Hollins Tech CollegeA major school refurbishment in Lancashire has proved to be the ideal example of the benefits of a public authority working with a tried and tested approved contractor network.

In the case of the replacement of over 100 windows and large sections of curtain walling at the Hollins Technology College, Accrington, that network was the Profile 22 Approved Window Contractor Scheme and the result was a project that was not only smooth-running and problem-free but was also completed in under the specified six-week summer break.

The scheme is designed to make everything as easy as possible for the clients as well as ensuring they are presented with manufacturers and installers with the right accreditation and expertise, plus other benefits such as a completely free design and specification service.

David Smith MD of the chosen subcontractor, A and D Joinery explained how the project progressed: “We knew exactly what the job involved from the outset and how many fitters it would take to complete within the timescales. We were given six weeks from start to finish and in the end we completed it in five. We did also keep the diary free of any other major jobs at the same time so that we could give the contract our full attention.

“Everyone at Profile 22 was very supportive at every stage from measuring and specifying,

The structural calculations for the curtain walling and designing the windows, as well as visiting both the factory and the school to make sure there were no problems.” For the windows, grey-on-white casements from Profile 22’s F170 suite were chosen to replicate the original aluminium frames but with a far-from-sixties 1.4 U-Value as well as the obvious low maintenance qualities.

The curtain walling was not without its challenges, not only because of the size of the units – some as tall as 3 metres with 4.5metre mullions – but also because the original frames were set into the concrete of the building so replacing them was not exactly text-book. However, experienced installers and the integrity of Profile 22’s SK200 curtain walling system amply overcame any issues.

The school’s Business Manager Martin Daly summed it up: “The appearance of the windows has been universally well received and we are confident there will be a significant improvement in heat retention in the colder weather. We had expected problems when the curtain walling was replaced but, just as with the rest of the contract, everything went very smoothly.”