The RNLI is a search and rescue charity with stations across the UK and Ireland working around the clock offering assistance to those in need. Alongside the charity’s commitment to saving lives at sea, the RNLI also has a duty of care to protect their volunteers who risk their own lives to save others. It is therefore essential the lifeboats provided are designed and manufactured to withstand the most extreme conditions. With technological advances and innovations continually being made, the tougher it is to find manufacturers with the ability to meet the requirements of their specialist lifesaving equipment. The charity therefore took the decision to acquire full control and construct a new manufacturing facility dedicated to the production of the strongest and highest quality all-weather lifeboats at their Headquarters in Poole.
This new facility has been developed to incorporate all critical business functions, including the design and production of new all-weather lifeboats, maintenance and repair of existing all-weather lifeboats, training, office and staff facilities as well as a visitors viewing area.
The latest specification all-weather lifeboats required by RNLI are exceptionally heavy, so the flooring within the new facility needed to offer suitable durability and longevity unaffected by the demanding conditions of the production environment. In addition, when the boats are brought in for repairs or testing, they are often transferred straight from the surrounding waters, thus alongside excellent durability the chosen finish also needed to provide a high degree of slip resistance.
The National Flooring Company has been working with the RNLI since 2007 installing the Degafloor range of MMA resin systems so both companies were approached from the onset of the planning of the project to provide their technical expertise.
Throughout the initial stages various specifications were discussed and evaluated and following extensive support from both The National Flooring Company and Degafloor it was agreed the Degafloor FB system most closely matched the design specifications and would be the most suited product for the environment.
The Degafloor FB system is a heavy-duty methyl methacrylate (MMA) screed that provides an outstanding level of slip resistance, created through the broadcasting of quartz aggregate. The product offers exceptional durability even in challenging environments and the benefits of the system have already been proven at many of the RNLI lifeboat stations throughout the UK and Ireland.
The project totalled 5300m2 and the installation team averaged 300m2 of finished floor a day to ensure the project remained on schedule. The area was used as a showpiece during the construction stages with benefactors visiting throughout and therefore it was critical that the highest standards were maintained for every element of works undertaken.
Chris Refoy from the RNLI