New 150m driveway, bespoke piers, bespoke hardwood timber gate, custom made hinges, Hydraulic underground gate automation, Internet based custom HD intercom with Ipad integration, CCTV cameras, app controlled feature zonal lighting, drainage, tree planting and landscaping… some other gate companies say they are the “waitrose of the gate industry” welcome to Harrods 😉
Our client required a bespoke timber gated entrance for a property with a 150m long driveway in East Sussex. The existing driveway was 3000mm and needed to be widened, There were a number of complex elements on this electric gate installation project that all needed to carefully considered and integrated seamlessly such as:
As a result the client approached the gate installation with some trepidation as they were well aware that gate installation projects can be a difficult affair especially as there are so many different skillsets involved in one project simultaneously such as engineers, architects, builders, access control, electricians and landscapers.
Furthermore, due to its rural setting in East Sussex and being located at the bottom of a large hill drainage and battling the elements was a real issue- flooding will have ramifications on reliability and longevity of the electric gate system. There was also no power to the entrance which was 150meters away from the house.
As with all electric gate systems not only are security and reliability paramount, aesthetics and above all safety are very important factor in this project.
The challenge was to find a balance between aesthetics, functionality, reliability, and robustness and to ensure that there was a harmonisation between the entrance, the environment and the house itself.
After the tendering process, Universe Gates was selected from a number of electric gate installation companies to Design, project manage and install the entire process from the ground up.
Universe Gates consulted with the client to understand their requirements and then promptly arranged 3D CAD visualisations of the proposed entrance based on the clients particular tastes and technical requirements. The piers were designed to closely match the brickwork on the house and give a rural look and feel.
Great attention to detail given at the planning and design stage and no stone was left unturned during the survey to ensure the entire process ran smoothly and translated into a substantial set of gates that will grace the property for many years to come.
The entrance was realigned to the orientation of the house for a great visual impact and ease of access for large vehicles that regularly visit the property. This included setting the gates back from the road by around 8 meters, the entrance was given a bell mouth to improve access and sight lines exiting the property whilst adhering to planning consent.
Once the drawings were approved, the specification was confirmed and Universe Gates set up a programme of works and informed the client of the entire project timeline.
Most of the work was carried out over the winter which made the project particular tricky due to the cold weather conditions and continual rain which is counterproductive to building and electrical work!
Very large drainage ducts and soak away’s were installed to ensure all rainwater is promptly removed from the area. Once this was carried out, ground clearance and levelling took place. Over 250meters of ducts with numerous inspection chambers were installed to get cables to the entrance. Indeed the main power cable for the gates was 10mm SWA to ensure no voltage drop during the operation.
The piers were constructed from a stock brick and close as possible match to the house. The gate piers also had- a built in feature LED lighting above the custom made stone signs. The piers to gate entrance had substantial internal structural steel work inside which were engineered to take the weight of the gates and ensure the structural integrity. After our point loading calculations, as the land was clay the footings for the piers and steels were 2000mm deep over double standard. The steels then requires custom fabrication, to ensure the geometry of the hinges precisely align with the rail on the gates. he gate piers were also be back-filled with concrete to provide additional strength.
The Wooden Electric Gates are hand made using kiln dried Iroko, all rails were 70mm thick- further information on our wooden gates can be found here. The timber gate was coated many times with a special oil based finish before leaving our workshop and being exposed to moisture. Custom gate hinges were made, and test fitted in our workshop to ensure everything worked seamlessly before installation site.
The gate automation was supplied by BFT – we selected heavy duty hydraulic underground operators. These automatic gates are very quiet but has the power necessary to move these heavy solid timber gates an inferior gate operator could possible burn out due to the weight and size of the gates also bearing mind this is a very open rural environment and wind affected part of East Sussex. The BFT motors can easily cope with continuous usage if necessary (indeed we use these same gate motors on our commercial applications), we also installed a fast opening kit- our technical team believe they the very best underground gate motors available. Large soak-a-ways were installed to the gate operator foundation boxes, furthermore the cables are never jointed underground we also use a duct grade high quality cables (not the usual cheap brittle CAT 5 most gate companies use) and all joints have IP68 boxes filled with magic gel This system was built from the ground up to last.
The access control system is state of the art. Universe Gates makes it own front panels from marine grade stainless steel and usually have the property address engraved for a personal touch. Anti theft bolts are used and the system is completely POE- however we also installed an additional battery back up with PSU to ensure continuity of service and to boost the signal as the cable run was over 250 meters. The system specified has a HD camera, coded entry, and works over LAN therefore the client can use his smart phone, smart Tv, tablet or laptop to see the caller and open using any internet enabled devise. The App also has various other functions such as outputs for controlling lights, viewing CCTV feeds and even plays back the last 100 callers so any missed callers can be identified. The client also had a number of touch screen monitors fitted around the house. If you are considering access control click here to read our article on which access control system is right for you?
As standard with all Universe Gates installations, all gate controls were installed in a large lockable metal enclosure- For aesthetics this was located away from the piers and will be painted green at a later date to blend in with the environment, once additional planting has been established. A secondary plug was installed for service visits- or if the client requires additional power supply at the entrance.
Once the new driveway was laid, which was crushed concrete, compacted type one, with a chip and tar top coat, Finishing touches were then applied such as granite set edging cobbles, garage door/gate integration, safety edges and 36 trees were planted either side with feature up lighting which activated once cars drove along the driveway.
Finally the electric gate installation was commissioned; force tested to comply with BS EN 12453:2001, CE marked and handed over on time (just! on Christmas eve!), on budget to the absolute delight of our client.
We believe once the planting has been established and side areas have been turfed this will be one of the highest quality fit and bespoke finishes for timber electric gates in the country- regrettably with the continuous rain and gloomy conditions, our photos do not translate as beautiful as the gates it looks in real life. We will update the pictures once the summer has returned. If you got this far, thanks for reading.
Timescales- 3 months