To create flexible space in the main hall, a partitioning wall was specified by Duncan Myers, a senior architect for Dundee city council, however due to the height of the ceiling there were concerns about the size and weight of the panels and their manoeuvrability.

“The assembly hall partition is over 5000mm in height,” said Duncan, “and conventional moveable walls of that size can incorporate panels weighing up to 450kg. We therefore felt that this posed a significant manual handling risk to the school staff so we turned to Style for a solution.”

Working with main contractor Robertson Central, Style decided to propose a fully automatic, horizontally sliding moveable wall – the first of its kind to be installed in any UK school. DORMA Moveo ComfortDrive operates with a simple LCD control pad. The panels move along the track and lock into position with no manual input from the school staff.

The system opens and closes quickly and quietly without any manual handling and without the need for a crank handle to lock the panels in place.

“As well as making it easy to use, this fully automatic system has further advantages,” said David Louden, Style’s director for Scotland. “Because the system is fully automatic and computer controlled the chance of the operator not closing the wall correctly is negated.

"The seals during each operating cycle are properly extended or retracted. This avoids potential damage which can occur by the mishandling of large and sometimes heavy panels. With this system, you press the button and the wall closes automatically, and if an obstacle blocks the wall’s path it will reverse and retry closure once before stopping completely until the route is clear and the system reactivated.”

Duncan Myers added, “The panels weigh 50% less than their manual equivalent and the automatic operation saves set up time and takes away any risk of injury. We are delighted by the end result and have incorporated the same system into the design for the next school being built in the west of the city.”