Surge in electro-mechanical hardware makes ongoing FM training more important than ever

 

Allegion UK Commercial Leader Pete Hancox suggests that facilities management training needs to keep pace with rapidly developing building technologies for building and occupant wellbeing.

In the UK, the staff who manage our facilities can come from all walks of life. Ask any facilities manager about how they got into the trade, and then go and ask another, and you will more than likely get two different answers.

Why is this? Traditionally, people in the Facilities Management sector have often ‘fallen into’ the industry, explained the FMJ (Facilities Management Journal) in their ‘From the tools: The Making of the Manager?’ feature (March 2017). Our facilities managers could have worked their way up from frontline positions such as cleaning, catering, engineering or security. Increasingly, we can also see academic graduates choosing facilities management roles, too.

To become a facilities manager, the UK’s National Careers Service website simply states that “there are no set requirements, but you’ll usually need a qualification in facilities management.” Once you become a facilities manager, bodies like the British Institute of Facilities Management and Royal Institute of British Architects can provide training and CPD courses, but it is all optional to development – there is no legal requirement to train.

This is in stark contrast to other professions where wellbeing is concerned. Take gas engineers, for instance. Gas engineers in the UK, according to a leading jobs website, reed.co.uk, must have relevant qualifications, usually an NVQ Level 3 in Gas Installation, and also be Gas Safe registered. Apprenticeship is a common route for attaining a gas engineer position, too.

Of course, diversity in our industry is welcome, and diversity is known to bring outside-of-the-box solutions. However when we start comparing the two professions, we can start to see how gas engineers will be ‘singing from the same hymn sheet,’ whereas our facilities managers could be working from all manner of different pages.

For the future of facilities management, this very diversity could potentially be harming our buildings, and our occupants’ wellbeing, as opposed to aiding them. We could be creating an environment where knowledge levels, procedures, best practices and the way building hardware solutions are selected is all different and varied.

While it could be years before we reach a standardised route similar to that of gas engineers, we should at least be encouraging our facilities managers to complete ongoing training, particularly to keep pace with daily developments.

The Electro-Mechanical Game Changer

 We are now coming to a stage in the door hardware industry where development is rapidly overtaking existing knowledge. Electro-mechanical ‘smart’ hardware means the ability to unlock doors from phones, control access to secure areas and remotely lockdown, these are all functions that would be greatly beneficial in any facility manager’s life.

Fully integrated building solutions and biometrics are also becoming more readily available and affordable, so that we can give our facilities managers greater control over their buildings, as well as scalability for the future.

Choosing the right solution is a lot more difficult though, one which requires a comprehensive analysis of the building, the users, the ongoing maintenance and the ability to upscale or upgrade in future.

Ongoing training is crucial in this respect. Without a proper understanding of the technology, it can be quite easy to make a decision that is not beneficial to the long term sustainability of the building. For the facilities management team, it can eventually lead back to compromising health and safety.

A case in point happened as recently as 2016, when a fire door in a hospital that was fitted with a self-closing device shut on an elderly patient, causing injury. Unfortunately, this injury contributed to that patient’s death. Intended to be an aid for the door, it has instead caused accident and a tragedy.

After the case, the Department of Health suggested that risk assessments should be carried out on all fire door closing devices to assess appropriate closing times, taking into account the occupancy of the building. For facilities managers who are ‘self-taught’ and have little knowledge in these electro-magnetic devices and risk assessments, we can immediately see how ongoing training in this area will benefit them.

 The impact on health and safety compliance

 Without question, the role of the facilities manager is to guarantee the health and safety of occupants, and there are strict guidelines and classifications to door hardware that must be met.

However, the varying level and difference in understanding of door hardware leads to different ideas between the supply chain. Architects strive for the aesthetic; facilities managers must comply with health and safety regulations but also meet budgets; installers and contractors look for products that are retrofit, or quick and easy to install, and choice of hardware becomes based on those factors.

As a result, while compliance standards can be met, these competing forces mean the solution or hardware that is chosen may not be best for the users.

Fire doors are another area that require debate and thought. Heavy in nature, but a necessity to fire safety, they can become dangerous when the hardware used with them does not facilitate easy passage or use. Primary school children may not have the strength to push open doors, while in care homes, mobility and escape in a fire situation becomes an issue.

