A Little Bit About Us

Dortek have over 50 years of experience in providing specialist door solutions for demanding environments.

We have produced and installed more than 200,000 door sets for clients in over 80 countries. Due to our passion, expertise, dedication, and meticulous planning, we are the chosen supplier to the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical, health, food, retail, and leisure companies.

We have world class manufacturing facilities where we produce an inherently superior product, one that’s more hygienic, intelligent, easy to clean, durable and has a higher quality finish. Our doors are capable of resisting bacteria, water, laser, x-ray and are fire certified in over 30 countries.

We offer you our full support at every stage of the process, from site surveys and manufacturing through to project management, installation, and servicing. The Dortek team are a group of talented and experienced individuals who all share a vision to generate great results for each and every one of our clients.

For more information about us and our services, please get in touch by submitting an enquiry on our contact us page and a member of our team will get back to you.

Coordinating construction decisions with cleaning decisions.

As the cleanroom construction sector has evolved, so have its design, engineering and building techniques. Cleanroom suppliers have had to fit seamlessly into these constantly updating practices, ensuring efficiency and compliance throughout. We have long been aware of the criticality of cleanroom door systems and what an integral part of the pharmaceutical facility design and construction requirements they are, as they have a significant influence on many factors, including building layouts, process flows, fire designs, HVAC system designs and capacities, electrical loading and wall system designs. So it has always been prudent to ensure consideration is given to these systems early in the design process. Nowadays, the majority of clean facility design specialists rely on BIM modelling so experienced cleanroom solutions providers will have complete product ranges available in this format, thereby ensuring that they can be integrated into architectural designs as quickly and efficiently as possible. Coordination of the many design elements; wall openings, structural reinforcements, power and access controls are all made simpler with Building Information Modelling files readily available.

Lean construction techniques are the latest industry fashion and one which we all hope is here to stay. Once a project moves to this phase it is important that cleanroom suppliers can support the nominated approach. Modular building construction, where facilities are built in independent modules with final assembly only taking place once the modules reach site, requires an even more involved design approach as interfaces between pipes, walls, power runs etc are seen only on screens until very late in the project. Mistakes which need to be corrected onsite can be incredibly costly and time consuming. Quite often designs might be drawn up on one continent, the module build might occur on another and then the final assembly of the modules and C&Q might be on a third continent, so suppliers need to be able to support design, delivery, installation and commissioning in multiple countries, multiple time zones and often multiple languages.

As suppliers into regulated industries, the specifications for cleanroom doors have never been higher. To satisfy strict criteria for hygiene, fire certification, air permeability and chemical resistance, doors in critical areas are mostly sourced from specialist cleanroom door suppliers. And whilst many requirements are common globally, there is also much variety in fire certification standards for example, with projects in the US, Europe, China or Australia all needing different independent certification.

The functionality of a cleanroom and the processes that it contains dictates the most appropriate type of cleanroom door. Doors must not have an avoidably adverse affect on the ergonomics of personnel and material flows; for example, smaller cleanrooms where the primary consideration is movement of people (small equipment or processes) would tend to have less of an issue with hinged doors, whereas when there are large personnel movements or perhaps trolleys and IBVs, sliding doors are more likely to offer advantages as they take up less cleanroom floor space and cause less of an obstruction to flows. Well designed sliding doors in high usage areas can also greatly reduce the risk of damage to the door systems and extend their lifespan. Automation on both hinged and sliding doors improves this further and can increase the speed of movement. But the location of any activation for automated doors needs careful consideration; if activation systems are well placed, equipment, personnel and material flows will be smoother and doors will remain closed for longer periods, thereby improving efficiencies. But get the position of activations wrong and the opposite is true; quite often systems will be by-passed which could also cause damage to the installed systems. Reliable and robust safety systems are also vital to protect personnel, equipment and materials so these should be considered an integral part of the door system.

