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Profab Access and BDL achieve engineering excellence at 8 Bishopsgate

12 Apr 2024
Case study

8 Bishopsgate, a 50-storey tower located on the corner of two of London’s most prominent streets, is the UK’s most sustainable speculative office tower and the tallest building ever awarded BREEAM Outstanding at design stage.

Developed by Mitsubishi Estates and Stanhope and described as a building full of innovation, the 570,000 sq. ft building features London’s highest solar panels, in addition to 18 litres of fresh air per person being drawn from outside every second, as part of its design ambitions to achieve both low embodied carbon and to be low-carbon in operation.

As part of the construction process, BDL, one of the UK’s largest specialist dry lining contractors, has collaborated with riser door and access panel solution manufacturer, Profab Access, to supply and install significant quantities of access solutions as part of the project’s aims to optimise material efficiency.

Just under 1,000 of Profab Access’ INTEGRA 4000 Series Riser Doors and accompanying PRECISION Adjustable Frames have been installed by BDL’s contractors throughout every storey of the building, which includes 75,000 sq. ft of communal space in the form of terraces, cafes and a deli, in addition to a 200 person capacity auditorium.

Throughout the design and engineering stages, Profab Access worked in conjunction with BDL to manufacture the PRECISION certified frame system to make the installation of each riser door throughout 8 Bishopsgate safer, faster and simpler.

Peter Fillmore, Project Development Manager at BDL, said: “By working in partnership with Profab Access we have been able to significantly reduce the time required to install such a significant quantity of riser doors, whilst also minimising manual handling requirements for our contractors.

“As a result, on-site efficiencies have been increased, enabling us to ensure project timescales have been successfully maintained throughout each stage of the project. This is how all riser doors should be installed and we’re extremely proud to have been able to use this revolutionary system as part of the construction of such an iconic building as 8 Bishopsgate.”

The only product of its kind currently available, the expertly engineered PRECISION Adjustable Frame completely transforms the installation process as it enables the frame to be fully adjusted to meet the specific dimensions of each structural opening.

Featuring a continual adjustable steel packer system, the PRECISION Adjustable Frame also ensures the installation of each riser door throughout 8 Bishopsgate is fit for purpose, by providing the highest standards in accuracy, whilst also removing the requirement for traditionally used packers during installation.

The engineered frame also features built in factory applied intumescent fire rated mastic strips to the outer frame, which provides fire stopping between the wall and the frame. This eliminates the reliance of the correct thickness of intumescent mastic bead being applied, removing any potential margin for error and ensuring compliance and adequacy of the entire installation.

Frank Gillen, Construction Director at BDL, said: “The PRECISION Adjustable Frame has enabled us to achieve safe and efficient installation throughout 8 Bishopsgate that also delivers the highest possible standards of compliance and certification.

“The frame’s factory applied integral all-in-one smoke, intumescent and acoustic FS1000 seal provides a guaranteed fire seal, which eliminates the requirement for our installers to physically enter the riser shaft and any associated health and safety concerns. It also reduces the number of quality assurance checks required once the installation has been completed, as its competency has already been assured.

“We have been working with Profab Access for over 15 years and through our longstanding relationship we have built a strong partnership that is formed upon a combined dedication to innovation. Together, we are continuously identifying how we can increase on site efficiencies and safety and 8 Bishopsgate is a prime representation of this.”

The INTEGRA 4000 Series Riser Doors and PRECISION Adjustable Frames will provide maintenance engineers with safe and secure access to electrical and mechanical services, without impacting the overall interior design scheme.

Tony Grayson, Project Manager at BDL, said: The addition of the PRECISION Adjustable Frame has made the installation of riser doors approximately 30% quicker when compared to traditional installation methods. I cannot fault the frame, it makes installation very easy and significantly reduces manual handling concerns as no adjustments are required. This ensures the highest standards of safety for our team when fitting the riser doors on site and we see this as the future for how riser doors should be installed.

“The riser doors have been delivered on site ahead of time and we have worked closely with Profab Access’ engineering and design team, who have frequently visited the site, to ensure the installation goes as smoothly as possible to achieve a finish of the highest possible standard.”

As part of its commitment to construction excellence, Profab Access is the UK’s first manufacturer to have its concealed Riser Doors bi-directionally fire tested and certified by an accredited third party. The PRECISION adjustable frame has also been bi-directionally fire tested as an entire doorset with the INTEGRA 4000 Series Riser Door for up to 120 minutes, receiving the CERTIFIRE accreditation for installation in unlined shaft walls and solid wall construction.

This provides BDL, Mitsubishi Estates and Stanhope with a completely certified solution, as both the frame and the riser door have been bi-directionally tested as a single doorset and are supplied with comprehensive documentation to evidence their performance credentials and adherence to all relevant regulations, including BS EN 1634-1:2014 +A1:2018.

Profab Access’ Commercial Director said: “8 Bishopsgate is a building full of innovation and the installation of our riser doors and adjustable frame perfectly embodies this commitment, as it has completely revolutionised the approach to how riser doors should be installed. Together with BDL we are making history as we create a new generation of innovation that provides the highest possible standards of performance and compliance.”

The INTEGRA 4000 Series Riser Doors are 35dB acoustic rated, smoke sealed and airtight to Part L. In the event of a fire, the doors will maintain their frame and integrity for up to two hours, limiting the spread of fire and transmission of radiant heat for this period of time. The doors’ intumescent smoke seals also enables occupants to safely exit the building, whilst subsequently minimising potential damage to other areas of the construction.

Profab Access’ comprehensive portfolio of access panels and riser doors are manufactured in-house at its UK headquarters and are supplied with impressive lead times. The products are supported by a wide range of BIM Level 2 and CAD files to aid the specification process and streamline the initial design stages.

For further information on Profab Access and its range of riser doors, access panels, and steel doors, call +44(0)1827 719051 or visit

For further information on BDL, call 0208 900 0221 or visit

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