Musgrove Hospital

Flexibility is at the heart of the Laidlaw Balustrades service which is why they are able to successfully supply handrails and balustrades across a range of sectors. This ability to manufacture solutions to meet the specific needs of a project proved vital when Laidlaw Balustrades was specified for the Musgrove Hospital redevelopment.

The ÂŁ34 million building in Taunton, Somerset, is designed for surgical inpatients and includes 112 single rooms for people who would formerly have been housed in wards. Specifying and installing balustrades for such a setting requires a deep understanding of the needs of the medical sector alongside a willingness to work with architects and contractors to identify the best solutions.

We work with architects during specification so that we can tailor our products to their specific requirements and factor in anything that affects how we install them. We can then produce production drawings to make sure everything we supply is fit for purpose, before manufacturing the product.

David Hough (Laidlaw Balustrades director)

At the Musgrove Hospital this involved making sure the balustrades on the upper concourse gave patients passing through on trolleys and beds privacy by obscuring the view from lower levels. Laidlaw Balustrades also ensured loading issues created by the use of glass on upper floors were taken into consideration and resolved.

By working collaboratively clients are able to make the most of Laidlaw Balustrades’ technical expertise and the company’s high quality range of products. “Our products offer low maintenance, longevity, a range of colours and flexibility that allows them to be adjusted for each use. Our early involvement means we provide support all through the specification process and respond quickly to any issues that arise,” adds David Hough.

The products specified at the Musgrove Hospital not only needed to be durable and easy to clean, both important features in a health setting, they also had to contribute to the sense of light and space that the building’s designers hoped to achieve. With this in mind the Nylon, Stainless Steel and Structural Glass balustrades ranges were chosen, providing the hospital with robust but aesthetically appealing hardware.

The Nylon range was used on two sets of stairs. It offers fracture resistance, high strength and thermal stability along with a smooth surface that is easy to clean and doesn’t attract dust. The fact it comes in a range of colours also enabled it to add to the bright, uplifting design of the hospital. The 4mm thick nylon sleeve is coloured throughout, so the colour can’t be chipped, scratched or worn away, this makes it particularly applicable to areas of heavy use. In addition Nylon products conform to BS 8300 which requires balustrades and handrails to be a comfortable temperature when touched.

In other areas of the hospital Laidlaw Balustrades’ Stainless Steel range was specified. Its sleek design mirrors the modern nature of the building while its mechanical strength, durability, resistance to chemical corrosion and easy-clean characteristics make it ideal for use in busy medical situations.

Finally the Structural Glass range was specified for a structural glass ramp with glass manifestations. Structural Glass provides balustrades solution that allows light access into the building’s open spaces which fitted with the development’s design ambitions. The glass acts as the structural element, supporting the top rail without the need for separate uprights and panels.

“Not only are these high quality products, at Laidlaw Balustrades we know how and where they should be designed and installed in schools, businesses and hospitals,” says David Hough, emphasising the comprehensive service the company provides.