2003-2008: GEZE meet the Nordic market demand for barrier-free access with automatic swing doors of highest standard

In our second Anniversary History article, we will be focusing on an interesting 5 years period, which was defined both by internal growth in GEZE Scandinavia, and by the changing focus in the external environment. In this period of time, the building industry indeed increased the focus on accessibility to buildings, and not least barrier-free entrances. In building regulations, national regulations and especially in the public care and health care sector, the focus on all people’s equal right to be able to easily enter a building and freely move around the buildings, has been key to the development in our region.

Automatic door drives meet the market demand


Powerturn from GEZE

At GEZE, the barrier-free focus was, and still much is, highly appreciated and met with great innovation in the automatic door drives. I 2003-2008, the market was mostly covered by swing doors and the Slimdrive EMD-F was a great success on the Nordic market. The Slimdrive EMD-F had a record-setting low height of only 7 cm and matched nicely in the Nordic building design. It was, and still is, very reliable and steady in operation. Years later, the Powerturn was launched from GEZE, as our strongest drive. With the power to operate door leaves with a weight of up to 600 kg, the drive is magnificent. Today, it is still the strongest of our drives for swing doors, and a very popular solution in the market. 

Internal growth of our subsidiary


Søreide Primary School Norway

In 2003, the Norwegian branch office of GEZE Scandinavia was established. The first three colleagues of Norway toured the country with product demoes in the back of their cars. With great knowledge of the market and the building industry, they soon gained market shares and loyal customers, some of whom are still GEZE customer today.

In Norway, the requirements for universal design is contained in building regulation TEK 10, which state that if doors cannot be opened with a maximum of 2 kg of force, they must be automated. A very interesting and modern building project, demonstrating the barrier-free access, is the Søreide Primary School in Bergen. At this primary school, requirements for functionality and good, universal design have been translated into a playful, expressive and safe school environment. “GEZE supplied all door automatics for the school building,” tells Hallvard Banken, Country Manager of GEZE Norway. “Slimdrive EMD-F was a great success on the school. It is a product that can be integrated with both building automation and access control. The low height applies in particular to situations where the door is recessed into a deep frame,” Hallvard explains.

Slimdrive EMD-F was a great success on the school. It is a product that can be integrated with both building automation and access control. The low height applies in particular to situations where the door is recessed into a deep frame.

Hallvard Banken, Country Manager of GEZE Norway

Hallvard was one of the first employees of GEZE Norway, and has been with the Norwegian team for 20 years.

Great projects with full accessibility, no matter the mobility challenge

Also in Denmark, the market was approached with local employees. The first 3 employees started during 2003, and soon a Danish GEZE office was a reality. The increased local manpower led to a large percentual growth on the market. While daily sales to distributors were a large part of the strategy, also focus on projects was soon in progress. GEZE became a trusted supplier on the project of building a large joined office building to the Disabled People’s Organization in Denmark. A building for all small co-organizations to share. Obviously a building with full accessibility for everyone. Barrier-free access was taken to a whole new level, as all pathways, all doors and all fire security was to be accessible and adapted to all types of mobility challenges. GEZE’s local employees as well as the product experts from the German HQ communicated frequently with the project managers on site, as the building took shape. Today, still with same function, the building displays several customized solutions, that were invented specially for the accessibility in this building.

Valuable knowledge for future projects

Volle Begehbarkeit im Musholm Centre

Complete accessibility at the Musholm Center

Much of the knowledge gained in the participation of the office building of the Disabled People’s Organization, was base for the solutions which GEZE Denmark supplied 10 years later to the Musholm Holiday, Sports and Conference Center in Denmark. Here the barrier-free access is key throughout the facilities, to invite all people to come to the location. GEZE automatic door solutions are implemented with great satisfaction to provide full accessibility.

Accessibility and automatic door solutions continue to be the core of the business for GEZE Scandinavia. In the upcoming article revealing more details of our history in 2008-2013, we will look more at market trends, innovative solutions of the time and interesting projects.

Follow us on our journey….