Dorma Door Closers given a clean bill of health after 21 years

Dorma Door Closers given a clean bill of health after 21 years

In the construction industry, the importance of correctly specified high quality products should never be underestimated. For longevity, performance and cost-effectiveness to be achieved in building materials and systems, it’s vital to get the product right first time – especially in a busy, healthcare environment.

For hospitals and healthcare facilities, quality is of utmost importance during door closer specification. In constant use, they provide a vital service to staff, patients and visitors which often goes unnoticed. However, door hardware 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 accounted for up to 80% of maintenance costs; it is therefore easy to see why choosing the right system is paramount.

But how can architects, specifiers and clients strike the right balance between cost, long term reliability and performance? As the world leader in door controls, automatics, glass and movable walls, DORMA, adopts quality design, precision engineering and an exceptional manufacture process as inherent attributes to ensure the best product is supplied first time, every time.

Using only the highest standard of raw materials, from bearings to hydraulics, as well as the finest engineering tolerances, DORMA designs, manufactures and supplies door closers that set the standard in the industry. The company’s products offer features and functions that stay ahead of industry
regulations and government legislation – often acting as a precursor for changes and updates.

At the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in Wonford, Exeter, a series of DORMA door closers is testament to getting it right first time, whilst also proving that quality materials and a careful specification will provide best value in practice. In fact, a large number of DORMA TS83 door closers and BTS80 floorsprings – originally supplied in 1991 – are still in operation and still meet all Building Regulations and Product Standards more than 20 years later, despite stringent changes in recent years.

Quality matters
When the South West Regional Health Authority Architects planned to build a new £40 million low-level hospital on the site of the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, its architects wanted to specify DORMA door closers for the new project. Before construction began, they turned to end client and predecessor to the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, the Exeter Area Health Authority, to obtain their views on the specification of door closers.

Having used DORMA products over a number of years and pleased with their reliability and performance, the Exeter Health Authority approved the specification of DORMA products. Delivering on all counts – performance, reliability and value for money – the architects and client collaborated to specify DORMA door closers and floor springs throughout the facility.

Built by main contractor Costain Construction, the first phase of the new hospital was completed in 1992 with DORMA products supplied via Parker, Winder and Achurch. The full specification included DORMA TS83 EN2-6 Delayed Action and Backcheck overhead door closers, TS73 EMF Electro- magnetic Hold Open Closers and BTS80 EMB Electro-magnetic hold open floor springs.

As well as providing reliable, long term performance, the products still comply with all Building Regulations and Product Standards in 2012.

“Despite being supplied in 1991 and there being numerous changes to legislation over the years, DORMA products still meet the necessary legal requirements,” said Graham Hulland, Product Marketing Manager at DORMA UK. “This has meant that there has been no need to replace products in order to adhere to the Fire Safety Order. It should also be noted that our products’ low opening forces also ensure that the requirements of BS8300 are fully met.”

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, DORMA 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.

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