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ABI Hospital

Neaco has supplied a wide-ranging handrail and balustrade specification for a new hospital in York which specialises in rehabilitating adults with a Neurological / Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). 

The Project

The ABI hospital marks the latest phase of Henry Boot Developments’ award-winning Chocolate Works development, forming part of a nine-year regeneration project that started with the restoration of the former Terry’s Chocolate Orange Factory. The facility is being run by Brainkind (formerly The Disabilities Trust), which works to improve the lives of disabled people and people with acquired brain injuries.



Construction engineering company, GMI Construction, was the contractor responsible for overseeing the scheme which includes 40 beds across four wards and four assessment flats along with three private and internal courtyards and a therapeutic garden. Principal architect, Jefferson Sheard, and planning and heritage consultant, JLL, have also supported Henry Boot Developments’ and Brainkind on the project.

The Specification

Neaco worked closely with Jefferson Sheard Architects to create specifications for all of the wall rails of the hospital, the internal stairs and the terrace areas. Neaco’s specification for the interior was grade 304 stainless steel with tubular stanchions and clear toughened glass infills installed to three stairwells. The other specification was for the wall rails which had grade 304 stainless steel brackets and our Timberline aluminium wood-effect handrails. Timberline is a type of coating which looks identical to oak grain, providing the natural beauty of wood without the hygiene and maintenance issues associated with real wood.



The hospital exterior includes a large sun terrace featuring Neaco’s balustrade with grade 316 stainless steel stanchions and clear toughened glass extending to 2m above floor level, along with a grade 316 stainless steel offset handrail. A1 Fire Rated and fully compliant with BS EN 13501-1, the stainless steel provides a high-quality aesthetic with clean, sharp intersection lines created by true unidirectional polishing.

The Process

Our Timberline effect handrails are created a little differently from our usual coatings. Here at Neaco, we have our own in-house powder-coating plant and water tank purely for the use of this aesthetic. To create the wood look, we initially powder-coat the material in a light or dark beige to give it a base colour before moving the product over to the Hydro Dipping Tank. Our product is then dipped into a water bath with textured film laying on the water, which creates a unique texture on every application. No Timberline can ever be identical. Once this is complete, we then clear coat the material to give the dipped design extra protection. In this final stage, there is an option to either have the Timberline as a matte finish or as a gloss finish, no matter what, this aesthetic will be unique to your project.

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