Custom Fire-Rated Shutter in University Building

Category: Industrial, High Speed, Specialty Doors
Products: Custom Fire-Rated Shutter
Industry: Education
Application: Smoke and Fire Barrier Management


DH Pace served as a subcontractor to install a custom fire-rated shutter in a building for a large university.


The university needed a way to prevent smoke from traveling between floors through the grand atrium of a four story building. Therefore, the general contractor recommended using a horizontal shutter to create a vertical shaft separation between floors. The custom shutter includes a proprietary smoke management system. This system prevents smoke and fire from taking over the entire building.

The shutter is 20 feet wide and weighs over eight tons. It deploys horizontally 63 feet to create a smoke-proof barrier between floors. Each 8-foot track segment weighed in excess of 600 pounds. Despite its size, the unit must always be referred to as a shutter. This way, it is never confused with a floor door. Floor doors are used in similar horizontal applications. They can withstand the weight of people walking on them. For example, firefighters can walk on floor doors. However, horizontal shutters are not intended to support the weight of people walking across them. Therefore, the distinction is important to note.


DH Pace teams from multiple locations worked together to perform the installation and rigging. As you might imagine, installing a 17,000 pound shutter took some coordination. First, four levels of engineering specialists had to sign off on the installation plan. Then, after the plan was finalized, DH Pace put it into action.

They started by modifying dollies to reduce point loads on the floor. Then, they expertly rigged the shutter and positioned the unit to be hoisted.

custom fire rated shutter being installed


The entire installation went smoothly. To the university's delight, the shutter and smoke management system passed fire inspection. From start to finish, the installation lasted approximately ten days. This project is another example of how DH Pace is equipped to manage complex projects across multiple locations with combined expertise.



If you are on a mobile device and the YouTube video is not displayed in the content above, click here for the smoke management system video.