Historic doors automated with invisible TORMAX operators

As part of a £3m restoration at Hexham Abbey, TORMAX was contracted to install three advanced iMotion underfloor swing-door operators, successfully automating key entrances without affecting the aesthetics of the interior. Designed in-house, iMotion 1401 operators represent one of the most cutting-edge solutions on the market today, combining exceptional reliability with minimum maintenance. Housed in a steel box located within the floor, invisible iMotion 1401 door drives have been installed in buildings of historic importance worldwide.

The work at Hexham Abbey was carried out by principal contractor, William Anelay and included the complete renovation of the former monastic buildings and adjacent magistrates’ court. The Abbey now welcomes visitors with a fantastic interactive exhibition, functions room and new café, The Refectory. TORMAX worked with Glass Design Solutions and architects Purcell to automate a traditional external entrance, as well as two full-glass internal doors.

Toni Bush, Education and Community Officer at Hexham Abbey, commented:

 “It was essential that the newly renovated areas could be easily accessed by all members of the public. However, we also wanted to preserve the historic features of each doorway. Underfloor operators was the ideal solution, allowing clear access whilst keeping pedestrian foot-traffic moving smoothly at busy times.”

TORMAX iMotion operators are unique in that the powerful synchronous motors do not have any abrading parts to cause friction wear, such as brushes or gears. This cuts maintenance down to absolute minimum and makes installation under the floor a practical reality. Further reducing maintenance, the technology incorporates a health and safety self-monitoring system which automatically adapts door operation to take account of factors such as high winds or a build-up of dirt, which may otherwise cause the door to slow down.

Simon Roberts, MD for TORMAX, confirmed:

“It is not unheard of for our operators to still be going strong 15-20 years after installation. The current iMotion operators stand head and shoulders above the competition, making TORMAX an incredibly cost-effective solution.”