The UK’s Largest Solar School Gate


Bradstow School, a Kent-based Wandsworth special needs school, recently opened a modern new residential block for their pupils, secured by the UK’s largest zero-running cost sliding gate, installed by Solar Gates.

A major part of such a large expansion of the facilities at the school was serious consideration of the security and safety for the residential pupils. The new block needed to be easily accessible during the day, with clear access to the main teaching buildings. But during the evening, the gate must be closed to ensure the pupils’ safety in the residential apartments.

“We identified the need for an automatically closing gate and then decided that we should look at ‘greener’ options, in other words, solar power.”

‘We saw an article that mentioned a solar powered gate had been installed at a school in Whitstable and I contacted the installation company” commented Martin Foryan, Facilities Manager at Bradstow School.

Martin continues, “I must admit I was dubious about going down this road, especially because of the size of gate we required, but I was surprised that the cost was considerably less than installing an automatic school gate. This gave me the added incentive to persevere with the project.”

Using a cantilever sliding gate allowed the most secure solution to be installed, whilst preserving the maximum amount of room in the new car park for vehicles.

The access control for the gate was relatively standard with keypad code entry and exit and twin safety beams used to prevent the gate closing on vehicles or people. There was however one major addition that required careful consideration, owing to the specific nature of the pupils at the school. It was decided that if the emergency alarms at the school were to go off, that the gate must close at all costs to prevent panicking students leaving the grounds and safety of the residential car park.

The gate control system is therefore connected to the school fire alarm system which triggers a gate closure, overriding the daily open timer, if required. It was also essential that the close override could be counteracted by using the key codes to allow emergency services to gain entry as required. “The most important benefit to the school is that there are no running costs. I have been very pleased with the communication from the start of the project. I would recommend Solar Gates to anyone.” concludes Mr. Foryan.

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