to combine rugged construction with maximum retardation capabilities. They can be used in walls, partitions, and fire doors as thin as 44mm. Fire tested to relevant British Standards, the Smokegard units are two-hour rated.

All Gilberts’ grilles, louvres and diffusers are designed and manufactured in the UK, at the company’s 85,000sq ft Blackpool headquarters. Gilberts is unique in its ability to engineer components- be it standard or bespoke - entirely in-house, from initial design through tooling, production, testing and supply. It also has one of the most technically-advanced in-house test centres in the country - which it designed and built using internal resources.

Founded 57 years ago, the family-owned company has grown to become the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist.

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