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Specifier Review
Vicaima fire and security entrance door system

Form, function and fire

Specifying and procuring doors for social housing, can present many challenges in the market conditions we find ourselves in today. With often competing and exacting criteria to contend with, it can often seem like an unsolvable problem, trying to meets the needs of modern design, fulfil practical obstacles and a safety conscious risk averse performance; all within budgetary constraints. However, the solutions are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

One answer is to turn away from the more traditional social housing door suppliers, who’s concept of ‘modern’ owes more to the 20th century than the 21st, with old fashion moulded skin and labour intensive painting on site as their norm. Far better to look towards those who have expertise across multiple market sectors, where overcoming issues is just a natural evolution, a mind-set that drives constant innovation, and with a no compromise approach to exceeding regulatory standards.

Vicaima fire and security entrance door system

It would be fair to say that Vicaima are renown for the manufacture of on-trend and innovative interior door designs, however it is sometimes forgotten that this prowess extends beyond simply form and function. Vicaima also stretch the perceived boundaries and market norms when it comes to the performance of risk critical products, most notably fire doors and door assemblies.

Vicaima FD30 (30 minute) timber fire doors recently tested by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHCLG), achieved an astonishing 54 minutes. Tested on the most onerous side of the door, this result was exemplary and once again illustrated Vicaima’s superior fire door and doorset capabilities, at a time when well-being and personal safety has never been more closely scrutinised.

Stake-holders in the social housing market will no doubt be well aware of the vital role they play in the decisions which ultimately lead to the supply of safe products. As important specifiers in the build process, they have a duty of care and therefore it is essential to have a clear understanding, that should products fail to perform as intended, they may also share responsibility for any consequences that may arise.

Speculation regarding the actual safety of fire doors has been widely discussed over the last two years, following the government enquiry into the tragic events of Grenfell and related risk critical products. Perhaps this was only to be expected, given the less than robust conclusions drawn by the MHCLG into composite and GRP doors; and their failure to consistently pass a 30-minute fire door test.

This result precipitated the removal of many of these products from the market and led to a call for timber fire doors themselves, to be independently examined by government. The results of which subsequently vindicating the assurance provided by a fully certified timber fire door assembly.

Naturally, Social housing door requirements present many other challenges in addition to fire performance and here again Vicaima provide reliable solutions. Part M compliance is achieved with extra wide doors for mobility and with an extensive array of face finishes, covering the full spectrum of on-trend designs and tonal variances, providing the necessities of Light Reflective Values (LRV); which enables contrasting point values when compared to ironmongery colours.

Budget of course cannot be ignored, but cost considerations often focus on the product in isolation; often overlooking the contemporary labour saving benefits and cost saving whole costs afforded by fully finished doors. The Vicaima range of own manufactured, factory finished products presents everything from real veneer, through laminates and lacquered paint to finished foil; meaning that it is able to match vision to budget. This design flexibility does not stop there, with easy customisation such as decorative grooves, creating a simple added extra within the grasp of every specifier.

A fire performance range such as that offered by Vicaima removes doubt. Rigorously tested, third party accredited and fully traceably products that meet FD30 and FD60 rating, assures that those with a duty of care are taking appropriate steps. Additionally, formal test evidence which includes more exacting requirements such as integral face grooves, over height/width dimensions, integrated eye viewers in two positions, concealed door closers and testing to both sides of a door, illustrate a comprehensive approach.

Products, which offer additional Secure by Design (SBD) compliance and meet exacting mobility and acoustic criteria ensures products are fit for purpose. Lastly, but by no means least, real design choice that is truly innovative and delivers forward thinking and on-trend answers for today’s social housing, means that doors are in step and reflect modern lifestyles.

Vicaima designs for private, social and commercial use, offer specifiers the safe choice when it really matters and in the knowledge that innovative design and functionality really can go hand in hand.

About Vicaima

Vicaima celebrates 60 years in 2019 and today is a worldwide leader in the interior and technical door market. Its mission is to conceive and manufacture doors that combine design, functionality and quality. Renowned for innovation, Vicaima creates and compliments trends, continuously re-inventing its products. Its concern for sustainability led Vicaima into achieving FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certification. Operating in over 30 countries, Vicaima exports throughout the world.

Vicaima Limited

Based in Swindon, Wiltshire, Vicaima supplies products throughout the UK and Ireland. It has built a strong reputation for supplying innovative interior door, doorset and associated joinery solutions to a wide range of construction markets. Its industry proven expertise has led Vicaima Limited to become widely specified by interior designers, architects, developers and other specifiers.

With an extensive range of design, performance customised solutions, tailor made for specific projects, Vicaima provide inspiration and answers. Typical applications where Vicaima products are used include hotel and leisure, commercial offices, public buildings, medical and educational establishments and luxury living.

Details of Vicaima’s full portfolio of interior timber fire doors and sets can be viewed here: https://www.vicaima.com/

Tel: 01793 532333