Saturday, 15 September 2012


Stringent requirements for fire and acoustic performance were the principal drivers for a multi-million pound public service and leisure hub in the centre of Wigan, leading to the specification of LIG company products throughout.

Following discussions with architects LCE / AStudio, main contractor Morgan Sindall and sub-contractor Parpac, Komfort Workspace’s partitioning systems and Laidlaw Solutions’ handrail & balustrading, and doorsets and ironmongery were specified for The Life Centre in Wigan.

Komfort’s Technical Specification Manager Andrea Glenister worked closely with all parties to meet the spec throughout both sites, which sit on either side of Wigan Town Hall. The agreed solution was to use Komfort’s Komfire 75, Komfire 100 and Polar with Trojan sliding doors. However, the amount of glazing on site, and the fact that it had to be hand manoeuvred into position on each floor of both buildings meant that health and safety was a major consideration and advisors were heavily involved on site.

“Each section of partitioning had to be hand-carried up to the required floor which required thorough risk assessment and substantial health and safety planning in order to work this around the other areas of the build,” said Andrea. “But thanks to a strategic plan we were able to safely install all the partitioning on both sites.”

The south site features a Healthy Living Zone with gym, swimming pool and fitness studio as well as health and wellbeing services, whilst the north contains a neighbourhood zone, library, soft play area and a one-stop shop for public services.

Clare Church, Project Manager from Parpac added: 

“The entire installation of Komfort’s products took around 14–16 weeks for both sites. Considering the scale of the build with that much glass, the valuable planning and safety precautions taken prior to installation ensured a smooth execution of works.”

Franz Lorenschitz, Marketing and New Product Development Manager at Komfort added: 

“Due to health and safety requirements, and for certification, Komfort had a significant role to play in the supply, delivery and installation of each piece of glass. This meant working closely with everyone on site to minimise risk and complete the installation in good time.”

Similarly, Laidlaw’s role in the project required a bespoke approach for the handrails and balustrades, and doorsets and ironmongery throughout both the north and south buildings. Laidlaw had worked for Morgan Sindall and the architects on a previous project and attended many meetings before the order was placed, with the design managers and architects paying attention to design detail and scope of works.

On special request from the architect, all the doorsets were supplied fully painted and as much work was done offsite as possible in order to retain as much control over the finished appearance as possible. The mortice locks for the doors were also factory-fitted and were delivered on site ready to be installed. Aside from the design, this approach also ensured compliance for fire and acoustic certification. On top this, Laidlaw also had to supply fully post-formed doors for the swimming pool area and provide ironmongery that was resistant to both the effects of both moisture and chlorine.

David Manley, Major Projects Manager said: 

“The architect opted for integrated door and ironmongery, which provides a 10 year guarantee and because it was all coming from the same source, procurement was much easier for the contractor. Furthermore, because the architect needed a consistent appearance throughout the site, Laidlaw supplied ironmongery to match the Komfort doors installed in other areas of the build.

Dean Rusell, Contracts manager at Laidlaw said: 

“This was the biggest project Laidlaw has ever done, we fitted our products to mezzanines, atriums and staircases and had to design specific uprights totalling 1.5 kN due to the nature of the building. We also had to take into account the computer flooring in the building which required a tailored approach and splitting the installation into two stages. In order to make sure all parties involved kept to schedules and deadlines we worked closely with Morgan Sindall and the contractor and it was very much a project where harmonious working was key to completion on time.”

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