While Britz still makes the traditional telescoping glass doors that have been an industry standard for isolation and containment for laboratory animal facilities for more than a half century. Vertically rising, and telescoping doors have been shown to be the most effective door for animal cubicles, but, they are not without issues.
Glass doors tend to be heavy and require a significant amount of counter weight, especially if they are manually operated. These weights must be hidden in large door jambs, eating precious facility space. The counter weight cables can break and are difficult to repair.
Glass doors require a lot of overhead space for "storage" when the doors are opened. Typically , if you want 84 inches of headspace inside the cubicle, then you need an additional 25-30 inches above, just to store the doors. This makes it difficult to install cubicle doors in rooms with ceilings that are less than 111-112 inches. This can be especially problematic for older facilities designed with low ceilings.
Telescoping doors can be very noisy. Manual doors can bang together as they are raised and lowered. Powered doors require large industrial motors. Banging and motor noises and vibration can be very disturbing to animals housed inside the cubicle space.
Because the glass doors are solid, there is no clear visual indicator that the cubicle space is under a proper differential pressure. Without a magnehelic of digital readout, there is no way to tell if the cubicle space is unde a positive or negative differential; which is, of course, the cubicle's primary purpose.
In 2013, Britz & Company completed development of a new, roll-up isolation cubicle door and presented it at the National AALAS meeting in Baltimore. It's the first major "revolution" in cubicle doors in over 20 years.
Primarily composed of a single piece of flexible, PVC coated fabric, the door rolls up quietly and store neatly in a 4x4 stainless steel case. This means that the overall height of the cubicle can be reduced significantly. An 8 foot high cubicle can now be installed in older, ceiling challenged facilities. And, with no counter weights to be hidden, the side jams can be significantly smaller and cleaner.
Because the door is a single piece of fabric, it operates super quietly and with very little vibration. The drive motor is housed inside the same case as the door itself, which further isolates noise from sensitive animal populations.
Similar to a flexible film isolator, the roll-up door gives a clear visual indicator that it's doing it's job. The door will bow slightly under negative differential, and outward under positive pressure. You know at a glance that your cubicle is working properly.