London's Francis Crick biomedical research facility uses copper furnishings

Published: 5-Dec-2016

The antimicrobial door furniture is ideally suited to medical environments

The prestigious Francis Crick Institute research facility, in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter, has incorporated antimicrobial copper door furniture throughout its laboratory and visitor areas.

The Francis Crick Institute is an ambitious collaboration of six founding research partners: the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, University College London, Imperial College London and King’s College London.

The world-class biomedical research facility aims to discover how and why disease develops in order to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, as well as infections and neurodegenerative conditions.

Specified for use within a series of lab environments and high traffic areas ­– including auditorium doors – are antimicrobial copper pull handles and push plates from UK manufacturer and specifier Allgood’s Contego range.

In addition, Contego lever handles and bathroom turns have been used for WC doors and storage cupboards throughout the building.

Contego is made from a solid copper alloy with the appearance of stainless steel, offering the aesthetics desired by the architects combined with the hygienic properties of copper.

Designed by architects HOK with PLP Architecture, the overall building concept emphasises visual permeability, collaboration and innovative lab planning.

A technically complex and challenging construction project, the Crick has been designed to the highest specifications to ensure the most sensitive biomedical research can be undertaken within the facility.

Constructed by Laing O’Rourke and supported by engineers, Arup and AKT II, the facility is 170m long, comprising almost one million square feet of floor space over 12 floors, one third of which are below ground.

David King, Senior Vice President at HOK said: ‘The Francis Crick Institute is the largest and most advanced research facility of its kind in Europe, but science is constantly evolving and therefore requires a highly collaborative environment to facilitate scientific research. We are delighted that our holistic design solutions will aid the Crick’s aspiration of “discovery without boundaries”, helping to keep London and the UK at the forefront of innovative medical research.’

Richard van den Bos, Product Manager at Allgood said ‘Allgood’s innovative Contego range of ironmongery—made from antimicrobial copper—is developed for and ideally suited to medical environments. It has the appearance of stainless steel, seamlessly integrating with surrounding ironmongery items, whilst harnessing the intrinsic benefits of antimicrobial copper.’

Copper is a powerful antimicrobial with rapid, broad-spectrum efficacy against bacteria and viruses, and has been shown to kill disease-causing pathogens, including influenza A, E.coli and norovirus, and even those with antibiotic resistance, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

It shares this benefit with a range of copper alloys—such as brasses and bronzes—forming a family of materials collectively called ‘antimicrobial copper’.

Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are used in hygiene-sensitive environments around the world—including hospitals, schools, mass transit hubs and sports facilities—to boost other hygiene measures such as hand washing, cleaning and disinfection and help reduce the spread of infections. They continue working in between routine cleans, requiring no additional staff training or special maintenance.


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