IG Blinds, manufactured in Australia by Australian Insulated Glass (AIG), have been installed with the recent upgrade to the Frankston Hospital’s Psychiatric Assessment and Planning Unit (PAPU) – and to significant acclaim. The window system was installed by Victorian company All Points Glass and Aluminium – the PAPU facility is just one of the mental health services available at Frankston Hospital.
IG Blinds, house quality European venetian blinds in the cavity (Intersitual) of a double glazed unit, and are permanently kept secure and dust-free within the IGU – the option also exists for them to be triple glazed if required.
Trudi McGauley, Senior Estimator with All Points Glass and Aluminium, explains this product’s multiple advantages in a hospital setting. ‘Jockey sashes have been commonly used in hospitals in the past, but these are no longer needed with products such as IG Blinds,’ she says. ‘The anti-ligature design is critical in a mental health facility, as it prevents patients from self-harm and allowing for natural light entering the hospital room to be adjusted to meet each patients individual preference.’
Responding to the brief also presented design challenges. ‘For patient safety, the units required 11.52 Super Clear Toughened PolySecure Laminate on each facing,’ Trudi points out. ‘The fully remote control function is enabled by a powerful motor to operate the Intersitual blinds, and we needed to ensure the mechanism would operate efficiently through the customised safety glazing system. Standard intersitual blinds can be manufactured with or without laminated glass and use a battery operated remote.
Sourcing materials to withstand high-impact was an important consideration. ‘As some of the Adult Mental Health Units can require PolySecure or a similar speciality Toughened Laminated Glass with Intersitual Blinds, the Capral 150 with 50mm pockets was one of the few systems with sufficient dimensions for these units to be glazed into,’ Trudi explains.
Another important feature with IG Blinds is improved hygiene. Unlike regular blinds or window furnishings, glass does not harbour bacteria or hospital bugs, with the IG Blinds contributing to a healthier environment for all patients, staff and visitors to the hospital.
IG Blinds’ design and superior thermal performance lowers energy costs, greatly improves patient comfort, and the glass specified by All Points Glass allows for increased transparency and natural daylight to enter each patients room. If external noise is of concern, or increased thermal performance is required, specifying the correct glazing system to address both of these issues can also be incorporated into IG Blinds.
Trudi couldn’t be happier with her supplier. ‘Phil French of AIG delivered complete custom-laminated units from Queensland to Melbourne in three to four weeks, as opposed to the timeframe of up to 12 weeks offered by other suppliers. This is even more impressive than it sounds, given that the motors had to be imported from Italy, then combined with the mechanisms and laminates which were custom-made in Australia.’
Patient safety, comfort and improved energy efficiency were on top of the brief with the Peninsula Health Frankston Hospital upgrade, now recognised as an innovative and world-leading medical facility.