Designing better mental healthcare facilities

Helping specifiers make more ‘informed choices’

A look by three BRE staff at the new BRE / DiMHN Informed Choices product testing standard and associated certification scheme, and what the process involves.

Elsewhere in this issue of The Network two senior personnel from Polar NE describe their positive experience of taking one of the company’s newer windows for use in mental healthcare facilities for ‘pre-testing’ under the jointly developed BRE and DiMHN Informed Choices testing standard for products destined for mental healthcare use. As demand for formal testing and certification begins ramping up, The Network’s editor, Jonathan Baillie, recently spoke to three of the BRE staff involved in the testing and certification process to discuss what it involves.

Speaking to me recently by ‘Teams’ about the DiMHN / BRE testing and certification scheme for products designed for use in mental healthcare settings were Gary Timmins, head of the Building Products and Compliance team at BRE, and his colleagues, Construction consultant, Sean Taylor, and Certification manager, Laura Critien. Gary Timmins explained that he looks after a number of testing labs at the BRE site in Watford – including the full-scale structural testing lab, the materials testing labs, acoustics labs, and weathertightness, strength, and robustness testing labs. He explained: “We have a dedicated rig for the BRE / DiMHN testing in one of our lab spaces here at our Science Park in Watford. It has overhead gantry cranes for lifting products into place, while the test rigs consist of movable steel ‘C’ sections used to clamp the product securely. We then use impact bags hanging off supports or cranes to apply the various impact loads, and hydraulic rams to apply static loads. There is also a kit of a wide range of tools that Sean uses to test each item for ligature resistance.” 

Different impactors

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