Air pressure regimes within facilities are an important part of the process flows and ensure that there is no cross contamination or exposure. Cascading differentials between areas of facilities must be maintained and doors play a key role in achieving this requirement. An open door will always allow air to flow though it, but it is critical that when closed, door systems are capable of maintaining the required conditions. Specialist cleanroom door suppliers will often provide door and frames (and all ironmongery, hardware and automation) as complete solutions, as this allows tolerances between matching components to be kept to a minimum. This is particularly important in areas where the pressure differential between two spaces is higher than usual; 30Pa for example. A door with large gaps would leak more, which might be noisy, but also the HVAC system may not have been designed with this excess capacity in mind. With an industry focus on lean systems, maximised efficiencies, any excess capacity in an HVAC systems could be considered waste. Equally, any air which leaks must be replaced with air of the correct classification and heating, cooling and cleaning of air is expensive. In more critical environments it may be necessary to completely seal one room from another so hermetic doors, which can be hinging or sliding, with seals on all sides are used. These doors still need to satisfy the same specifications as the other cleanroom doors but must also provide a more robust sealing system. Sliding hermetic door sealing systems are very different to non-hermetic as the allowable leakage rates are so much lower; traditional sealing approaches do not work as seals cannot remain in fixed positions so the entire design is much more complex.

Cleaning is a critical part of any clean manufacturing process so any items supplied into facilities must be selected carefully. The cleaning process can be a simple wipedown or a far more rigorous chemical soak or vapourised sterilisation process, with a room being completely sealed to prevent any leakage of the sterilant. Doors, frames and any associated hardware in those rooms must be able to withstand the cleaning process and not be adversely affected by the chemicals or systems being used; repairing or replacing a door system in a qualified facility can be incredibly disruptive and costly. The correct choice of materials of construction is the most obvious factor to consider with timber, timber laminate and many metal doors suffering significantly even when exposed to something as innocuous as water. If a liquid (or vapour) does break down the external surface of a door it should also be impossible for any kind of bacteria to settle, so solid inorganic core materials are preferable. Doors and floors are high wear surfaces so general traffic can create issues when the selected materials are not sufficiently robust. Seamless moulded doors have no ledges, crevices or surface coatings (colour is moulded into the blade shell) so would be superior to a powder-coated or painted door where the surface could become damaged or shed the coating material. All of these factors should be considered when selecting door types as maintenance in operational facilities should always be kept to a minimum; unplanned maintenance in particular causes major problems.

With so many standards and regulations to comply with and multiple components to consider, cleanroom design and build is a complex part of any facility design process. Specialist departments often work with specialist suppliers who have many years of experience in this particular area of facility design and build to ensure that risks are kept to a minimum throughout the project and long into operation. Whilst door systems are often considered simple components, as highlighted in this paper, the effect that they have on the design, layout, process, cleaning regimes, maintenance and ultimately on-going operations should not be underestimated. The right door solutions provider will be able to support a project from the initial concept right through to facility hand-over and beyond. Choosing the best door types, with the correct accessories, helps to minimise repair and replacement lifecycle costs. The best solutions certainly aren’t the cheapest. Doors with seamless moulded outer shells manufactured from a waterproof material such as GRP or FRP and with a solid inorganic core will provide solutions to all of the issues most commonly experienced by cleanroom designers and users. And provided the door systems are well made and correctly installed they will provide many years of trouble free operation.

Link to published Cleanroom Technology article – Cleanroom Technology – October 2021 :: 30 (yudu.com)

Our timber-free GRP doors are ideally suited to the tough cleaning regimes within healthcare facilities.

Both patient safety and infection control share equal importance when considering doors within high hygiene areas in healthcare projects, probably more so now than ever before. Which is why Dortek continue to develop our Healthcare door product range with these key factors in mind.

So, what do we mean by healthcare doors?

These are hospital doors which can include ICU doors, Isolation Room doors, X-Ray Theatre doors and Operating Theatre doors. Doors are used throughout a hospital by staff, patients and visitors, meaning they offer a much greater risk of spreading viruses and HAIs (hospital acquired infections) if incorrectly specified. We have a range of healthcare doors including hinged and sliding, fire rated and non-fire rated, timber-free and glass, standard and hermetic, all designed to minimise the spread of germs and HAIs. We can even offer antimicrobial ironmongery on our doors – after all, it is the handles and push plates that are often touched the most, so it could be argued that these present the greatest risk.

