Roof escape door in the Lutheran Church tower, Wittenberg
Roof escape door in the Lutheran Church tower, Wittenberg
Detail view: GEZE MLS motor lock on roof escape door in the Lutheran Church
Detail view: GEZE MLS motor lock on roof escape door in the Lutheran Church

Modern RWA system in historic architecture

Doors in listed buildings need to meet the same requirements as doors in new buildings with regard to safety and control functions. The Lutheran church "Lutherkirche" in Wittenberg, built between 1490 and 1510, is an up-to-date example of heat and smoke extraction systems in combination with the most modern lock and door technology used in historic listed buildings.

During restoration of the church tower, the stairway of the tower was required to be kept free of smoke in case of fire so that the escape and rescue routes could be used without problems. In addition to this, the door had to provide break-in protection from outside, to be locked via the roof to meet insurance regulations, and to report any improper use of the burglar alarm. The combination of HSE components and the most modern lock and door technology from GEZE was able to meet these requirements.

Suitably dimensioned intake and extraction areas are necessary to ensure that natural smoke and heat extraction can take place safely. Air flows through the intake openings in the bottom levels of the building so that any existing smoke gas volumes rise (caused by thermal buoyancy) and can be drawn off via the extraction areas in the upper sections of the room or building. The door to the roof access in the tower, which has no other windows, is used as an extraction area. If a fire breaks out, the door opens outwards and fulfils the function of a further escape route at the same time. Door locking takes place using the self-locking GEZE IQ Lock EL motor lock, which can be opened manually from inside at any time thanks to its panic function and therefore fulfils the requirements on a emergency exit door. The alarm is triggered via a smoke detector or manual alarm buttons. If an alarm is sounded, the HSE control centre triggers the intake and extraction openings. The motor lock unlocks the door in less than one second when an alarm is sounded, which therefore allows the door to be opened. At the same time a message is sent to the burglar alarm to confirm that the door is no longer locked. 

Thanks to the combination of a GEZE RWA control centre with the GEZE IQ Lock EL and the inversely fitted GEZE TS5000 door closer,  the individual requirements made on this historic building were able to be fulfilled. This results in a more rapid smoke and heat extraction, and a safeguarded escape route.