New BREEAM Excellent Medical Centre Prescribes Performance and Style from Sapphire Balustrades

Sapphire Balustrades has manufactured and installed high quality internal and external balustrades for the new BREEAM excellent Ongar War Memorial Medical Centre in Essex. Structural glass balustrades from Sapphire’s Crystal system provide the perfect combination of performance and style for the high traffic healthcare environment.

Constructed to BREEAM Excellent standards by Rydon Construction for West Essex Primary Care Trust, the new building offers a comprehensive range of medical facilities over three floors, including two GP surgeries, physiotherapy, and dentistry suites. Rydon’s Assistant Site Manager on the multi million pound project comments: “Sapphire’s team was professional and approachable throughout and always ready to assist with solutions to any specific design requirements.”

Sapphire Crystal glass balustrades for the medical centre’s central stairway enhance the welcoming sense of light and space for patients and staff. Balustrade panels are manufactured from 15mm clear toughened glass: base channels holding the glass are fixed to the concrete sub-floor and concealed by screed for a clean, uncluttered appearance to the finished balustrades.

In addition to interior staircase balustrades Sapphire supplied a complementary solution for the medical centre’s roof terrace which is used by staff during their breaks. Crystal structural glass balustrades are installed around the perimeter with access via a structural glass gate. Given the height and exposed location of the roof terrace the balustrades are specially designed by Sapphire to resist high wind loads and include bespoke heavy duty slimline point fixings for optimum stability.

Stainless steel handrails from Sapphire’s Onyx range in a satin polished finish were specified to complement the handrails on the internal and external glazed balustrades. Handrail fixings are offset or wall brackets depending on the location. Balustrades throughout the building fully comply with regulatory criteria relating to their use by the disabled and children, which includes British Standards and DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) requirements. Balustrades to internal stairs, for example, are designed to be child-friendly being not easy to climb and having gaps that permit nothing larger than a 100mm sphere to pass through.

Summing up, the Assistant Site Manager for main contractor Rydon Construction says: “We were very happy with Sapphire’s overall performance on this prestigious project and will certainly be considering the company for future contracts.”