The easy, perhaps even cost-effective, option would be to select a manual fire door closer, compliant to the weight of the fire door. However, we would advise in these situations to help those building occupants by choosing an electromagnetic door closer instead that is linked to the fire alarm system. In this way, you can legally hold open fire doors, aid daily passage and use, reduce wear and tear and still stay within compliance.

Another case where an electromechanical device could potentially have prevented injury occurred in 2015, where a mother claims her five-year-old daughter lost part of her finger in a fire door at school after being left unsupervised.

Margaret Chan’s daughter got her finger caught in the heavy fire door at Cuddington Croft Primary School in Cheam, Surrey. The incident is claimed to have occurred after the child was left unattended after being “sent back into the school building toilet alone unsupervised via a classroom where there are two fire doors”, said Margaret. The school could not tell the mother what had happened, as the incident was ‘unwitnessed’ (Daily Mail, 2015).

Short-term costs, long-term gains

As with all training, there is an associated cost. It can be hard to see past this cost if benefits are viewed as minimal or not even applicable to current situations. In facilities management, it is even harder to see why we need training in disciplines such as biometrics or computer-aided systems, when traditionally these applications have only been used in select, sensitive buildings.

However, we as manufacturers are constantly exploring technology that can enhance door hardware capabilities and the customer experience, simply because it is our duty to continue innovating for the better. Technologically enhanced door hardware will soon be more accepted as the norm as we become accustomed to the benefits it offers, as well as if costs on such hardware continues to fall.

Therefore, if we do not encourage our facilities managers to train, in the end we are ultimately costing more to our buildings, and to the welfare of our occupants, than the initial outlay of training may be suggesting.

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Assa Abloy security doors at new Canary Wharf Elizabeth Line station

ASSA ABLOY Security Doors, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, has supplied specialist doorsets to the new Elizabeth line station at Canary Wharf.

The new station at Canary Wharf   will be one of the largest Elizabeth line stations and has been built in dock water area, in the North Dock of West India Quay. The station, retail and park areas are six stories high.

ASSA ABLOY Security Doors worked with specialist subcontractors, Lindner, to provide pivoted, fire rated platform doors to conceal station equipment rooms that needed to be clad with a vitreous enamel panels.

Nigel Cronin, Area Sales Manager at ASSA ABLOY Security Doors, said: “Canary Wharf’s Elizabeth line station is just one of many London Underground projects we are currently proud to be associated with.

“We were brought in to this project, with a brief to come up with a door design that was capable of carrying the weight of vitreous enamel panels that also needed to pass an independent assessment for fire integrity. Our design was based around a pivot system that was capable of supporting the weight of the heavy doors of up to 300kgs.”

For further information, please visit http://www.assaabloy.co.uk/Security-Doors

Alternatively tweet @ASSAABLOYUKLtd or like our Facebook page  or follow us on LinkedIn

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Boon Edam provides secure and stylish entry solution for The Francis Crick Institute

Boon Edam, a global market leader in entry solutions has unveiled a quality, engineered solution for a brand new, state of the art building in St Pancras; now home to The Francis Crick Institute.

The biomedical discovery organisation, required an entry solution to seamlessly integrate with its new building’s modern design.

The research centre, a flagship for UK biomedical science and one of Europe’s largest biomedical research facilities, is a base for 1500 scientists and staff, whilst housing technology to help create discoveries for illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Therefore, the entry solution required advanced security to ensure staff, visitors and equipment could be kept safe and protected, whilst complimenting the design.

With 140 years’ experience with manufacturing entry solutions, Boon Edam ensures its products meet the strictest quality standards. The building is serviced by five Automatic Crystal Tourniket’s. This product was selected following an assessment of everyday use including analysing the number of visitors and size of luggage expected to be carried into the building whilst creating a user friendly and attractive gateway into the building supporting the green principles that were embedded into its design and carried through to its operation.

The revolving doors use a combination of laminated and toughened glass, which results in a reduction in the traditionally framed elements of the door. The minimalistic, all glass revolving doors provided a stylish solution which complimented the new building’s façade. They also met the security requirements; with each Crystal Tourniket supplied with an external night locking door. Finished in stainless steel, the additional feature provided a further layer of security for the building. The night locking door was mounted onto a stainless-steel track fixed to the glass soffit and provided with fully integrated locks.

