High-speed roll-up doors, operated by sensors or push buttons, have become very practical, and where appropriate, a standard solution for openings that are required to accommodate the movement of materials, equipment, and even personnel.  The virtually touch less option for operation and critical times, where the environment within the controlled room remains open to the adjacent space, can be helpful in controlling risks due to cleanliness and exposure.

Critical components to review when choosing a GMP roll-up door solution:

  • Exposed control boxes
  • Exposed conduit
  • Surface mounted operators

Hi-Speed fabric door assemblies are far from the ideal flush, smooth- surfaced mechanisms that are desired in a GMP production area.  Although the door is typically shrouded by a range of cleanable type surfaces, there are usually some exposed conduit and a control box that is surface mounted as standard installation.

Controllers can be located remotely if the design permits and are simply connected by wiring/conduit that can be hidden within the wall cavity.  One solution is to place the control panel in the ceiling. Ceilings at this type of door, however, are usually high and hard to access. If a gypsum wallboard ceiling is necessary, then an airtight access door is also required and must be large enough to provide access.  Understandably, this can be unwanted by facilities maintenance.  Another solution is to recess the control box within the wall that the door is placed.  This typically would require that the wall would be have to be thicker and the mounting/ finishing of the surface of the box would have to be coordinated.  One additional option is to surface mount the controller on a wall near the door. If this option is selected, the panel should be placed on the “less clean” side of the door and installed in a manner that minimizes horizontal surfaces that require cleaning.

Over the past 5 years, the design of hi-speed roll-up doors has progressed forward to better serve the needs of the industry. There are certainly more options available today to suit the designer/owners needs regarding specific environments and usage.  Although many hi-speed roll-up door manufactures offer smaller components where feasible; slimmer profiles and shrouds, and generally a more flush design, the major components of the door are still needed and must be considered.   Thinking about these issues and necessary components of the hi-speed roll-up door early on in the design of a project can provide a much smoother selection and coordination process. This helps avoid conflicts which may have space implications that can create a domino effect within a facility.

Christine Hofnagel, Sr. Associate for JacobsWyper


by:  Christine A. Hofnagel
Senior Associate
JacobsWyper Architects