Ironmonger Row Baths has been part of the landscape of the London borough of Islington since 1931, when it was built as a wash house for local residents; at a time when 95% of households did not have a bath. In 1938 a swimming pool was added and was well used by the community for many decades. In May 2010 the building was closed to undergo an extensive £16.5m refurbishment, funded by Islington Council and EC1 New Deal for Communities, guaranteeing the lasting legacy of the building.
Preserving the historical features of the baths, whilst creating a facility for the entire community, was central to the refurbishment project. This now houses a state of the art gym, a fully refurbished swimming pool and a new training pool complete with adjustable floor to suit all ages and abilities. Consequently, safe, convenient access to the roof was paramount in order to carry out maintenance and ensure additional safe exit routes in the event of emergency.
Bilco has supplied Wates Construction, who carried out the work, with a combination of hatches from its comprehensive product range allowing safe access to the roof. Two NB-50T access hatches and three S-50T hatches were installed, each fitted with the added safety feature of a Bilco LadderUp® safety post.
The NB-50T hatch, fitted in partnership with ship stairs, is ideal for frequent use. Bilco ship stairs are less steep than a fixed vertical ladder, providing easier egress and decent, and the best means of getting tools and equipment to the roof safely. The S-50T hatch is suitable for installation in areas in which space is at more of a premium, engineered with compression springs and automatic hold-open arm locks; this Bilco roof hatch is designed for safe one-hand release and closing.
Both hatches come with a 10 year warranty and include enhanced design features which offer superior energy efficiency alongside weathertightness, and sound and security ratings that meet BS EN standards.
As an increased safety measure, the innovative Bilco LadderUp® safety post was fitted to each ladder providing an all important handhold at the point of egress and entry from the hatch. The LadderUp® Safety Post is permanently attached to the fixed vertical ladder and can be lifted in a one-handed motion by the user at the top of the ladder, and locked into place to provide an extended handhold while the hatch is in use.
Reopened with a swimming gala attended by Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, Ironmonger Row baths have received much media attention. The installation of Bilco roof hatches has helped to make certain that Ironmonger Row Baths will be a feature of life in Islington for a long time to come, allowing routine maintenance and repair to take place. The top quality facilities will provide a fantastic community leisure facility which will see such an historic building remain part of local life.
Bilco’s access hatches and floor doors are regularly used in prestigious locations such as King’s Cross Station and the Riverside Museum in Glasgow because it manufactures consistently safe, effective products.