Our timber-free GRP doors are ideally suited to the tough cleaning regimes within healthcare facilities. They are:

  • Resistant to water, chemicals, and fumigation agents
  • Guaranteed not to swell, rot or warp
  • Non-porous
  • Easy to clean and keep clean, with a smooth non-textured surface finish
  • Available in a wide range of standard and RAL colours

Don’t just take our word for it, check out some of our completed healthcare projects here, where you can also chat with our healthcare door expert Paul Coley. Alternatively, if you would like some more information or would like to request a quote, you can do so here, by filling out an enquiry form.

Meet our Regional Project Manager for the South West of England and South Wales, Paul

Please tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Paul Normington. I live in Plympton, Devon and moved from Hull to the West Country 19 years ago in 2002. I have worked for Dortek for 15yrs and my role is Regional Project Manager for the South West of England and South Wales

What first inspired you into the engineering and architectural industry?
I had been in customer facing sales roles in the motor industry since leaving school and ended up in Devon supplying alloys wheel and performance tuning parts for Mercedes and BMW. I have always enjoyed the interaction with people and helping architects / end users to overcome technical challenges

What made you want to work for Dortek?
I was living in Devon looking for a change of role, so when the opportunity arose to work for a company in my home town without having to move house again was a bonus. I had a very early Sunday morning interview with Alan in Beverley after a heavy night out. Don’t remember a lot about it but I must have done something right ? I love driving, so the regional sales role gave me the opportunity to be back out on the road again and meeting new clients in a variety of sectors

How has COVID affected your role within Dortek?
At the moment it has meant I don’t get out to site meetings as much as I used to and most of my meetings are on TEAMS. That is gradually starting to get back to normal and I believe it is very important to meet the clients / architects face to face to build the relationships which have been beneficial for me in the past 15 years

What do you like about working with Dortek?
It helps when the product I sell is the market leader. The variation in projects from a single door in a chicken factory to multi million pound high spec pharmaceutical project means every day is different, interesting and challenging. Also the internal staff who I speak to everyday have become friends rather than work colleagues, which definitely makes a difference when you work remotely from the head office. The technical back up and experience available from all departments is also a massive benefit and a credit to Dortek and I couldn’t do my job without the people behind the scenes

What are their interests outside work?
Since the first lockdown I have taken up walking and I am very lucky to live next to Dartmoor National Park within walking distance. I have done several 26 mile walks to Tavistock and will try and continue to get out as often as I can. I have an 8 month old puppy called Nellie who keeps me active.  I also enjoy watching football, especially Manchester Utd, Hull City and the Green Army Plymouth Argyle, motor racing, reading, the beach and of course outdoor wood fired Pizza / BBQ with a few ciders or 6.

Fire Door Checklist

Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire and their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. Despite this, fire doors remain a significant area of neglect and are often the first thing to be downgraded in a specification or mismanaged throughout their service life.

Here’s our checklist to help you specify the correct fire doors and keep them in tip top condition:

  • Always use a reputable and competent supplier – many people claim to make fire doors, but only a handful have a properly tested product which is proven to work in a fire.
  • Ask whether the product has been fire tested and demand to see the documentation that proves it (e.g. fire certificate or label).
  • Make sure test evidence is from a UKAS-accredited test centre
  • Specifying fire doors with intumescent seals is crucial to prevent smoke inhalation in the event of a fire.
  • It’s not just the door itself that matters. The frame and ironmongery is just as important – they all work together. Only buy exact compatible hardware and components from the same reputable supplier, also making sure that the ironmongery also meets the relevant fire test standard as well
  • Correct installation is as important as buying the correct product – fire doors are a carefully engineered fire safety device which must be fitted correctly so make sure you use experienced installers from a reputable company.
  • Ask for the fire door to be installed and then certified using a 3rd-party approved certification programme, such as BM Trada
  • Fire doors should be checked and maintained regularly, to ensure that they still work and perform as intended
  • Make sure you use an experienced door company to manage the servicing and maintenance of your fire doors, using a 3rd-party approved certification programme, such as BM Trada
  • Only ever replace damaged components with like-for-like. A suitably trained individual should be responsible for this maintenance work.

