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Standing the test of time

In high occupancy buildings such as hospitals, universities and schools, doorsets are subject to high levels of impact and stress, sometimes even abuse.  Door hardware, (hinges and closing mechanisms) will quickly require attention if incorrectly specified.

Research has shown that where doors and ironmongery represented less than 1% of a building’s initial cost, they can account for up to 80% of building maintenance costs. Incorrect hardware specification is the main cause of excessive stress on hardware and doorset failure.

pic_Wonford Hospital Floor Spring BTS80EMB

How can architects, specifiers and clients strike the right balance between cost, long term reliability and performance?  Selecting a trustworthy, secure and safe door closer reduces the potential for damage caused by inefficient opening – a common issue faced by heavily trafficked doors.

At dormakaba quality and good design are inherent product attributes, along with a proven track record to back up claims of longevity.

Careful, considered specification

In one of the most demanding interior environments, the modern hospital presents a number of specification challenges.  Specified over 20 years ago, the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital stands as a shining example of how correct specification and quality products can provide true best value in practice.

In 1974, the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital moved to a new purpose built facility on the Heavitree cricket field at Wonford, Exeter. Plans were drawn up by the South West Regional Health Authority Architects to build a new low-level hospital at a cost of £40 million. It was the desire of the architects to specify DORMA door closers throughout the new project. However before proceeding they contacted the Exeter Area Health Authority to obtain their view on door closers - a sensible approach in that they were the client and would be responsible for the building once completed.

Quality Matters

The Exeter Health Authority had been using DORMA products for a number of years and was pleased with their reliability and performance. With architect and client of the same mind as to performance and value for money, DORMA products were specified throughout the new project.

The first phase of the new hospital was completed in 1992, by main contractor Costain Construction, with the DORMA products supplied via Parker, Winder and Achurch. The specification included TS83 EN2-6 Delayed Action and Backcheck overhead door closers, TS73EMF Electro-magnetic Hold Open Closers and BTS80EMB Electro-magnetic hold open floor springs.

Some 25 years on from their installation, the original products supplied are continuing to function fully and correctly on the original doors, a testament indeed to the reliability and endurance of dormakaba products.  As well as their continued performance, what is truly astonishing is that the products comply with all current Building Regulations and Product Standards. 

“Despite being supplied in 1991 and there being numerous changes to legislation over the years,” commented Graham Hulland, “the dormakaba products still meet the necessary legal requirements. This has meant that there has been no need to replace products in order to adhere to the Fire Safety Order, or to meet the requirements of BS8300"

pic_Wonford Hospital Door Closer_TS83

Providing secure and reliable closing in line with the client’s demands and legal responsibilities, they also offer ease of access to the user. This not only gives the client a trustworthy, secure and safe door closer, but also reduces the potential for damage caused by inefficient opening – a common issue faced by heavily-trafficked doors.

It is worth noting that all of the products supplied to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital more than 20 years ago are also still being supplied to hospitals built today, the perfect demonstration of a well-designed, well-made product that is engineered to last. And as they are all CE Marked and Certifire Approved, and enable door sets to meet the requirements of ADM and BS8300, they offer the same reliable operation and peace of mind as when specified two decades ago.

At the entrance to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital Estates Department, a building that was constructed long before the 1992 refurbishment, dormakaba TS78 Door Closers are still fully operational – despite the product being discontinued and replaced by the TS83 in 1983.

“The Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital is a great example of a project that has benefited from a well thought out specification complete with a high quality product which is fit for purpose,” concluded Graham.

One of the most demanding internal environments, the modern hospital presents a number of specification challenges. The Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital proves that when it comes to door closers and hardware, compromise is simply not an option and the correct specification of the highest quality products will help to create an environment which is truly built to last.