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Canopies retro-fitted into a care home's corridors.

Canopies by Armstrong Ceiling Solutions were specified for new-look common areas in a Royal Masonic Benevolent Care home for the three As - aesthetics, acoustics and affordability.

Some 240 Optima L white mineral canopies were retro-fitted by Mitie Technical Facilities Management throughout the corridors in the home in Porthcawl near Cardiff.

The brief from the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Company, a registered charity, was to raise the quality of the ceiling finish without losing access to the existing installations that were surface mounted as well as delivering this in a cost-effective way.

The charity's national project manager Rob Murray said: “I have used Armstrong products for many years and they deliver superior quality at an affordable price. To this particular project they bring aesthetics as well as reducing echoes within the corridors.”

He added: “The key to its success was the early involvement of Armstrong and Fagerhult Lighting in creating samples and testing of products. Through a close working relationship with my local specification manager Adam Mansell, I was able to get the personal service needed for this kind of trickier job.”

The 40mm-thick Armstrong Optima L 1200mm x 1200mm canopies feature excellent sound absorption, light reflectance of 87% and fire reaction performance to Euroclass B-s1, d0, and are also fully recyclable.

The Fagerhult Discovery EVO light fittings had integral wireless E-Sense Move which enabled Mitie engineers to install and commission the fittings very easily. E-Sense Move is a duplex system which means all luminaires are combined “master” and “slave”. When presence is detected, information is sent on to one or more luminaires, which turn on. Each sensor is able to actively “listen” to 15 other sensors. Commissioning is carried out by remote control which includes determining which luminaires should listen to one another, light levels for basic and low-level lighting, time settings for returning to low-level lighting and/or for turning lights off.

The £750,000 five-month refurbishment has proved popular with the end users.

“The residents have commented how much they like the new look,” said Rob.

Ryan Devinett, electrical contracts manager for Mitie, said: “The project was completed with minimal challenges and with ease I am pleased to say. The Armstrong canopies performed as planned, reducing noise while making the ceilings aesthetically pleasing.”

Adam Mansell said: “The hall's circulation areas were rather tired and in need of an update and I was called in to see what we could do.

“The ceilings were quite low and cables and services were potential problems also. I came up with the idea of fitting Optima canopies down the corridors so as not to disrupt services and the residents too much. The client and the FM manager are really pleased with the result, commenting on how good they look and how quiet the corridors are now.”


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