Special health, safety and disinfection rules are a part of daily life in healthcare facilities. Now, in a time of epidemic, they are observed even more strictly. Systems by ALUPROF S.A., the leader of Poland's aluminium joinery sector, are being used with steadily growing frequency in hospital buildings and clinics.

As Aluprof’s Director of Commercial Sales, Zbigniew Poraj, explains:

Aluminium joinery fittings are easier to disinfect thanks to the properties of the material itself, which is why it’s used to produce containers for medical instruments, for example. What’s more, ALUPROF offers a range of additional systemic solutions and hardware to support the hygiene of the building and increase the safety of its users. When material is ordered, our paint shops can apply a coat of IGP Dura Care, which provides antibacterial protection. We also use handles and other door and window furniture finished with an antipathogen coating.

Antibacterial protection

ALUPROF’s systems offer the possibility of obtaining full antibacterial protection by using a special powder coating, IGP Dura Care, which provides a long-lasting and effective safeguard. It is also used for painting hospital furniture and medical equipment. ALUPROF has two paint shops, one in Bielsko-Biała and the other in Opole, and they both offer systems finished using this technology. The efficacy of the supervision exercised over the powder coating parameters is borne out by the quality labels issued by the Qualicoat organisation and certificates from powder coatings supplier IGP.

The hardware items most exposed to the presence and growth of pathogens are handles and other window and door furniture. ALUPROF offers components covered with a layer of an innovative nanocoating by Sobinco. Handles featuring this nanocoat retain their antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties even under heavy use, as the highest possible antiviral results, obtained via independent tests carried out by Germany’s Hohenstein Institute, confirm.

Enhanced safety systems

ALUPROF offers a wide range of fire-resistant systems compliant with the method of installation set out in the relevant regulations, which also stipulate the necessity of meeting the norms. Both this kind of safety measure and smoke ventilation requirements need to be borne in mind at the design stage of any building, not only medical facilities. Technological progress means that fire-resistant partitions, smoke ventilation windows and the smoke integrity of doors are all solutions which can protect people’s lives and health. ALUPROF's range includes systems which make it possible both to create the construction elements involved in creating fire compartments and to guarantee appropriate routes for emergency exits or transporting the sick. In this area, the company’s solutions include construction products not only in the doors and windows category, but also for mullion and transom façade systems. Depending on the specific requirements for vertical structures, the fire resistance classifications for these types of structures range from El15 to EI120.

Zbigniew Poraj remarks that:

ALUPROF’s systems provide the opportunity of combining various structures when designing fire compartments and of maintaining the relevant fire-resistance classification at the same time. For instance, our MB-78EI door system can be built into a façade. A structure created like this can have an E130 or an E160 classification. Similarly, it's possible to build that door system into our MB-118EI partitions. As another example, our MB-78EI DPA automatic sliding fire door was installed in Southmead Hospital in Bristol in the UK.

ALUPROF’s systems can also be equipped with panic hardware. These handles, which facilitate fast and efficient egress from a building and the transport of the sick within a medical facility, are required by law.

Safe fire compartment partitions

Another range of ALUPROF solutions which are ideally suited to medical facilities can be found in its partition walls. One example of this is the MB-80 OFFICE double-glazed partition wall. It is used to build interior partitions in offices and other public spaces such as hospitals and clinics and is particularly recommended for buildings where a high level of acoustic insulation is a must. The system meets the restrictive requirements of the PN-EN 02151:2015 standard; depending on the infill used, noise reduction of up to 50 dB can be achieved.

In order to create spaces which are functional and, at the same time, safe, ALUPROF’s engineers designed the MB-78EI system which formed the basis for the company’s transparent, fire-rated partitions. This solution, known as the ‘mullion-free wall’, makes it possible both to build interior partitions with no visible, vertical profiles dividing the individual modules and to maintain full fire-resistance. The interior infrastructure of hospitals and clinics created using these systems provides the capability of partitioning off separate areas while retaining fields of visions and fire-resistant properties.

Experience-based solutions

ALUPROF systems have been a feature of healthcare facilities for years. In the UK, the company’s solutions are a part not only of the Southmead, but, to name just one other, they are also found in the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, a building which has received numerous awards, including the coveted North-West Building of the Year conferred by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Another example lies not so far to the west; St. Mary’s Primary Care Centre, Cork, in the Republic of Ireland. Aluminium window, door and interior systems by ALUPROF have also been used in a number of popular private clinics in Poland, Germany and the UK.