Automatic swing door with escape and rescue route function.
Automatic swing door with escape and rescue route function.
Johannes Wesling hospital in Minden.
Johannes Wesling hospital in Minden.

Door engineering in hospitals

The Johannes Wesling Hospital is Germany's largest and latest new hospital. Based on the plans of Harald Klösges, from the Düsseldorf office of TMK Architekten, an ultra-modern "green hospital" covering an area of 46,000 m², and with 3,500 rooms and 864 beds, has been built, at a cost of 210 million euro. The hospital complex combines interdisciplinary and integrated treatment approaches, the latest equipment and a patient-friendly atmosphere that is extremely cost-effective. The requirement to create a highly competitive hospital, which always puts its patients, visitors and staff first, was also fulfilled through the utilisation of high quality materials and building elements. The facade construction, made from glass and concrete, creates a bright and inviting atmosphere in the lobby area, which is continued through into the hospital.

Comfort on foot and safety for everyone

GEZE has made its contribution to fulfilling the high requirements placed on the new building with the latest in door, window and safety technology. Virtually silent electro-hydraulic TSA 160 NT drives were incorporated to create fully automated swing doors in areas with bed or service transports, for example in the main patient corridors - or the hospital's "main arteries", in the corridors leading to the adjacent operating theatres, in the parent-child unit, in the wards and in the entrances to the gardens and courtyards. In situations where time is of the essence, these doors open before the surgeon even reaches them. They open and close independently - a real advantage when hands have just been washed or when the staff have no free hands. The non-contact operation works via a large, flat button, which can be activated using the elbow and which opens the door in advance. The monitoring sensors ensure safety: They guarantee that the swing opening area of the door is clear before the door closes. With its automated opening and closing, the TSA 160 NT swing door drive also ensures a comfortable, barrier-free path to the hospital chapel. It is able to cope with the heavy traffic and, once everyone has entered the chapel, it closes the large and heavy doors quietly and safely. The TSA 160 NT fulfils all applicable safety regulations and has been type-tested and certified in line with DIN 18650.

As an alternative, the doors can also be left open in standard operation. In the parent-child unit or in the wards - where they also function as emergency exits and fire doors, and, as such, have to intuitively signal the escape route to those exiting the building - securing the doors with a hold-open device, which is linked to a fire alarm, is both sensible and necessary. In the case of fire, the system automatically releases the magnetic holder. The door closes and the fire or smoke is prevented from spreading through the building. This has been achieved in the hospital with both single and double-leaf smoke control and fire doors, which also offer barrier-free access, with the GEZE TS 5000 R-ISM door closer with integrated smoke switch control unit. In the event of a fire, the smoke detector activates and the door closes automatically. In addition it is possible to seamlessly switch between door locking angles of 80° and 130°; the locked position can be surpassed in this device, thus guaranteeing that the doors can be fully opened in the case of an emergency. The integrated sequential locking control ensures that both door leaves always close seamlessly once people have passed through them - for example when evacuating a building - and that the door can then once again fulfil its role as a fire door.

In the case of smoke or fire, the TSA 160 NT-F swing door drives delay the closing of the doors, including in places where the trouble-free functioning of the automated driver-less goods transport system must be maintained until the robot-operated trolleys are beyond the swing opening area of the door leaves.

Preventative fire protection - indispensable

The rapid development of building technology has brought with it increased requirements when it comes to fire prevention. As almost 90% of all victims of fire are actually victims of the smoke, and a high proportion of material damage is due to the smoke itself, the spread of smoke from fires must be prevented, especially in the escape routes. In the front area of the hospital this is prevented by a system solution from GEZE: the RWA 110E Tandem smoke and heat extraction system discharges the smoke directly from where it originates. This naturally active smoke extraction device utilises the thermal lift - with fresh air openings in the lower wall area, e.g. below doors and windows, and smoke outlet openings in the upper wall and ceiling area, so that a stabile layer of smoke forms above the area where people are. The facade smoke outlet openings of the RWA 110E system, which operate in tandem, i.e. at both vertical window profiles, have been fitted with elegant electric spindle drives. They ensure that the large, heavy windows are opened as fully as possible in just 60 seconds so that the smoke and heat can be extracted. They can, of course, also be used for day-to-day ventilation.

An optimal smoke extraction is achieved when this is combined with the TSA 160 NT Z-inverse swing door drive as an RWA fresh air opening for the facade doors: they work "inversely", or in other words, they open outwards. In the case of a fire or smoke alarm, the doors open and stay open until the alarm has been switched off, when they return to their conventional use as normal doors in the hospital. This specific solution guarantees both barrier-free mobility and safety: On a day-to-day basis, the hospital gardens and courtyards can be accessed on a barrier-free basis, whilst in the case of smoke or fire, the doors are opened automatically and kept open.

Free access to escape routes

Escape route solutions are only safe if they have been adapted to suit the specific local conditions, as in the case of an emergency the building has to be evacuated in a matter of seconds. The door control unit TZ 220 N secures the emergency exit doors. A tailor-made solution to suit the specific user requirements of the hospital was created with emergency buttons and key switch buttons. The door control unit allows authorised people to pass through the door and opens all emergency escape routes in the case of an emergency. This is operated using the flush-mounted, wide operable palm button, which can be quickly and safely triggered by anybody at any time, even in the event of panic. Manipulation through sabotage and pre-alarms is almost impossible. The systematic character and the sustainable approach of GEZE safety solutions embody the possibility of a synchronised installation of swing door drives, fire protection systems and entry control systems. This has been realised in the ward: TSA 160 NT-F inverse swing door drives have been linked to TZ 220 door control units. In addition, a fire alarm system has been incorporated. In the parent-child unit this complex solution has been completed with an entry control system, which regulates and documents the access of authorised persons within a defined time schedule. 275 TSA 160 NT automatic drives and related door solutions have been incorporated throughout the hospital.

The integrated design of the GEZE door closing family seamlessly highlights the uniformity of the hospital architecture. GEZE has fitted almost 400 single and double-leaf tube frame, wood or sheet steel doors, with overhead door closers with catching devices, T-STOP guide rails or a free-swing function, in the administration area, in the reception and diagnosis wings, in the ward and in the auditorium of this teaching hospital, which belongs to the Hanover School of Medicine. A total of 750 door closers from the renowned TS 5000 range were incorporated.

The T-Stop guide rail with integrated opening restrictor makes ugly and dangerous door stoppers a thing of the past. There is no longer a danger of getting trapped between the door leaf and stopper. As such, T-Stop ensures increased safety, as well as room aesthetics and, above all else, hygiene, as the entire floor area can be cleaned, which is especially valuable in areas where hygiene is of importance. With the so-called free-swing function, you can pass through the door without any obstacles in either the opening or closing area of the door once the door has first been opened, e.g. first thing in the morning. Meanwhile, the electro-hydraulic locking device ensures that the door will close safely and independently in the case of a fire.

An ultra-modern hospital has been built at Minden, which represents a trend-setting role model in the field of door, window and safety technology.