Ian Goldsmith, Head of Sales at Boon Edam Ltd commented, “We are thrilled to have provided the entry solutions for this building. The cross-border project between Boon Edam BV (Netherlands) and Boon Edam UK was successful in meeting the precise requirements of The Francis Crick Institute. The Crystal Tourniket’s have provided the new building with the secure, eye catching solution desired whilst utilising the environmental benefits of installing a revolving door.”

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Maximising the value of your door hardware

By Simon Osborne, Commercial Leader UK & Ireland, Allegion

When looking at door hardware, it may at first appear to be a simple choice that can be broken down into three broad factors: appearance, functionality, and cost, i.e. what type of hardware looks best, does what I need it to do right now and is the cheapest method of fulfilling the requirement.

However, there should be a much deeper thought process than that of the face value considerations listed above, particularly if you are specifying for multiple buildings, high footfall areas or if you are building in the public sector.

For example, the Autumn 2015 Spending Review highlighted that 8,000 specialist homes should be built for older people and people with disabilities. On the face of it, that might signal a cost-cutting exercise, but for the finely attuned door hardware expert, it means complex analysis into which door hardware products will best meet the needs of the elderly and disabled within the budget allowed, but also provide the best value and lifespan. Decision factors will include looking at what access systems are needed for carers, what emergency exit systems need to be in place for the occupants and staff, how best to accommodate the users’ needs, amongst a whole host of other considerations.

And whilst the British Property Federation argued that the NHS should “move beyond thinking about the relatively small savings that can be made through improved facilities management” (BPF Analysis: Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015), we in the industry know that choosing the right product the first time can yield real cost savings. Whether it is through installation, maintenance, replacement, preventing yourself from fines or other hidden costs, that is applicable to any industry you may be in.

Here is our quick guide to what you should be considering in order to maximise the value of your door hardware.

Lowering installation, maintenance and running costs

From call outs to wiring, fitting to testing and more, labour costs are one of the highest components of the built environment spend. However, it is one that can be reduced with correct specification.

If you are upgrading your door hardware, try considering electromechanical wireless options. Most modern closers and door furniture now run off batteries and communicate wirelessly through routers, so there is less dependence on hard-wiring to building power sources and hubs. Battery life is also no longer a hindering factor as we can now see standard AAA battery-run hardware lasting upwards of 20,000 cycles.

Choosing door furniture and systems that are designed specifically for retrofitting will also cut costs from installation and maintenance through less upheaval and less disruption. In most cases, all that is required is a simple remove and replace.

Quality over cost

It may be tempting to use products that hold a cheaper ticket price, but, logically, picking products that are more durable and are also proven to last longer will eventually save money in the long run.

Cheap products are cheap for a reason, and they often have poorer performance over quality engineered hardware. Whether that means they have poorer grading standards or are manufactured from less robust materials, it all results in shorter lifecycles.

Door closers and exit devices in education and healthcare facilities are a prime example of this due to the high usage – and sometimes misuse – they are subjected to. Good quality hardware is engineered for such environments, while cheaper hardware isn’t. Consequently, if you choose cheaper hardware, you may be replacing it more regularly and, so, incurring additional labour and purchasing costs.

Think added value

It is often hard to see the added value a simple door handle or closer can carry, but the door hardware industry continually drives research and development to make products the best they can be for their users.

In today’s world, there are a variety of hidden benefits that well-designed door hardware can bring. For instance, door handles in healthcare facilities will often incorporate active anti-microbial agents to minimise germs spreading and prevent bacteria from growing. On the technology side, digital keyless access systems are also forever improving with smart technology to meet and exceed consumer expectations. A prime example of this are electromechanical exit devices which marry with digital access control.

This smarter selection process yields costs savings from other areas that aren’t directly associated to facilities management too. For example, lessening the possibility of germs spreading in schools may lead to a lesser chance of cross-infection and contamination and, thus, less absenteeism amongst pupils and staff.

Increase your knowledge, buy right the first time

Two of the biggest issues found in the “Review of Education Capital” by Sebastian James in April 2011 include a “lack of expertise on the client side meant that there was little opportunity to improve building methods in order to lower costs over time,” and “procurement starts with a sum of money rather than with a specification.”