For our full range of Fire doors and for additional information contact us or take a look at Fire Doors | Dortek

Meet our Sales and Business Development Manager for the APAC and MEA regions, Simon

Please tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m Simon White and I’m the Sales and Business Development Manager for the APAC and MEA regions. I was born in Coventry and lived there until I met my wife Sarah and moved to Nottingham. We have two sons, Dexter 9, and Jonny 7, both born in Singapore; and two French Bulldogs , Rexa and Ronny. We’ve been based in Asia since 2009, living in Singapore until 2015 and then Johor in southern Malaysia, a short drive from Singapore, for the past six years. I’m based out of our Singapore office, although travel restrictions for the past 18months have prevented me working from anywhere other than home for some time now.

What first inspired you into the engineering and architectural industry?
I’ve always had an interest in how stuff works so was constantly taking things apart as a kid. As I got older this continued with bikes and cars; my motorbike probably spent more time in pieces on my garage floor than it did on the roads. I studied Mechanical Engineering and was able to regularly apply my theoretical knowledge practically in all of my early roles which was very rewarding. I started off working in an internal design and development role, designing, building and assessing new particle size reduction concepts, before moving into customer facing installation, commissioning, project management and technical sales roles. Primarily I’ve worked for companies providing equipment and process design solutions, mainly into the Pharmaceutical sector, so I’ve built up a good understanding of working in regulated and clean environments. I moved out to Singapore to establish the Asian HQ of my employers at the time, a UK based containment solutions provider.

What made you want to work for Dortek?
Working in the pharmaceutical sector and spending lots of time in cleanrooms across the UK and Ireland, I probably saw many more Dortek products than I realized. The first real interaction that I remember was whilst working at Howorth Air Technology and the Dortek demo van paid us a visit. I relocated to Singapore around the same time as Mike Glanville so we met frequently to discuss opportunities over a beer or two, so I was aware of many of the projects that were being worked on. When the APAC business development manager position became available, the timing and role were perfect so I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately however COVID came along a little under a year later and my role was affected quite significantly.

How has COVID affected you and your family in Asia?
The pandemic has been tough in this part of the world and Malaysia is still very much working towards the recovery. Restrictions have been lengthy with international borders having been closed since March 2020 so it’s been a long time since we were able to see family and friends in the UK. School for our boys has been online for the majority of the last 12 months so they’ve missed out on lots of sports and socialising with their friends.
From a business point of view, we have 12 partners across the MEA and APAC regions and prior to the pandemic I was spending a couple of weeks each month supporting their business development activities. With international borders closed this has obviously been impossible but technology has allowed us to carry out most tasks effectively. Nothing can truly replace face to face meetings though so I’m looking forward to getting on a plane again soon.

What do you like about working with Dortek?
The company has a very good feel to it and is filled with really capable and reliable people. I deal mainly with our estimating, projects and finance teams and the support that they provide is excellent. We have a great social media presence due in no small part to the efforts of our installation teams who seem to take photographs and videos everywhere they go! And obviously all of my sales colleagues are perfect.
Looking outwards, we have some excellent partners around the APAC and MEA regions and developing relationships with them has been challenging but rewarding. But probably my favourite thing is the variety of customers we deal with: from banana processors in Sierra Leone to cutting edge vaccine manufacturers in Australia, we seem to have solutions for everybody.

What are your interests outside work?
I’m a Coventry City fan so like to keep an eye on how they’re doing, but being out in Asia means that most decent sport is played whilst we’re asleep. I do play cricket when I can with the parents from our son’s school, and I enjoy cycling and running despite the heat and humidity of South East Asia. I also help out with coaching at the local rugby club.
Away from sport we like to travel. Having a regional role means travelling lots, but seeing very little, other than airports, hotel rooms and the inside of offices, so whenever possible we like to get away from home. Singapore and Malaysia are lovely countries but they are also really well connected and we’re lucky to have some of our favourite places in the world a short flight away. We have a great network of friends here too, lots of different nationalities, but with similar aged children, so a typical weekend for us would probably be a relaxed barbecue washed down with a few Changs, Singhas and maybe some Soju…!

