Accolade for Acre Mill

A ‘state-of-the-art’ healthcare facility has won first place in the public health and education category in the biennial Architectural Ironmongery Specification Awards, organised by the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The team behind the Acre Mill Outpatients Centre has already won other industry awards for its £14m conversion of a 56,000 ft2 Grade II listed former wire mill in Lindley, Huddersfield. Acre Mills is the first UK health sector development project to be completed by public private partnership, the Pennine Property Partnership, on behalf of Henry Boot Developments and Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

Dealing with a listed building and a tight budget impacted the architectural hardware decisions of architectural ironmonger, Em-B Solutions, and Jefferson Sheard Architects. The specification took into consideration the need to conserve and retain the building’s natural features.

The majority of the doors have Grade 4 round bar return satin anodised aluminium (SAA) lever handles, and corridor doors also use the same material but on D-type pull handles. The SAA finish was specified for its durability in high traffic areas, and for its ability to withstand abrasive cleaners. It is reportedly also easy and relatively inexpensive to maintain.

Other ironmongery specifications included digital locks for increased privacy and security, and the use of nylon handles on the laser treatment rooms to prevent interference with the sensitive laser machines.

Paul Bellamy, regional area manager at Em-B Solutions, said: “It’s a very interesting building that had a lot of technical elements that impacted on our hardware choices. We also had to consider longevity and whole-life product cost cycle, while staying on time and to budget. We’re really proud to have our project recognised in these awards, especially going up against other such outstanding projects.”

In the GAI/RIBA Specification Awards, the judges looked at the scope of works, the suitability of the architectural ironmongery and its fitness for purpose, its compliance with relevant regulations and standards, and its aesthetic excellence.

The judges said of Acre Mill: “This building was a derelict mill thought by many to be impossible to convert to an NHS outpatients department. The ironmongery specified and fitted was of a high specification, well matched to the internal feel of the building. Such was the care given to the project that every door, approximately 330 in all, was checked by a former fire officer for compliance, operation, and necessary adjustments. This included closer power, speed, and latching to suit each application, including accessibility. It was this overall attention to detail which caught our eye as making this project a worthy winner.”

Pictured (left to right) are: GAI President, Maria Powell, Paul Bellamy, regional area manager, Em-B Solutions, and Alan Brown, sales director, Forza Doors.




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