GAI members play their part to tackle coronavirus

Following the results of two recent member surveys, this week the GAI President, Julian Newman, was able to contribute data from the architectural ironmongery sector to the Construction Leadership Council.
Feedback has been positive, with confirmation that what this sector is experiencing is consistent with many other parts of the industry, with a similar pattern of impacts from COVID-19.
We also provided a selection of stories from various GAI members about what they have been doing to support the NHS and help in the war against coronavirus (where they have been allowed to tell us – it sounds like a lot of work has had to remain confidential).
You can read these stories below….


Dormakaba’s Tiverton manufacturing site has repurposed its equipment and made it available to the NHS. By using an open source design, approved by the National 3D Printing Society, they have produced 3D visors using a Flashforge printer. Staff then trimmed the acetate sheets to complete the shields, which were then supplied direct to NHS. Manufacturing engineer Barry Mitchell also liaised with the local NHS logistics team to provide PPE and cleaning products for distribution to surgeries, in coordination with the Tiverton maintenance department.


Northumberland based Norseal has teamed up with a local school to help them supply PPE to the local NHS. Norseal is putting its machinery to good use to manufacture bands and straps, which are then assembled in to PPE masks. Michael Spoors, managing director, says: “It is good to know we are contributing. It has really boosted our staff and given them a buzz. We aren’t superheroes but we are helping to get it done.”


The team at Turentek, Nottingham has been helping support the NHS Nightingale hospital Birmingham, by providing a quick turnaround on orders. Paul Henstock, director, explains: “The joiners started work at the Nightingale on the Sunday afternoon. Once up and running they put in an order with us the next day. It was a big ironmongery order to provide all the necessary hardware for 19 shower rooms and two corridors. We spent Monday getting the order together and we delivered it to them on Tuesday morning.”


Raygar Architectural & Engineering Supplies has worked hard to source as much PPE as possible for its local hospitals in Derby. By approaching all their suppliers they managed to supply 20,000 facemasks, 300 sets of coverall and thousands of gloves. What a great way to celebrate the business’ 25th year.


Access 2 has increased production to support the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. The new Specialist Critical Care Centre at the Grange University Hospital development was pulled forward to support the Coronavirus outbreak.
Access 2 was asked to supply 1,000 cylinder locks to complete the work at the hospital. Neil Rule, managing director, says: “The order for  the cylinder locks was placed on Thursday afternoon and Access 2 delivered on the following Monday. Usually it takes four weeks to turn around an order of that size. We had to clear all production and split the production team into two smaller shifts. This was to accommodate social distancing and to allow the work to continue. We also hand delivered the cylinders to our customer to make sure the order got there safely.”


Philip Goldberg, commercial director at Em-B Solutions, said: “We were already involved with a lot of hospitals around the UK, but we’ve noticed a particular increase in demand for updates to access control systems to accommodate the sudden influx in volunteer staff and also new systems for remote facilities. We have lots of the team working in high-risk COVID-19 infected areas, supporting the existing and new hospitals to make sure everyone can access the areas they need to do their jobs. Our staff have been fantastic throughout. We’ve been asking them to be there to support staff on the front line and everyone has stepped up to the mark. From a business point of view, we had already taken steps to ensure a smooth transition for when the inevitable lockdown came. We implemented social distancing very quickly, ordered and set up lots of IT equipment so that people could work from home or be set up in the locations they needed to be to work.”


 Romerils based in Jersey is supplying to the Nightingale hospital, which is being built there. Des Brady, department manager, says: “We have put together a 24-hour service to supply materials. Once the hospital was announced by the state of Jersey we were involved. Our team have all worked together to deliver this. We have split them across different days so we can keep running efficiently. We can open the business at any time and get the materials required and deliver them. There has been great camaraderie and the island community has really pulled together. We are happy to be supporting and being here to help.”