Scottish healthcare facilities’ replacement windows get warm welcome
Issues with ageing timber windows at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, a 300-bed acute facility, and learning disability hospital, Lynebank Hospital in Dunfermline, have seen the operator of both sites, NHS Fife, replace them with REHAU PVCu units.
Contractor, M&S Windows, was tasked with sourcing a replacement window system for over 350 timber windows at the two sites following the company's successful completion of a number of projects upgrading various healthcare buildings within NHS Fife’s jurisdiction.
Derek Sinclair, director at M&S Windows, said: “Our 24 years of working with healthcare organisations has given us a sound understanding of how hospitals work, and we appreciate there is no room for error.” After Derek Sinclair visited both hospital sites with the Estate managers to assess the issues, it soon became apparent that an upgrade from the existing timber windows was required; installed in 1965, they were making the buildings inefficient, and demanded additional maintenance. Both properties had specific areas of concern, with around 50 windows needed for the main canteen at Victoria Hospital, and 300 new windows for the offices and Learning Disabilities Services wing at Lynebank Hospital.
Both sites presented challenges – specifically, safety and security were of high importance to Victoria Hospital due to the purchase of a new £1. 3 m MRI scanner, while work at Lynebank Hospital unearthed asbestos presence in the old windows, and the building owner recognised its duty to manage this issue as per the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Working with Fife-based REHAU fabricator, DP Windows, M&S Windows specified, manufactured, and installed, around 350 of REHAU’s Total 70C PVCu casement windows in white across the two buildings. REHAU said: “The versatile window solution was acknowledged for its ability to deliver on each of the hospital’s needs to a market-leading standard. For example, the double-glazed sealed units considerably reduce outdoor noise levels – critical for units where sensitive procedures and conversations occur.”
The REHAU Total 70 windows also reportedly have excellent thermal properties, achieving an A rating, the ‘highest possible’ Window Energy Rating (WER) for thermal efficiency, while the profiles incorporate ‘a unique compound’, with a smooth gloss finish, ‘guaranteeing to retain their pristine appearance and never warp, rot, or need painting’. Safety and security-wise, the windows comply with the British Standard BS7950 and PAS 23/24 security standards.
Derek Sinclair added: “With support from DP Windows, REHAU, and the Estates teams, we worked up a phased programme to ensure that facilities downtime was minimised. Because the Total 70 profile is so easy to work with, due to the 70 mm depth, there is no requirement for additional trimming when replacing old timber frames. This meant we could get the job done efficiently without compromising on installation quality.”
NHS Fife Estates manager, David Lowe, commented: “When it comes to prioritising health and safety of our staff and patients, we had to ensure that the project ran smoothly. M&S Windows went above and beyond our expectations, even working over weekends when required, so our facilities could be kept open as much as possible. We are really pleased with the outcome, and believe the REHAU products installed really solved our challenges.”