Southmead Hospital.

Sector: Health Door type: Designer, Plasform®

The challenge.

The supply of 21st century doors to a 21st century hospital to satisfy patient needs and to fulfil the building’s design ambitions. Bristol’s new £430million Southmead Hospital opened its doors to the public in May 2014 offering state-of-the-art facilities and care in bright and uplifting surroundings. In collaboration with construction firm Carillion and architects BDP, Laidlaw were required to supply and install over 12,000 doorsets to the project.

The solution.

Situated on North Bristol NHS Trust’s Southmead site, the new Southmead Hospital is housed in the purpose-built Brunel building and brings the region’s acute healthcare facilities under one roof. It provides 800 beds, 75% of which are in single en-suite rooms – more than any other NHS hospital in the country. This has already proved popular with patients, says Andrea Young chief executive of North Bristol NHS Trust: “The biggest response from patients has been the benefits of being able to close the door, to rest and sleep well in their single rooms.”

Laidlaw’s experience in the health sector and close relationship with Carillion ensured it was able to manufacture and install doorsets throughout the building, including in patient bedrooms, that satisfied the needs of the patients and the stag as well as helping to fulfil the building’s design ambitions.

Working closely with all those involved in the construction process, from the design and specification stage through to completion, is central to Laidlaw’s approach and played an integral part in the success of this development, explains contract manager Alan Vanstone: “We attended co-ordination meetings at BDP in Shegeld with the project architect and the Carillion design team manager on a weekly basis for a year. At these meetings we checked that the details for every doorset were suitable for its intended use and that all the ironmongery we were supplying was also compatible."

Laidlaw’s engineered performance core EnduraCor was specified in areas such as corridors and bedrooms that are frequently used by heavy trolleys, beds and other bulky items. EnduraCor has fire retardant facings and flaxboard and its severe duty rating ensures it meets Health Technical Memorandum 69 guidance that states it is essential damage to a doorset does not impair its fire resistant qualities.

In the hospital’s theatre areas Laidlaw’s Plasform doorset was specified. Plasform is particularly suited to healthcare situations because its rounded post-formed edges minimise the build-up of airborne particles and can be easily wiped clean. Its flexibility ensures it can be adapted to meet the specific needs of each development, including scope for colourful and contemporary design.

All veneered doorsets incorporate Hygienilac within the lacquer, Laidlaw’s anti-bacterial additive, which kills 99.9% of bacteria, providing vital protection against the spread of infections such as MRSA, C.diff, Salmonella and E.coli. In high fire risk areas doorsets with up to 60 minutes fire resistance were specified, while acoustic performance of up to 32RwdB ensures patients in single bedrooms can rest in quiet surroundings.

Not only did Laidlaw provide doorsets that meet the practical requirements of a modern hospital it also took into consideration the desire to create a building that encourages patient wellbeing. “We developed a bespoke blind system that integrated blinds into bedroom doors and side screens, which enhanced patient privacy. We also contributed to the uplifting feel of the building by supplying all non-riser doorsets with American White Oak frames and American White Oak veneered doors, which give the impression of a high class hotel rather than a healthcare institution,” adds Vanstone.

The sense of space the architects wanted to engender in the building – exemplified by the 300m, eight-storey, glass-roofed atrium that welcomes patients and visitors – informed every design detail throughout the hospital including the doorsets which Laidlaw manufactured to a height of 2,600mm. This commitment to achieving the best solution for each specific project is a key part of Laidlaw’s comprehensive service, which marries technical expertise with sophisticated manufacturing techniques.

The company also has a wealth of experience working on large projects that require products to be supplied and installed in accordance with build schedules, which is vital on developments as complex and costly as the Southmead Hospital. This high quality and reliable service is why Laidlaw is such a valued supplier and the reason it continues to work successfully on some of the biggest projects in the health sector.

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