Based in Leeds, The Big Word is a really big name in translation services throughout the world operating in 77 countries and with the capability of dealing with 140 different languages. The company has over 30 years’ experience of delivering complete language solutions to organisations across the globe and has offices in London, New York, Japan, Denmark, Germany and Brussels.
The company is just in the process of expanding into brand new custom built offices in Wood Lane, Headingley in Leeds. The innovative building, constructed from stone, is round in shape with a delightful curved staircase accessing the upper levels. To fulfil Part M requirements of the Building Regulations and comply with the Disability Discrimination Act it was decided that an external platform lift at the rear of the premises was the obvious answer.
Invalifts Ltd, the Warwickshire based supplier of platform lifts for the less able, recommended its MC2000 platform lift which could provide internal openings at all three floor levels while having an external waterproof shaft and this solution was acceptable to both architect and builder.
Lack of internal space on the staircase landings was another design consideration to be addressed. For safety reasons Invalifts advised that automatic doors should be fitted together with remote switches and this freed up the extra space for safe wheelchair access.
The totally insulated and waterproof shaft is manufactured from rectangular hollow section steel which is constructed and anchored to a concrete load bearing plinth and attached to the building. The structure is then clad in a 60mm thick Kingspan cladding to comply with the Insulation Regulations. A variety of cladding colours and profiles are available and flashings to the existing building and rainwater pipe work to existing drains are also provided.
The MC2000 is a high quality guided chain driven platform lift which complies with all UK and EC electrical and machinery directives. It does not need a machine room and only requires a pit of just 60mm. Its rated load is 400kg with a maximum capacity of five persons.
The model installed at Leeds has a travel height 5.4m with access to three floors and a total shaft height of 7.6m. The car operation panel includes a reprogrammable LED display. Braille is available as an option with tactile numbers next to the buttons.
The builders, Havercroft Construction, were delighted with the quality of the platform lift and the work carried out by Invalifts. According to Mr Richard Marshall, Quantity Surveyor, Invalifts was the only company to resolve the external issues properly regarding weatherproofing, insulation and how the unit aesthetically matched the building while Site Manager at the time, Mr Chris Nutt, said that Invalifts had provided an excellent service, resolving issues as they arose. He added that the Invalifts’ installation team were a credit to the company, working quietly, quickly and efficiently.
Installation time for the MC2000 is usually just six to eight weeks from the placement of the order to installation by the company’s six teams of installation engineers. The model can reach up to 13 metres and serve up to six floor levels.