Meet our Sales & Business Development Manager

Please tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m Adrian Murtagh and I work as the Sales & Business Development Manager with Dortek. I have been working with Dortek for the past 8 years and I am based out of the Irish office, covering business development across Ireland and Europe.

What first inspired you into the engineering and architectural industry?

I studied Construction Management and Civil Engineering in college, so I have always had an interest in the construction sector. After spending a number of years in renewable energy, I moved to Singapore with Enterprise Ireland.  My role with Enterprise Ireland was to assist Irish companies export abroad so this is how I got to know Dortek and Mike Glanville.

What made you want to work for Dortek?

My first sit down meeting with Mike and Alan was a bit surprising to say the least. What was supposed to be a meet up in Starbucks to discuss how Enterprise Ireland and I could assist further across the region, turned into an interview. But it was only after a while into the conversation did this become apparent to me! Thankfully I must have made a good impression and started with them a short time later.

Dortek offered an excellent opportunity to work within construction internationally and travel across Asia Pacific as there was a great variety of multinational companies and sectors we supplied to. This included working with the likes of Abbvie & GSK in Singapore, Fonterra in Indonesia, Nestle in Philippines, Ikea in Thailand and on many large hospitals across Singapore and Hong Kong. After 3 and a half years living in Singapore, I got the opportunity to move to Auckland with Dortek to cover New Zealand and Australia. It was a challenge as many of the clients were unfamiliar with GRP doors but it was one I enjoyed. It meant working closely with our local partners as well as introducing Dortek and our ranges of door systems to architects & engineers across both countries.

How important was your Irish Network when working abroad?

Being Irish abroad, and having a big interest in GAA, I found that being part of that Irish community helped me settle into new surroundings and meet good friends. I found this true with both Singapore and Auckland. From a work perspective, the GAA & Irish communities internationally are a great assistance as people are very well connected and more then happy to offer introductions wherever they can.

How has COVID affected your role within Dortek?

After 6 years living abroad I was lucky enough to move back to Ireland with Dortek. Since being back in Ireland, it has been challenging covering the European market due to the covid travel restrictions. I would have been used to meeting clients and architects in person on a regular basis. However, working from home during covid has had some advantages. As we had a baby during the lockdown period, it meant I got to spend more time at home and help out especially in the early days. But, getting away for a night or two so I could get a full night sleep would have been very welcome!

What do you like about working with Dortek?

When starting work with Dortek, it would have been hard to envisage the route I would have taken, but I have always found a great variation in the types of projects that I deal with in Dortek. For example, it could be ensuring our doors can meet fire compliance in both local and international standards as well as ensuring meeting the cleanroom standards for Covid vaccines projects, or working with architects to develop solutions for retrofit projects within ICU or Operating theatres on hospital projects. It is interesting to see projects from early design stages where we would have input in the door design details, all the way to completion. It is especially satisfying when we get to see them first-hand in critical areas of the building’s functionality.

Research Laboratory Doors

Research laboratory doors must meet rigorous standards with regards to both primary and secondary containment systems. They have requirements for infection control, structural durability, biosecurity, decontamination, procedures and administrative controls.  

Here at Dortek, we have worked on many projects with some amazing businesses with the need for research Laboratory Doors. For example, we have worked on projects at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, with AstraZeneca in Cheshire, Dana Farber and many more. You can read about each of our case studies here.

Dortek’s solutions are designed to improve performance, quality and personal safety as well as ensuring compliance to ever-increasing regulatory demands. We have been manufacturing our specialist hygienic doors for more than five decades and have delivered solutions to world leading research laboratories worldwide. 

