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01 February 2008

Gradus Accessories’ innovative XT stair edgings have been installed at the award-winning City Campus East at Northumbria University, which forms part of a £136 million investment; the largest ever by the University.

Teaching began in September 2007 at the state of the art City Campus East, which houses the School of Law, Design and Newcastle Business School. Delivered on time and on cost by main contractors Sir Robert McAlpine, the large-scale development won the 2007 North East Landmark of the Year Award, and features a host of innovative design concepts, including solar collectors, rain harvesters and computerised heating and lighting systems.

Gradus’ XT stair edgings were fitted onto the main staircases in both of the development’s new, five-storey teaching buildings, as a superior safety measure to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls, in line with research from BRE and Approved Document M (ADM) of the Building Regulations 2000. Jet (black) inserts were chosen to give a visible colour contrast with the light grey floorcovering, helping to provide an inclusive environment for all building users, as set out in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The XT range features slip-resistant inserts that extend around the leading edge of the step to maximise safety underfoot. The inserts are held securely in place by a specialist adhesive bond, with a locking mechanism for additional strength. The innovative features of the XT range are backed by research from BRE, which concludes that safety on non-domestic stairs could be improved by increasing friction at the leading edge of the step.

The prospect of foot traffic from 9,000 students and staff, prompted flooring contractors Johnson Wright to upgrade to the advanced features of the XT range, as Contracts Director, Greg Wolfe explains: “We have a long standing professional relationship with Gradus across the accessories and flooring ranges, and feel they are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve products. We upgraded to the XT range, due to its advanced safety features and suitability for the busy university environment.”

Lynette Bowden, Marketing Manager for Gradus Accessories, adds: “We are especially pleased to have been involved in the construction of what is already an educational landmark. The City Campus East development will benefit all areas of the expanding university and its focus on ‘going green’ will have an important environmental impact on Newcastle itself, as well as providing a striking addition to the city’s skyline.

“Gradus prides itself on producing innovative products and we are therefore pleased to be involved with such an advanced, forward-thinking university.”

The XT range incorporates 55mm treads and both 40mm and 55mm risers to meet the guidance in ADM and help form part of an inclusive environment, in line with the DDA. The range is available with a choice of 11 coloured inserts to provide visual contrast with surrounding floorcoverings and is designed to accommodate square, rake back and bullnose step shapes.

For further information on the XT range, contact Gradus on 01625 428922 or visit

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