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Hope Street Student Accomodation

JELD-WEN, the leading manufacturer of timber windows, doors and stairs was chosen to supply fire protected timber stairs for a pioneering student accommodation development in Liverpool.

The Hope Street site was a former 1867 hospital which was previously demolished and has now seen one of the biggest development projects delivered in Liverpool’s historic Georgian Quarter.

The build itself was of particular significance with a volumetric construction system being used, which is not usually available in the UK. Each building was constructed with highly insulated, FSC certificated timber frame modules which were manufactured and delivered on site fully fitted, decorated to a high standard and ready wired and plumbed for all services. The stairwells were created by the walls of each module converging to create a rectangular shaft through the building where the stairs could later be installed.

“The standard expected of BWF Stair Scheme members for their stairs is extremely high to ensure quality and safety.”

Hannah Mansell | Manager of the BWF Stair Scheme

Timber stairs were specified for all residential levels, but it was crucial that these were fire protected communal stairs due to the multi-occupancy nature of the building.  JELD-WEN is the first and only volume UK timber stairs manufacturer to be certified by the BRE Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) for fire-protected timber stairs through the BWF Stair Scheme. The LPCB tests and verifies designs, performance, manufacturing process and quality assurance throughout manufacture to establish whether the timber stairs are serviceable and an effective means of escape, even after an extremely hazardous fire.

In addition, JELD-WEN also faced the challenge that the stairs supplied were for a seven storey building which is higher than normally specified for timber stairs.

Roy Anderson, Technical Manager at JELD-WEN stairs said: “Despite the challenging nature of this project, The Hope Street development was a fantastic project to be a part of. Our team at JELD-WEN stairs worked closely with building control to ensure that the stairs we supplied would meet the Building Regulations with flying colours.”

 

 

Hannah Mansell, manager of the BWF Stair Scheme, says:

“The specification of BWF Stair Scheme accredited stairs was a wise move in this challenging and innovative build. The scheme promotes effective design and reliable manufacture, developing guidance where standards and regulations are in conflict, and ensuring best practice advice is passed to installers to reassure that such products consistently meet the relevant performance requirements for loading, deflection and fire resistance where needed.

“The standard expected of BWF Stair Scheme members for their stairs is extremely high to ensure quality and safety. There is no straightforward method for Building Control to verify that a stair has been manufactured correctly and complies with the relevant standards and Building Regulations, other than looking for the Stair Scheme badge.

“The increasing use of timber stairs in multi-storey, multi-occupancy buildings such as this student accommodation project brings this into sharp focus. If a stair failed during an emergency evacuation, the consequences would be devastating. The common flight stair may act as one of the routes of escape in the event of fire. So it is vital that it is able to resist the effects of the fire and maintain its integrity. This demands a higher level of accreditation, which JELD-WEN has achieved through rigorous product development and testing.”

“The specification of BWF Stair Scheme accredited stairs was a wise move in this challenging and innovative build. The scheme promotes effective design and reliable manufacture, developing guidance where standards and regulations are in conflict, and ensuring best practice advice is passed to installers to reassure that such products consistently meet the relevant performance requirements for loading, deflection and fire resistance where needed.”

Hannah Mansell Manager of the BWF Stair Scheme

Fact sheet

Project: 339 room student accommodation development
Contractor: Nordic Construction UK Ltd
Architect: Hester Architects
Merchant: Buildbase, Gloucester
Location: Hope Street, Liverpool
Products: Fire protected communal timber stairs