Our research laboratory doors: 

  • Are built to last – our doors will not dent, warp, swell, rot or rust 
  • Are resistant to water, chemicals and fumigation agents 
  • Have a smooth, non-porous smooth hygienic finish, maximising infection control and ease of cleaning 
  • Have an inorganic timber-free construction to prevent bacterial growth or harbouring vermin 
  • Can offer up to 4 hours fire protection 

For more information about our Research Laboratory Doors, fill out our enquiry form via the Contact Us  page on our website. 


Hermetic Doors Within Cleanrooms

The benefits of sliding hermetic doors within a cleanroom environment.

Within Cleanrooms, it is the function of the HVAC and overpressure to provide protection against the infiltration of contaminated air. A pressure differential should be maintained between adjacent zones or rooms, with the cleanest rooms operating at the highest pressure within the facility.

The amount of air introduced into a cleanroom is tightly controlled; so is the amount of air that is taken out.  Generally, cleanroom pressurisation is achieved by taking out slightly less air than is put in.  A minimum of 5pa overpressure between clean zones is required. The extra air then leaks out under the door or through the tiny crevices or gaps that are inevitably in any cleanroom. Pressure can be increased in a room by increasing the volume entering the room or reducing the leakage amount.

The cost of air control in a cleanroom can be comparatively high. The energy requirement of HVAC systems usually amounts to 50-75% of electricity consumption in a clean production space, due to the high airflow rates needed for particular ISO classes. However, when a door is opened, a significant exchange of air (with that of the outside air) will take place. This can affect the cleanliness of air within the room until such time that the HVAC can recirculate and clean the air again.

Entry should be through doors that are interlocked as an airlock in a cleanroom. This is to maintain cleanroom pressure differentials and to minimise human, process and product contact with contaminated air from particles, microbial agents or chemicals. Ideally, sealing rooms with differing pressures will increase cost efficiency, reduce air loss and keep the filter load low. Hermetic doors can play a huge part in the cost, efficiency and particle control of a cleanroom.

It is important that a door, particularly if automated, has an opening and closing speed that can be easily configured according to user requirements. All personnel doors should include self-closing mechanisms, which is also a legal requirement on fire doors.

Manual or automatic hermetic sliding doors may be useful when space is an issue, or to facilitate movement between spaces of similar cleanliness class for personnel whose hands are otherwise engaged. It is important that automated doors have on board safety sensors for both door, personnel and traffic safety protection. Touchless activation of the doors should also be considered.

Cleanrooms or operating theatres that have hermetic sliding doors can give consistent and fully predictable sealing and air leakage control over long periods. Hermetic sliding doors have a frame mounted seal that, along with special indentations in the track, uses the door’s own weight to seal perfectly against the frame and also the floor. Therefore, there is no need for a threshold, meaning ease of access for beds, trollies etc.

Specialist research laboratory doors for a world renowned facility

Dortek, along with our partners, Life Science Products are pleased to announce the completion of a successful project at St Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis TN. Dortek and LSP, beginning in 2018 worked with the project team to design and manufacture specialist research laboratory doors for this world renowned facility. Dortek’s international experience and in depth knowledge of large laboratory projects  gave the project team confidence in Dortek’s ability to deliver such a large project on time and on budget. The scope of work included manufacture, install and commissioning of 270 door systems. Special features included: STC (Acoustic) rating, fire rating, hermetic sealing, chemical resistance &  automation.

VP of US Operations, Michael O’Rourke Comment: “We are extremely proud to have been part of this project and to support research at this facility.  From the outset, the project teams focus was solely on supporting researchers and giving them the best possible facility to carry out their life saving and life changing studies. Research undertaken at St Jude in Memphis saves children’s lives around the world. To play a small part in supporting such a facility fills all at Dortek with great pride.”

Facility Note:

“The Advanced Research Center will play a substantial role in new scientific discoveries as the new home to several shared resources, including a biorepository, advanced microscopy and gene editing. There, top scientists from around the world will have leading-edge resources and opportunities to pursue breakthroughs in a space that fosters teamwork and generates new ideas.”

LSP Note: LSP are the leading supplier of clean construction materials for laboratory facilities in the US. Dortek and LSP have worked in partnership since 2016 and continue to support the biomedical research industry.

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