As part of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, Queen’s Hospital, Romford, operates a full A&E service, trauma centre, hyper-acute stroke unit and one of the largest maternity units in the country.
The £261 million construction comprises of 4,500 rooms located across four storeys, which together deliver a diverse range of high quality specialist acute services to the population of East London.
Throughout the construction process, the specification of building components that could withstand the continuous level of high footfall, combined with additional hygiene considerations, were essential to ensuring the long term safety and operational efficiency of the hospital, its employees and their patients.
As part of this brief, over 200 of Howe Green’s unique Visedge® Series floor access covers were specified by Johnathan Bailey Associates throughout the entire hospital to provide permeant, secure and maintenance-free access to underground services, whilst also fulfilling the diverse range of requirements expected of such a demanding environment.
A key consideration at the initial specification stages was ensuring the access covers were low maintenance and not susceptible to rust or distortion. This would prevent any potential trip hazards for visitors or patients, whilst also ensuring the access solutions could withstand the high frequency of footfall, sanitisation and general cleaning required.
The cost-effective, lightweight aluminium Visedge® Series easily fulfilled these requirements, providing clean and concealed access to the underground services for the entire lifecycle of the building.
This was achieved through the innovative double-sealed frame construction of the access covers, which facilitates the prevention of dirt and water ingress by creating an impermeable, flat and permanent joint that bonds and welds the sheet flooring, rather than using an adhesive like other competitor products.
Compatible for use with flexible sheeting flooring systems traditionally used throughout the healthcare sector, including vinyl, linoleum, rubber and carpet, the resilient access covers feature crimped corners to enable both the cover and frame to lie completely flat for an unobtrusive, safe and secure finish. Bespoke fittings were also manufactured to ensure the access covers would facilitate a variety of square and rectangular cavities with small apertures for certain areas of the hospital.
To help streamline the process of gaining access to the underground services for the hospital engineers, whilst simultaneously minimising any potential disruption to visitors and patients, the use of lifting keys safely and securely raise the access cover. This also ensures compliance with all relevant health and safety guidance.