These two issues are stark representations of fundamental flaws that can be easily fixed, not just for the education sector, but across the entire spectrum of the door hardware purchasing process.

The key point is this: When decision makers lack expertise, they often rely on the installer or contractor, who may be working to their own benefit and picking products that are available from their local merchants or products that are on offer. Installers and contractors may also be recommending hardware they know and have historically used out of habit, as opposed to looking into other options that may improve the building or extend the lifespan of the product in question.

Procuring on a budget may also prove detrimental, as again a buyer is often blinded by cheap alternatives, rather than having an understanding of the right product at the right cost that could save money in the long term.

Consultation and collaboration with a specialist in door hardware during the specification stage is often the best method of protecting yourself against these situations.

Future-proofing

Another area that must be on the agenda is the issue of future-proofing, especially because the landscape of the built environment is moving in tandem with electronics and digital access.

To maximise the value of your hardware in this respect, there should be a clear long-term plan of how your building will be used in the future, considering the needs of occupants and building and security managers.

One of the latest innovations in keyless access is the ability to be able to control doors remotely through internet-enabled devices. As one of the biggest revolutions to come into access control, it is one that can be particularly useful to universities, student campuses, hospitals and sports stadia. If your building stores and handles sensitive data, then it would be prudent to think about which systems you can upgrade to, plus expand and retrofit in future, with minimum fuss.

With a little planning and advice, both of which can be easily obtained from door hardware manufacturers and experts, your door hardware can start repaying you by being longer lasting and by providing better security, safety and functionality to your building occupants.

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Allegion launches new AXA range for UK market

AXA, part of the Allegion family of brands has launched its brand new range of door hardware products. AXA is a specialist manufacturer of door and window fittings for residential applications, offering effective solutions and high quality products.

The new release of products includes: AXA Oyster ® 10, AXA Remote 2.0™, AXA Door Guard, AXAflex Combi-stays and Telescopic stays and are available to the UK market.

The AXA Oyster ® is a unique product to the market and combines a window fastener and stay in one. This means that only one product is needed for the window, instead of the usual three. The product can be safely used for ventilation in two positions and has a built-in damper that absorbs any gusts of wind.

AXA Remote 2.0™enables users to open and close windows in their home easily, quickly, securely and remotely. The product allows natural ventilation and fresh air with just a push of a button and can be powered by solar.

AXA Door Guard is a safe and highly secure option for residential front doors, enabling users to open a door slightly to see who is there, and restrict access if necessary. The AXAflex Combi and Telescopic stays are the leading products in the field of ventilation, and have been for decades. These products provide an all-in-one safe and efficient window product.
All of the products listed meet current safety and security requirements for ventilation and all come with guarantees of up to 10 years.

Although products are primarily suitable for residential security, they can also be used across other applications such as commercial, leisure, healthcare and education.

Dan Harvey, product manager at Allegion said: “The new range for UK markets is a secure and compliant collection. They are easy to install, look great and offer quick and efficient security solutions for homeowners. The products all meet necessary standards so homeowners can be rest assured they are purchasing the very best in the market.”

For further information about the products and the benefits, you can view the brochure here. You can contact Allegion on contactuk@allegion.com. Visit www.allegion.com/uk for more information.

 

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Allegion strive to redefine how door hardware is sold

Specialist security manufacturer, Allegion, is launching a new programme that will hopefully redefine door hardware sales. Allegion’s new first-of-its-kind Try Me Product Programme, gives end users the option to try door closer products on a single door before committing to fitting them throughout their buildings.

The Try Me Product Programme is launching especially for the commercial, healthcare and education sectors, where young people and those needing specialised accommodations are more likely to be negatively affected by doors and door sets that have been incorrectly specified in the past.

Paul Barrows, demand creation leader at Allegion UK, commented: “We’re always creating and innovating new products, and decided that it’s important to reflect this ethos in the way our products are being sold. We knew that problem doors in commercial buildings can be a burden for facilities managers, so we wanted to give them an easy way to fix it.

