Signed, Sealed and Delivered in Under 27 Hours

Apr 28, 2020

Signed, Sealed and Delivered in Under 27 Hours

by | Apr 28, 2020

Within 27 hours of a1-cbiss making contact, a new refrigerant leak detection system was commissioned. See how a1-cbiss did it.


The construction of Glasgow’s Nightingale hospital (Louisa Jordan) began on 31st March. It took 18 days to complete. The £43 million facility will initially have capacity for 300 patients, but this could be expanded up to 1,036 additional beds to support the pandemic response.

A morgue has also been built on site to refrigerate bodies of tragic covid-19 victims. The facility will act as a holding point to keep the bodies cool before a respectful and dignified cremation or burial can take place.

The Problems

Refrigerant gas poses a health risk if inhaled. Mild exposure can cause unpleasant symptoms; irritation of the eyes, ears, and throat, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or coughing. Severe poisoning includes a burning sensation in the oesophagus, vomiting blood, laboured breathing, loss of consciousness or seizures.

With a 10Kg cylinder of R449a refrigerant gas feeding the refrigerant system, a continuous leak detection system is required to test for leakage and warn of possible danger for anyone entering the room.

As final checks were being completed, and the hospital waiting to open, it was realised that the morgue didn’t have a leak detection system installed. Health and safety officials refused to allow the morgue to be operational until a leak detection system was installed and commissioned.

The Health and Safety consultants wanted a system that would alert workers loading bodies into the morgue if there was a potential gas leak beyond the sealed doors.

For the constructors of the morgue, it became a race against time to not only find a supplier of refrigerant leak detection systems and find a company that would be able to supply and install within 48 hours.

With nearby hospital morgues now getting close to capacity, it was critical that this project be completed within the fast-approaching deadline.


The Solution

On the Tuesday afternoon, the business development team held several phone meetings with the constructors and the safety team to discuss whether a1-cbiss could fulfil the requirement.

This was no easy feat given the restrictions in place amid the coronavirus pandemic. a1-cbiss have implemented a covid-19 strategy to minimise risk in the workplace yet maintain operations.

On Wednesday morning at 09.15am, a Team View meeting was held between Business Development, Operations, Engineering and the Managing Director to discuss whether the project could be turned around in such a tight timescale and under difficult working conditions given the social distancing guidelines put in place to keep people safe at work.

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, the installation and commissioning manager who lives nearby in East Kilbride, conducted the site survey for 10.30am. He carried out the site survey to identify a suitable location to position the control panel and visual/sounder alarms, agreeing suitable sample point positions inside the morgue and running the sample and power lines to the panel. Upon conclusion at 11.30am, the a1-cbiss office received the call that the site survey has been accepted.

With the office-based team confident that they could deliver the project, the project got the go-ahead.

The call was made to build the panel, setup the configuration, test and install a beacon. Once completed, the ARMS panel was quality checked, an installation part pack readied, and the van dispatched. An a1-cbiss install and service engineer hit the road by 2.30pm and travelled north to Glasgow to meet the Install Manager at site. Upon arriving in Glasgow at 6.15pm, together, they began the installation of the panel. Once complete, testing and commissioning was all signed off by 11.15pm!

gas sampling morgue at hospital

The System

a1-cbiss supplied a pre-entry refrigerant leak detection system. The ARMS is more commonly known for its installs in retail monitoring for leaks in food chiller cabinets.


The ARMS is wall mounted next to the entrance of the morgue. A touchscreen display allows users to gain an instant visual indication with one touch access to current settings/status & alarm/event history. A visual beacon alarm and sounder is connected to the ARMS will alert for a leak prior to entry.

The 8-channel leak detection sample points are located near the cylinder and next to the racking trolleys. Each sample line feeds back into the sequential sampler.



“We would like to thank a1-cbiss for an outstanding service at the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital in Glasgow. From making contact with the business development team at 10pm one evening, a1-cbiss managed to design, manufacture, test, send to site from Merseyside, install and commission in just 27 hours. Very impressive and great people to deal with. Thanks again.”

John M, Construction Director

More information on our refrigerant leak detection system solutions