City University, Birmingham

Client: Birmingham City University
Architect: Hawkins Brown
Type of works: supply and installation of slip-resistant flooring and coverings.

Fifteen years after it was first installed, a ramp at Birmingham City University is fit to use, thanks to slip-resistant flooring from Steni UK.

The 40m wood and steel ramp was meant to give students at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design access to a quadrangle and lower ground floor, but it proved so slippery it was deemed out of bounds almost immediately.

Non-slip paint was applied on at least two occasions but failed to cure the problem. A university Health and Safety Manager found Steni's high-performance anti-slip flooring on the internet. A composite of glass fibre polyester resin and stone, its fine aggregate surface is over-bonded with clear resin to give a long-lasting anti-slip surface for ramps, step covers, walkways, pontoons, bridges and deckings.

Now, thousands of students are able to resume using the ramp feature, designed by architects Hawkins Brown, after the university took just two weeks in the early summer to install anti-slip decking strips.

Health and Safety Manager, Eric Mead, commented: "The ramp was installed in the 1990s but it soon became clear it was only usable as a walkway when the weather conditions were dry under foot. Consequently, it was limited in it use due to it being too slippery. This was a minor irritation. The brief was to render it safe to use in all weather conditions.

"Although it is a design feature and cannot be used by wheelchair users because of the steps at either end, the project was to create a surface on which people could walk safety during inclement weather.

"Non-slip paint was applied on two or more occasions but was not satisfactory. The Steni product met the requirement we needed and it was very easy to work with, just requiring a drill and screws. The material acts perfectly with the wood and the executive of the faculty were very impressed with the appearance and suitability for purpose."

Steni's anti-slip flooring is available in a choice of seven colours for timber, metal and concrete in new-build and refurbishment projects. Extremely robust and durable, it can be walked on immediately after installation, instantly improving safety.

As well as the Brown decking strips used at Birmingham City University, it is available in large sheet sizes up to 1,200mm in length and 3,000mm in width, in pre-formed step covers with highlighted nosings and leading edges, and in dedicated nosings.

Easy to clean, rot-proof and unaffected by extremes of climate, the Steni anti-slip product is suitable for external and internal use, helping to meet DDA requirements, and can be fire-rated to meet class “0” of the Building Regulations.

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