“Doors can cause inconvenience through draughts or loss of privacy, but incorrect specification can jeopardise the security and fire safety of the building. We’re encouraging building owners to address the issue of problematic doors and ensure they are putting the best possible solution in place the first time.”

The new programme also allows Allegion to deliver technical advice and consultation to support product selection, alongside demonstrations by trained installers, as well as before and after product comparisons.

For further information or to take advantage of the Try Me Product Programme, contact the Allegion Customer Care Team on 01922 707400 or visit www.allegion.com/uk.

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Looking to Control the Temperature of Your Lobby?

With a Boon Edam Heater it’s a Breeze!

During periods of cold and windy weather, why allow the temperature in your lobby to drop? Just because it is chilly outside, doesn’t mean your reception area should be cold too.

The revolving door has become a significant choice for many architects and facilities managers due to the way they naturally help to keep out draughts and reduce energy loss within a building.

The cost saving decision to install a revolving door not only reduces your monthly energy bills but it is also more eco-friendly for the environment due to the reduced amount of hot air that leaves the building with every door rotation.

Still feeling the cold? Why not consider adding a Boon Edam heater onto your door?

On occasions when the weather is windy, cold air can sometimes become trapped within the seperate compartments of a revolving door and subsequently forced into an internal area, normally the reception area. By combining a Boon Edam heater with a revolving door system this cold air is negated and prevented from entering the building.

When installed, the main body of the heater unit is strategically mounted above the revolving door and using curved air outlets, creates a warm barrier around the inner opening of the doorway which counteracts any cold air infiltrating through the door.

With the option to add a Boon Edam heater either from new or as a retrofit, we can ensure that your lobby area is kept at a comfortable climate at all times whilst not impacting on the aesthetics of your entry point.

Not sure which heater to choose? At Boon Edam, we understand that our clients’ needs are as varied as they are which is why each of our heaters are created to match the curvature of each specific revolving door type. We are proud to offer a range of air curtains which can be made bespoke for all commercial, corporate or industrial requirements.

For more details on the heating solutions offered by Boon Edam, please contact the Repairs and Retrofits team on 01233 505 900 or by emailing repairs@boonedam.co.uk

 

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New retail centre opens the door to thermal efficiency

 

The Bishop Centre in Buckinghamshire has recently undergone a complete renovation. The site’s complex series of ageing retail units were demolished and transformed into 101,500sq ft. of contemporary commercial space. Creating large, welcoming entrances that could also deliver excellent thermal performance was vital to the sustainable ethos of the project. As such, DORMA was appointed to supply a comprehensive door package including the ST FLEX Green energy saving automatic sliding doors – specially manufactured in Germany and some of the largest installed in the UK.

Located on the A4 between Maidenhead and Slough, the Bishop Centre is anchored by a 55,000sq ft. Tesco store and features ten additional retailers. Designed by 3D Reid Architects and from developer Land Securities, the Bishop Centre features a high-end structural glazing system, which forms a key part of the external building envelope.

 Consistency of quality and aesthetics was of paramount importance throughout the new development. As such, the team behind the project partnered with DORMA and within the wide range of door solutions selected, a key product was the ST FLEX Green energy saving automatic sliding door.

The door package was installed by architectural glazing contractor Vitrine Systems Ltd, and complemented the Bishop Centre’s extensive Pilkington Planar™ glazed frontage to create a large, expanse of contemporary façade. This was key to establish a bright and welcoming retail unit.

“Large, thermally broken automatic sliding doors would provide more light and a greater feeling of space whilst enhancing the cutting edge aesthetic,” said Tony Williams, Contracts Manager at Vitrine Systems Ltd. “Utilising steel goalposts to support their size, the sleek design of the DORMA ST FLEX Green proved a perfect match to the all-glass facade.”

To meet the performance requirements of the architects’ specification, and with entrances key to achieving energy efficiency, it was also important to select a range of thermally efficient door systems.

The DORMA ST FLEX Green automatic sliding door combines its slender profile and fine frame with outstanding thermal insulation – achieving a very low U-values of 1.4 – 1.8W/m2K to considerably reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions. Designed to closely resemble the company’s standard ST FLEX systems, the ST FLEX Green offers outstanding insulation to meet the thermal requirements of Approved Document L.

