Thursday 23 March 2023

Early Design Collaboration Unlocks Functionality at New Business Park

Industrial door specialists, ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems, has helped bring the new Gemini8 Business Park in Warrington to life, supplying a suite of entrance systems which underpin the performance and functionality of the new urban logistics and industrial units.

Gemini8 Business Park is a 119,600 sq ft development which brings 18 new high specification Grade A units to a prominent site just outside of Warrington, providing an ideal location for growing businesses. To maximise the potential of the new industrial site, ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems worked closely with Manchester-based AEW Architects from the initial stages of the project, ensuring design elements could contribute to everyday functionality alongside green credentials.

Several of the buildings on site are designed to utilise the ground floor space as a warehousing area, with office space elevated on a mezzanine level situated at the front of the buildings. While this makes the space more practical for occupants, it did pose a challenge in the initial design stages.

Overhead sectional doors were specified in the design to provide excellent access to each unit, but AEW needed to be certain they could be operated properly and safely – even with the mezzanine level situated directly above leaving a gap of just 475mm to accommodate the mechanisms for the door.

Ian Norburn, Business Development Manager at ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems said:
“Identifying the potential difficulties so early on in the planning stages is a true testament to the foresight and expertise of AEW. It meant we could work with them to develop a solution which would work for the buildings and their occupants”.
“To overcome this challenge we developed a track arrangement which would retain the door’s springs and motor assembly at the door head, working within the parameters of the door and mezzanine level.”
The door’s track arrangement is designed to support the efficient operation of the door, smoothly guiding it upwards when required. Typically, components such as the spring package would be set just above the door, however, with limited space available beneath the mezzanine, another solution was required.

Adapting a Low Lift track design (where the spring package is positioned at the end of the horizontal tracks), was deemed inappropriate for cross traffic inside the building, and so the team at ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems focused on how best to enhance operational safety. By utilising the low position of the track and installing a Standard Low Lift arrangement, the spring package and motor could be positioned directly between the door and the mezzanine level, even in the restricted space available.

Once it had been established that the doors could be accommodated within the building design, AEW also needed to be confident in its ability to deliver on sustainability.

Supporting building efficiency

As a brand-new industrial development, the green credentials of Gemini8 were going to be crucial, with the buildings designed to achieve BREEAM Very Good rating. Across the site, developer Chancerygate had employed several green initiatives – from selecting high-performance insulated cladding through to installing electric vehicle charging points.

The 20 overhead sectional doors supplied and installed by ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems were no exception. Delivering a U-value of 1.1w/m2K, the doors also provide unrivalled levels of insulation to support the building's efforts to maintain consistent internal temperatures and, in turn, reduce energy consumption and running costs.

Additionally, the motor used to operate the overhead sectional doors contributes to greater efficiency. Fast operational speeds mean doors can open and close more quickly, limiting draughts and even supporting improved levels of productivity. Economic low voltage design also ensures low running costs, while doors can continue to operate reliably day after day.
Ian continued: “These days, we’re seeing the need for sustainability becoming just as important as the functionality of the doors themselves, particularly as regulations tighten and buildings are required to perform even more efficiently. 
“Selecting the right materials and solutions from the very outset of a project can only support these ambitions, and we’re proud to work with forward-thinking architects and developers to realise the solutions they need to make their designs work for today’s construction needs.”
Gemini8 reached practical completion in Autumn 2022 and it is expected that the development will support employment and economic growth in the North West region. In total, ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems supplied 20 overhead sectional doors and 20 steel-hinged final escape doors, providing reliable access to each of the units.

To find out more about entrance systems from ASSA ABLOY, visit

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