Pro Installer January 2022 - Issue 106 - Page 33

Products
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JANUARY 2022 | 33

Products

IMPROVING BUILDING HYGIENE – WHERE DOES DOOR HARDWARE FIT IN ?

ICOTHERM – ROOF LIGHTS AND LANTERNS

Icotherm ’ s popular flat roof , Icospan , is now supplied with the industry leading Sheerline S1 lantern .
As well as a focus on security , the S1 lantern has been designed with quality and performance in mind :
• Thermolock Multi-chamber technology for improve thermal performance
• Designed for 28mm glazing for both thermal and acoustic performance
• Co-extruded perimeter seal
• Ultra strong structure for spans of up to 3.2m x 6m with no tie-bar
• Ultra low line profile for a stylish appearance
• A wide choice of styles :
• 10 styles , from square to pyramid designs , including the larger options ideal for roofs like the Icospan
• 25 degree pitch
• Weather rated for the whole of the UK ( Rated for a snow load of 1.2 KN / m 2 . Covering the whole of the UK up to 200m altitude )
Finally , the design of the systems helps reduce fabrication waste , to minimise raw material usage .
The feedback we have received from our first S1 lanterns has been very positive . Installers are finding it simple to install and great to look at .
www . icotherm . co . uk
Daniel May , Director at Consort Architectural Hardware , discusses the role door hardware plays in improving hygiene within public building environments .
Eighty percent of common infections are spread by touch and every 30 minutes , the average person is said to touch surfaces that expose them to 840,000 germs . These germs are prevalent in buildings too , where touchpoints are areas or items that are used by several individuals . Within workplace environments for example , door handles are the most touched surface and can be associated with cross-contamination and health risks .
At present , the need to improve hygiene within our building environments , understandably , carries a greater significance than it maybe once did . But in truth , when it comes to building design , the process of protecting occupants and visitors against infection - especially those most vulnerable - should never be overlooked .
Design for Bacteria Control
Over the past two years , we ’ ve seen building environments closed , reopened and the process repeated . The idea of reducing footfall in facilities was key in fighting the rising infection rates associated with the coronavirus . But now , that footfall has returned .
Once again , those critical touchpoints such as door handles are harbouring germs . In fact , research has shown that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces for hours , and even days on metal door handles - and the same can be said for the common flu .
In response , we ’ ve seen government campaigns promoting hand washing , sanitising and distance-making in the wake of a return to public facilities . Undoubtedly , infection control methods such as hand washing and systematic cleaning are the most guaranteed way of controlling cross-contamination - yet , still these methods can become redundant when faced with human error or relaxed conventions within public buildings .
Building design can play an important role here . Daniel May , Director at Consort explains : “ We ’ re at a point where decision makers are under pressure to keep building hygiene standards as high as ever before . And outside of the clear-cut hygiene measures , it ’ s understood that more can be done throughout the building design process , with architectural hardware selection at the core of decisions .
“ Door hardware is the first touchpoint when entering , exiting or navigating a building , and can be one of the most bacteria-ridden . Yet , the latest in hardware advancements could give facility managers an edge in the fight against infection , especially in healthcare facilities , such as hospitals for example , where footfall is high and the need to maintain strict sterile environments already exists .
“ For added protection against bacteria , facilities can implement tailored anti-microbial hardware and finishes . Anti-microbial coatings applied to door handles are precisely formulated to prevent bacteria build-up upon the surface by interrupting cell multiplication . Some door seal solutions also make use of modern anti-bacterial technology , embedding it within the aluminium and silicone of the door seal during production , further reducing the spread of bacteria in high traffic areas .”
The Care Quality Commission ( CQC ) sets a regulation that cleanliness and effective infection control is a necessity for care and hospital locations . As well as best practice methods , healthcare environments are encouraged to introduce innovative infection control methods where possible . Similarly , under The Workplace ( Health , Safety and Welfare ) Regulations 1992 , decision makers have an active duty to keep inhabitants safe and their environments clean . And aside from the use of antimicrobial solutions , many are challenged to provide hygienically maintained environments without sacrificing fire or safety standards .
Daniel adds : “ Facilities with high footfall must also consider ventilation and ease of movement . Whether in healthcare , commercial or public environments , both are key elements of efficient building management and when done effectively , can further help inhibit the spread of infection by ensuring fresh air is consistently making its way through halls and rooms .
“ The most effective way to improve ventilation throughout a building is by opening its windows and doors . This creates an inlet for fresh air and an outlet for the old air , and with access points open , minimises the need to touch door handles . Yet , when focusing on airflow , it ’ s inopportune to disregard fire safety . Too many times , we ’ ve seen facilities fall foul of leaving fire doors propped open in favour of improving ventilation and ease of access - but simply put , it ’ s illegal to do so and leaves fire doors wholly ineffective in a fire situation .
“ Modern exit systems are purpose built to ensure fire doors can be left open safely and securely . Automatic door controls make use of sensors which activate the operator devices connected to the main access doors . In turn , this aids access and egress when required and closes the doors shut when necessary . In the event of a fire , the alarm is sounded , and the doors close automatically - ensuring safety is never compromised . What ’ s more , these systems can be integrated with the external building security , reducing risk on all fronts .
“ Ultimately , when paired with regular cleaning practices , these modern solutions can play an assist role in the fight against infection , helping to maintain building hygiene as well as the obligatory standards associated with building and fire safety .”
www . consortme . com
Sources : http :// www . bccdc . ca / health-info / prevention-public-health / hand-hygiene | https :// www . knowingmore . com / 2019 / 10 / 15 / its-global-handwashing-day / https :// www . cbsnews . com / news / one-germy-doorknob-can-infect-half-your-office-within-hours / | https :// www . insider . com / how-long-do-flu-germs-live https :// www . webmd . com / lung / how-long-covid-19-lives-on-surfaces | https :// www . cqc . org . uk / publications / major-reports / infection-prevention-control https :// www . gov . uk / government / news / new-campaign-to-prevent-spread-of-coronavirus-indoors-this-winter | https :// www . hse . gov . uk / pubns / books / l24 . htm