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Altro's fully integrated system fits together perfectly to provide a hygienic and watertight solution for kitchens.

Altro stands the test of time in historic school

King's Ely appoints Altro for full refurbishment of cladding and flooring

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 25, 2016 | Supplier News

The proven combination of Altro WhiterockTM hygienic wall cladding and Altro Stronghold 30TM safety flooring has been so successful in the kitchen at one of the world’s oldest schools, that after 15 years of service it’s been chosen again for a total refurbishment. 

The King's School in Ely, Cambridgeshire, is a co-educational independent day and boarding school founded in 970 AD. Fifteen years ago, the school’s ‘monastic barn’ kitchen was fitted with Altro Whiterock White and Altro Stronghold 30 to provide a high level of safety, hygiene and aesthetics. More recently, in 2014, Altro Whiterock was installed around the lift shaft of a dumb waiter in the kitchen.  

The school has been so happy with the long term performance of Altro Whiterock and Altro Stronghold 30 together that there was no hesitation in selecting the integrated system of compatible hygienic wall cladding and safety flooring again when the entire kitchen recently underwent a refit. As the system is fully integrated, it fits together perfectly to provide a hygienic, watertight solution for commercial kitchens. 

Shirley Jolly, the school’s catering manager, says: “This is a busy commercial kitchen, which produces 1,600 meals per day with three sittings, so the flooring and wall cladding has to be hygienic, tough, durable, practical, easy to clean and have superb safety credentials. Plus of course it needs to be suitable for use in a very old building — our kitchen dates back to 970 AD. 

“In addition, we are very proud of our Five Star food and hygiene rating from the Environmental Health Agency, so we are passionate about maintaining our excellent standards. Using the right products in our kitchen to help us achieve that is paramount. 

“Fifteen years ago we had Altro Whiterock installed three quarters of the way up the kitchen walls, and we have been delighted with it over that time. It’s hygienic and has been very easy to maintain, just needing a regular wipe down. It’s proven to be ideal for our busy commercial kitchen. For us it’s a tried and tested product. 

“So we definitely wanted to use it again for the refurbishment, but this time we wanted it floor to ceiling — giving total encapsulation. This meant that we could cover all the hard-to reach places around the doors and windows - and there are some tricky areas as this is a very old structure - to make cleaning as easy as possible and further improve hygiene. 

“The Altro Stronghold 30 safety flooring was also a very good choice for us 15 years ago. As a safety flooring it’s second to none, plus it’s incredibly hard-wearing and nice looking as well. It was still in very good condition, but we decided to upgrade it with new Altro Stronghold 30 for the refit.” 

Altro’s integrated floor and hygienic wall cladding system offers the best possible protection against bacteria, bugs and vermin. It makes cleaning easier too. Designed to address the issues commonly found in kitchens – slips, contamination, cleaning and maintenance, the Altro system doesn’t just protect the people who use it; it also protects the environment and those responsible for the health and safety of employees and visitors. 

The Altro wall cladding and flooring for the refurbishment were installed by Altro Whiterock Premier Installer Elite Interiors. Contracts co-ordinator, Dave Barnard, says: “This school kitchen is the perfect example of how Altro Whiterock and Altro Stronghold 30 work together to create a long-lasting, safe and hygienic environment in commercial applications.

“These products have really stood the test of time here at the King’s School, which is partly due to their quality, but also testament to the school’s excellent maintenance regime. After consulting with both Altro and the client, we all agreed that for the refurbishment these products were still the best choice.” 

Altro Whiterock White is the hygienic alternative to tiles that’s impact resistant, grout-free and easy to clean. Its smooth white surface and classical purity make it a timeless choice for any interior. The product is Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approved and is made from a high-quality, food-safe PVCu polymer that can handle temperatures up to 60°C. It meets all current European Union (EU) Directives on health and hygiene. This makes it particularly suitable for use in commercial kitchens especially combined with Altro Stronghold 30. 

Altro Stronghold 30 safety flooring achieves Altro’s highest rating for slip resistance, and is designed to minimise risk in wet and greasy conditions for the lifetime of the flooring. As well as helping to keep staff safe from slips, it also helps reduce their fatigue, thanks to its 3mm thickness which provides noise reduction and comfort underfoot.

“The installation of the wall cladding presented some challenges, specifically because of the age of the building,” adds Dave Barnard. “The walls especially had no flat or true surfaces, and the church-style windows with 1ft-deep recesses meant very skilled fitting of the Altro Whiterock. We had a very tight three-week window in the summer in which to complete the installation of both flooring and wall cladding. Even though the school was in recess, there were a number of students who stayed behind for summer school, so the kitchen couldn’t close for any length of time.” 

Shirley Jolly comments: “The new kitchen looks fantastic, and we are so pleased with the results. The whole area looks brighter, cleaner and fresher, and it’s taken our catering operation to a whole new level. 

“The Altro Whiterock wall cladding is so easy to maintain that the kitchen staff can take care of it themselves, with just a regular wipe down. The flooring is cleaned with a combination of a small rotary scrubber that can go up and down the aisles, and special mop — and it comes up like new every time. 

“I think the test of a happy environment is whether the staff are taking care of it, and that is certainly true here. They are thrilled with their new kitchen and very proud to be working there.”

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