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Malbern Windows Takes Extra Car Of Residents On PFI Scheme


Malbern Windows is celebrating another successful project completion after supplying over 500 windows to Cheshire Extra Care, a £200m+ PFI housing scheme - one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

Cheshire Extra Care is a design-and-build project awarded to avantage, a consortium made up of Harvest Housing Group, MJ Gleeson Group and Nationwide Building Society. Malbern Windows supplied and installed the windows on behalf of main contractor, GB Building Solutions.

Malbern, a Eurocell fabricator, was appointed following a thorough tendering process, principally because it had an exemplary track record with Gleeson in the areas of quality and customer service. These factors were vital to ensuring the project was finished on time and to the required standards.

The Cheshire Extra Care housing project consists of five sites across the North West, each with access to a broad range of amenities and services that are designed to maintain the independence of the elderly residents.

With the number of people over 85 years of age across the UK set to increase rapidly in the next few decades, Cheshire County Council initiated the project in response to the growing need for a new generation of ‘housing with care’ for the elderly. When completed, Cheshire Extra Care will provide over 430 extra care dwellings across the five sites.

Using Eurocell’s Eurologik profile system in white, Malbern fabricated and installed over 500 windows, including many in a top hung style, which met the brief for optimum window ergonomics. Top hung windows have handles on the bottom of the opening sash, within 1000mm of the floor, giving residents with limited mobility much more comfortable reach when opening and closing a window.

The second part of Malbern’s brief was that the windows had to be thermally efficient as the project had to meet BREEAM ‘Very Good’, which is beyond the statutory minimum of current Building Regulations. BREEAM ‘Very Good’ is achieved by meeting a selection of credit-based environmental performance criteria, including Low-E glass on the windows and high levels of insulation in the walls. BREEAM is the Environmental Assessment Method developed by the BRE (Building Research Establishment), which assesses the environmental performance and sustainability of buildings.

Low-E glass was used for the larger glazed areas and certain south facing windows on this project. This type of glass reflects heat from the sun during hot summer days, preventing solar gain, whilst keeping heat from the radiators in the rooms during winter.
Wayne Clarke, Joint Managing Director at Malbern Windows, explains: “With the back-up of Eurocell’s quality profile system and our focus on customer service, we were able to help GB Building Solutions meet the demanding schedules on this project.”

Malbern Windows maintained its reputation for excellent customer service by supplying over 100 windows to each site on a detailed call-off that had to keep pace with the rapid build schedule expected by Cheshire County Council. Building work was able to progress at a rapid pace because many of the structural elements were pre-fabricated off-site.

Peter Westwood, Design Manager at GB Building Solutions, explains: “We have been delighted with the quality of the windows supplied by Malbern, along with the company’s responsiveness and service. This has been a critical part in ensuring the smooth running of this complex project.”


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