Tony Crawshaw DipGAI, RegGAI director at Integrated Ironmongery Solutions talks us through a recent spec
We were recently asked to specify a suite of ironmongery at 38 Mosley Street, Manchester, now named Bond. Architect AXI studios designed Bruntwood’s £7m transformation of the former 19th century bank into a modern workplace but retaining historical features. The Grade 2 listed building now houses a communal lounge with a fireplace and four floors of fully-fitted office suites ranging from 1,000 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft.
The brief? Unusually quite simple. A very robust range of ironmongery suitable for a development of rented office spaces, stylish, with a bronze finish. They also wanted the finish to perfectly match throughout the entire range.
“Two parts of this brief hit with a dread only a seasoned ironmonger would understand: fully matching bronze and ‘cost effective’! ”Tony crawshaw
As an ironmonger of nearly 30 years there were two parts of this brief that hit with a dread that only a seasoned ironmonger would understand: ‘fully matching bronze’ and ‘cost effective’!
The difficulty was matching the ironmongery finish throughout the entire project. Bronze is a very finicky finish: what one supplier calls antique bronze another will call dark bronze – and they still will not match when they are side by side. Speciality manufacturers could provide the range, but we were asked to keep the cost down.
We decided on a ‘T’ shaped knurled lever in a non-standard PVD bronze. The lever itself was unsprung BS EN 1906 grade 4 and surprisingly from one of our partner suppliers didn’t break the bank.
We asked the lever supplier to PVD all items and so long as the base metal was the same the finish would match. We carefully chose the rest of the ironmongery package being careful to ensure that all items met the required relevant standards as the bulk of the project would be FD30/FD60.
The project came in just about on budget. And will be supplied in eight weeks fully door packaged to the customers requirement.
Most projects are quite fluid around the time of hand over. Little fussy bits need finishing or extra doors are slotted in. To help with this we suggested holding a small amount of stock in this special finish to ensure the project completes smoothly.