The Tesco store located in unit 1, used the DORMA ST Flex Green automatic sliding door to complete the building envelope, whilst the large glass entrance lobby used for additional retail space has two entrance options using DORMA frameless glass automatic sliding doors to maintain the light and airy feel. For the entrances to a coffee shop and wine warehouse, DORMA’s ED250A automatic swing doors were specified to deliver smooth and reliable access into units 10 and 11.

Door packages for retail spaces have to create aesthetically pleasing frontage to welcome potential customers as well as provide a durable solution that can withstand a constant flow of traffic. Adding to this the need to achieve excellent thermal efficiency and for large retail parks it can seem like a challenging specification.

However, for the new Bishop Centre in Buckinghamshire – DORMA provided the ideal solution that met the aesthetic, performance and environmental needs of the project.

For more information please visit www.dorma.com or follow @DORMAUK

 

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EN 16005 compliance is a click away thanks to logbooqr from GEZE UK

There’s no need to worry about lost or damaged log books again thanks to a new innovation from automatic door and window control systems manufacturer GEZE UK.

The company has developed logbooqr, a new online logbook for automatic doors which can be accessed via a QR code using a smartphone or tablet.

Since the introduction of EN 16005 in April 2013, all automatic doors must have a logbook to keep a detailed record of any servicing and maintenance work that has been undertaken. Currently, an asset tag, detailing a unique reference code, is fitted to the door itself and a physical logbook is issued. This is then completed by service and maintenance engineers as soon as any work is carried out. The problem is that logbooks, that need to be kept with the automatic door, are frequently lost or misplaced.

logbooqr allows this information to be recorded on a secure website which is accessed via a QR code printed on the asset tag. This allows an engineer to record the work that has been done, while the end user can check the log and see when the next service is due.   In the event of an accident or random spot check, Health and Safety Inspectors can easily access this information to confirm that servicing and maintenance schedules are up to date.

Speaking about the launch of logbooqr , Steve Marshall, service director of GEZE UK said: “Compliance with EN 16005 means that a log book must be kept for every automatic door, but we frequently find these are lost or mislaid or may not even have been passed on to the end-user who is responsible for the door.

“While losing a log book may seem like a small oversight, in the case of an accident, the health and safety investigator may assume that essential maintenance and servicing has not been carried out. As a formal maintenance record a log book may be called upon in a court of law to prove or disprove liability.

“logbooqr has been designed to provide an easy to access and maintain record of an automatic door’s history. An engineer simply scans the QR code and updates the log, creating an accurate record that can be accessed at any time. And because it’s all recorded online, it can never get lost again!”

For more information about GEZE UK’s comprehensive range of automatic and manual door closers or for servicing enquiries call 01543 443000 or visit www.geze.co.uk.

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Powerturn from GEZE makes access for all a breeze

Even the largest of doors can be opened with ease providing access to all thanks to the launch of the new Powerturn drive by GEZE UK.

Powerturn is an automatic swing door drive that can be used manually thanks to GEZE’s new Smart swing function so that even children and people with restricted mobility can easily open large or heavy doors.

Designed with the end user in mind, Powerturn provides architects with a truly flexible design and accessibility solution. It is ideal for use on internal and external doors and is suitable for single or double leaf doors. At just 7cm high, the drive can be mounted on the door or transom and be used to open large or heavy doors, with a leaf weight of up to 600kg (300kg on fire doors) or leaf width up to 1600mm. It can be integrated with other door control systems including heat and smoke ventilation systems or complex security systems with interlocking doors.

The Smart swing function is key to its power. This innovative new operation pre-loads the spring during the first cycle to reduce the energy required during normal operation, in the event of a fire the spring releases closing the door safely. Powerturn also includes an adjustable push and go function and ensures barrier free access, enabling compliance to the Equality Act and BS 8300.

Andy Howland, sales director of GEZE UK said: “Powerturn can be integrated flexibly in to a wide range of different systems giving the architect the freedom to design whilst still meeting all safety and accessibility requirements.

“This versatile operator provides full functionality from low energy operation to fully automatic opening and closing of large or heavy doors, which can   assist in locations encountering adverse conditions.

For more information about Powerturn or GEZE UK’s comprehensive range of automatic and manual door closers call 01543 443000 or visit www.geze.co.uk.

 

 

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