Slimdrive SCR
Slimdrive SCR

The largest lobby entrance doors ever installed

When architectural practice shedkm was having difficulty finding the appropriate entrance for the £40 million re-development of Birmingham's former Fort Dunlop tyre factory and the nearby Travelodge, it turned to the only company that could help - GEZE UK.

After consulting several door manufacturers it seemed that shedkm's vision for the Fort Dunlop entrance was impossible, deemed too big to ever be made a reality - until GEZE UK, the UK's leading supplier of door and window control systems stepped up to the challenge.

The ideal door not only had to reflect the industrial scale of the building but also meet disability requirements and reduce heat loss. GEZE UK's circular sliding drum door was the only answer on the market. shedkm specified two bespoke Slimdrive SCR drum-shaped sliding doors, the largest ever installed in the UK, to the front and rear of the disused factory and TSA 160 swing doors for the adjoining 100-bedroom hotel Travelodge.

The Fort Dunlop entrance had to be large enough to allow 3000 people to safely and efficiently access the new offices, retail and leisure facilities on a daily basis whilst also ensuring a fast and reliable escape during an emergency, a combination that proved impossible for many door manufacturers.

Specialists in assisted and easy access doors GEZE UK, supplied the freestanding Slimdrive SCR entrance doors which each feature two sets of sliding doors four metres apart so that when someone passes through the first set of doors, they close behind them before the set in front opens, minimising air loss.

During busy times, when there is a constant stream of people passing through, the automatic doors remain open and at less busy times the drum is slightly pressurised to form an airlock.

The sleek and stylish design of the door operator has an overall height of just 7cm making it almost invisible against the lintel, whilst the addition of several rollers in the roller carriage ensures near soundless running and optimum weight distribution. The Slimdrive SCR has a maximum power consumption of just 300 VA and boasts outstanding versatility as it can be installed almost everywhere including concrete, masonry, steel and glass fixtures and is operated by two control computers.

Energy efficient TSA 160 automatic door operators are ideal for the Travelodge as they can assist with the rigorous demands of the Disability Discrimination Act, and are proven to be reliable. The swing door, which requires little energy and servicing, is compatible with single and double door leaves weighing up to 250kg.

shedkm architect Hazel Rounding commented: "We were impressed with the sheer industrial scale of the building, which we wanted to preserve and also emphasise through various new features.

"Once we'd settled on the sliding drum door design we wanted to push the boundaries of how large we could make it. The building has a 5m-wide column spacing, so we specified a door that could occupy that space. We spoke to several manufacturers, whose reaction was basically: 'that's too big, we can't do that, you'd have to install extra doors'. But GEZE came up with a workable solution.

"The GEZE main entrance doors - one at the front and one at the rear of the building - were vital to our plans for pedestrian circulation."

GEZE UK's sales and marketing director Jules Quested-Williams commented: "We were able to supply doors for Fort Dunlop's main entrance that not only met the demanding size requirements of the project and ensured the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements were adhered to but also reduced heat loss. The doors also feature mechanical power storage and are linked to the fire alarm system so that during an emergency they immediately open, allowing a safe and reliable exit.

"The idea was to use one very large door that would accommodate for every possible need rather then several smaller doors, which many of the other door manufacturers were unable to cater for. At GEZE UK we specialise in creating bespoke solutions and were able to provide the perfect answer, which combined the best in design and style to suit the contemporary design of the complex.

"The TSA 160 swing doors are ideal for a building like Travelodge that have a high footfall and have to provide constant access for all whilst retaining maximum energy."

The giant project began in November 2004, under the direction of Urban Splash Build, comprises continuous glazing panels, the UK's largest green roof and a giant Hollywood sign and was completed in Spring 2008.