London: Tata Steel said on Friday that its Advantica L Control “clean” steel product is being used on the interior walls and ceiling of new care home pods to allow families to be reunited during the coronavirus lockdown in the UK.

The steel, which is easy to clean in order to keep fully sanitised, is being used to create innovative modular meeting rooms allowing care home residents to meet their families safely.

The brainchild of Splash – an event space design business based in Stockport, Greater Manchester — the VisitorPod uses the high-quality Tata Steel product.

As well as having a long life span and being recyclable, the steel is said to not require intensive cleaning while keeping residents and visitors safe.

“We all face challenging times and being able to remain in touch with loved ones who are in care is so important. The VisitorPod is an ideal solution as not only can it be installed quickly and later repurposed, but the unique properties of the steel used mean it can be kept safe for care home residents, staff and visitors,” said Tom Eussen, Director of Tata Steel Downstream Operation.

The owners of Splash, Nathan Blythe and Darren Ashcroft, were the brains behind the new VisitorPod as the UK imposed strict social distancing lockdowns to control the spread of the deadly virus.

“2020 forced us to diversify, and we quickly realised that our design and build skills could support the growing need for a safe space for families to visit their relatives in care homes,” said Blythe.

“The VisitorPod is delivered onsite as pre-finished steel insulated panels. Its modular structure makes it easy to assemble. The pod can be positioned in a garden, on a carpark, or on a patio – wherever there’s space – and can be relocated or reconfigured as required,” he said.

The VisitorPod is designed to provide a safe space to enable face-to-face interaction between care home residents and their families during the pandemic.

In the future, the pods can be used as ongoing treatment rooms or creative spaces, enabling care homes to make the best use of the additional space.

Tata Steel said its Advantica L Control has many product benefits, including its ease of cleaning, and anti-static properties, reducing the attraction of dust and dirt. The best way to ensure surfaces are free of microbes, including viruses, is regular intensive cleaning.

The product is sufficiently robust to withstand this, which is important for this type of application, the Indian steel major said.

The first VisitorPod was installed at a care home in East Yorkshire in northern England just before Christmas last month. Tata Steel is one of Europe’s leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the Netherlands and the UK, and manufacturing plants across Europe.