GEC Anderson is a leading supplier of high quality stainless steel washroom and kitchen fittings that are suitable for use in a wide variety of environments. The company, which has specialised in stainless steel since 1962, offers a comprehensive product range including sinks, worktops, cabinets, shelving and sanitary ware.

Products are made using very high quality brushed satin stainless steel that is not only durable and hygienic, but also gives GEC Anderson products their distinctive appearance. The result is an impressive range of products that have been specified in a wide range of new and refurbishment projects.

Standard, modular and made-to-measure

Products are divided into three broad groups to allow accurate matching of characteristics with specific project requirements, budgets and time scales. Example installations include stations, airports, offices, community centres, libraries, theatres, domestic kitchens, offices, religious buildings, prisons, studios, universities, schools, colleges and nurseries. In fact, GEC Anderson products are found everywhere that serious performance characteristics, combined with a visual appeal are demanded.

Standard WC’s

Stainless steel sanitary ware, including WC’s, basins, mirrors, urinals, wash-troughs, bins and drinking fountains, as well as baths and even foot-baths are usually required to be vandal resistant and durable. This is because once a facility has been damaged (through vandalism, accidental damage or even general wear and tear), it is more likely to suffer from further abuse or careless actions. More subtly though, the unique and simple appearance of stainless steel can also be a key factor. Professional looking, clean and safe seem to be essential attributes for any sanitary facility.

Made-to-measure

Made-to-measure products generally include sinks, worktops, cabinets and shelving that can be made to the precise specification and size required. These are unique in that they benefit from a single-piece construction. Sinkbowls are integrated within the work surface seamlessly (no visible join), exactly where required.

Bowls can be supplied in virtually any size and edge details can be specified from a wide range of standard profiles. Cut-outs can be provided for columns or for appliances or taps.

Probably the main benefit though is that work surfaces can be made in any shape or size (even L-shapes and irregular shapes) to fit the space available and consequently, useable room-space is maximised. This also means that untidy and unhygienic joins can be eradicated.

Modular

Decimetric® is GEC Anderson’s modular range of professional kitchen fixtures. Sinks, worktops, cabinets and shelving are available in Decimetric® sizes (1 decimetre = 100mm), resulting in a comprehensive and flexible system that is easy to specify as well as being more economical than made-to-measure equivalents. The Decimetric® system includes base units, wall cabinets, legs, shelves and drawers.

Fit for purpose

A typical specialist environment requiring the use of GEC Anderson stainless steel products is found within the London Underground. Since mess-rooms must be functionally robust as well as non-combustible, with zero emission of toxic fumes, the products must ensure a safe, professional and pleasant working environment.

The challenge of meeting these demands is often compounded by the fact that existing rooms and layouts can be cramped, irregular in size and difficult to access. Short contract periods can mean that time taken between survey, manufacture and installation is severely limited. Restricted working hours can make actual time available on-site much shorter.

For more than two decades now, GEC Anderson has addressed the specific requirements of London Underground through the provision of stainless steel mess-room equipment in the form of sinks, worktops, cabinets, shelving and sanitary ware. By working closely with LU and its teams of architects, engineers and specialist contractors, GEC Anderson has developed a series of unique and bespoke solutions.

In addition, the company has supplied other specialist LU requirements such as canteen facilities, repair depots, training centres, locker rooms, janitorial areas, toilets and ticket offices. Also at British Transport Police locations, where vandal resistant sanitary ware and custody suite furniture is required.

Managing director, Martin Tye, said: ‘We are accustomed to dealing with one-off and exacting requirements – usually for architects representing the end-user client. Working for the London Underground has always been an extension to what we do anyway. The main difference lies in the fact that we have achieved standardised solutions and ideas combined with special materials, for example, that comply with the strict fire controls that are imposed.’

GEC Anderson relish this kind of challenge. Tye said: ‘Working for LU is not without certain challenges but it’s always interesting. I gain satisfaction from ensuring the greatest levels of efficiency in design and the best possible results for the end-user, and am proud that GEC Anderson is specified by such a discerning client. It demonstrates our commitment to improving the working environment for station staff and passengers alike.’

Typical mess-room requirements do not vary greatly. A general preparation area for drinks and snacks with sink for washing-up are normal, as are cooking facilities. Refrigeration is also required. However, in practice, each room usually requires individual attention and design input. The capacity or size of the facility will depend on the number of staff using it. Station supervisor’s offices and rooms vary from general staff mess-rooms, and ancillary rooms have their own requirements.

By applying standard product features and details wherever possible and adapting them where necessary, GEC Anderson has been able to meet all requirements. For example edge profiles to worktops – the company’s standard watersafe edge profile has been specified extensively for obvious reasons. Not only will it contain spillage, it also stops other items rolling off.

In special cases, the height of the edge profile has been adapted to provide an intersection with other items (such as lowered sections for the cooker) or panels or upstands.

Widening appeal

GEC Anderson products have found their way into various other stations, termini and transport facilities including the Eurostar Terminal at St. Pancras, Heathrow’s Terminal 5, various Network Rail projects and more recently, Crossrail.

Stainless steel is the only material that will meet non-combustion and durability criteria, and its versatility makes it suitable in a wide-range of environments and applications. The company’s expertise in the material also plays a core role in ensuring this versatility.

The particular grade of stainless steel used for most applications – including for the Underground – is EN 1.4301. For aggressive environments, EN 1.4401 (acid resisting grade) is selected.

The products’ brushed satin finish is important. Martin Tye explained: ‘Unlike the heavily grained finishes associated with commercial stainless steel, our brushed satin has a finer finish yet is not ‘polished’ – a finish that suffers badly from scratching and is much harder to keep looking clean. Ours represents a happy medium and means the products are suitable in a wide variety of environments.’

The company’s products have been deployed in a wide range of buildings and environments globally. Household names feature regularly in its list of end-users, as do architects.

All economic sectors are catered for: healthcare, education, transport, commerce, arts, defence, leisure, retail, security as well as domestic residential. Within the rail industry, GEC Anderson products have been used on rolling stock as well as infrastructure applications.

GEC Anderson is a versatile company with a versatile product. ‘I think the word ‘special’ sums us up’ said Martin Tye, ‘and it’s the special nature of our work that makes it so interesting to us.’

Tel: 01442 82 6999
info@gecanderson.co.uk
www.gecanderson.co.uk