Free-swing door closers at new mental health hospital

Samuel Heath’s Powermatic Free Swing controlled, concealed door closers have been used at a new £48 million state-of-the-art psychiatric care building at Royal Edinburgh Hospital

The £48m Royal Edinburgh Building is part of a phased programme of redevelopment at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital campus being undertaken by NHS Lothian over coming years.

The new facilities will provide accommodation for the adult acute mental health inpatient service, older people’s mental health assessment, intensive psychiatric care service and the new Robert Fergusson national brain injury unit.

Powermatic Free Swing door closers have been used on the main entrance doors to all 185 residential care rooms throughout the new building.

The door closers deliver a number of benefits for such projects thanks to their unique features and the fact that they are totally concealed when the door is closed.

Both standard and Free Swing versions of Powermatic are installed between the door and frame, making them invisible when the door is closed and particularly unobtrusive when the door is open. They can also be fitted within 300mm of the bottom of the door.

These factors not only make the door closers popular for use with continuous hinges in anti-ligature and anti-barricade systems, but also enable designers to create a more-homely, less-institutionalised ambience to the interior, free from the unsightly mechanical arms and control boxes that are an inescapable feature of surface-mounted devices. The door closers are also less susceptible to damage through misuse, tampering or vandalism, which can compromise the performance of the door closer and door.

For psychiatric care facilities, these attributes assure a safer, more-therapeutic environment, which is valued by clinicians, staff and patients.

Powermatic Free Swing door closers are connected to a building’s 24-volt fire alarm system and provide the added functionality of enabling the door to be operated manually and left open as desired once the mechanism has been primed by opening the door to its maximum. The door closer becomes operational when the fire alarm is activated or when there is a power failure.

Responding to a request from NHS Lothian, the door closers were recommended and supplied by specialist architectural ironmongers, DorSuite of East Kilbride.

Doors were routed to accept Powermatic Free Swing by CNC machines before delivery to site, where they were installed towards the bottom of the doors by contractors, Morrison Construction.

Samuel Heath supplied specially-adapted versions to facilitate electrical connections via conductor hinges situated below the door closers.

Ross Robinson-Brown, Morrison Construction’s contract manager for the Royal Edinburgh Building, said: “Pre-delivery routing of the doors made on-site installation of the Powermatic Free Swing simple and efficient.

“With much of the facilities now in use, the door closers are performing well and the client is delighted with the outcome.”

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