Concrete Doors and Vaults (Pty) Ltd

Concrete Doors and Vaults manufacture and install innovative products that offer extreme protection against theft/vandalism of pump stations, valve chambers, transformers, boreholes, sub-stations, etc.

Double Doors - either Platform or L shapedScrew Lid VaultHand Lift LidPanel VentConcrete Doors

Six models are available - all are equipped with robust locking mechanisms :

1. Platform door

5. Swing door

6. Retro door

4. Slide Out door

2. L door

3. Double L door

Platform Door

This is the most popular sliding door in our range and very stable against overturning. It has a vertical concrete panel which closes off the doorway opening and an inwardly protruding horizontal 'platform', hence its name. A technical specification is available.

L Door

The L-door is similar to the Platform door, but in this case it derives its stability against overturning from being L-shaped in plan. It has three wheels that run on rails in the floor, and is suitable for small doorways.

Double L Door

Similar to the L door, but in this case there are two doors that touch, toe to toe. Suitable for large doorways.

Slide Out Door

Instead of sliding parallel to the wall, as the above doors, the Slide-out door slides outwards and away from the wall. This is useful when there is no space inside.

Swing Door

This door is hinged to the wall at the top and hinged to the floor at the bottom. It has a wide base to prevent toppling in case of the hinges pulling out of the wall - it is therefore failsafe.

Retro Door

This is a robust fabricated steel door, so called as it can be retro fitted (in minutes) to 'bunkers' and other similar structures to replace existing flimsy doors.

Concrete Vaults

1. Screw-lid vault

A number of vaults have been developed for various applications as follows :

Screw Lid VaultSlide Out Door

2. Slide-door vault

3. Borehole Vault

Borehole Vault

4. Mast Vault

Mast Vault

The lid screws up by using a custom made spindle (or 'opening tool'). It is then rotated 90 degrees, the tool partially retracted, and the lid can then be pushed open. Typically this vault is used for securing submersible pumps, including the corresponding electrical control panels.

The Slide-door vault consists of a base that has two rails for an L-shaped sliding door to run on. To close, the door runs beneath a roof stab supported by two fixed walls, which in turn are attached to the base. It is suitable for remote control panels, pumps, transformers, etc.

A new and innovative product - recently launched, the 'borehole vault' offers extreme protection against theft/vandalism of the submersible pump, control panel, meter and valve/s, and is easily retrofitted to existing boreholes.

 The mast-vault consists of a tall mast (with external steel cladding) which elevates equipment such as transformers and solar panels sufficiently high to prevent vandalism. The box-like vault keeps the mast upright and also may be used to protect pumps, control panels, etc.

Concrete Lids

1. Screw Lid

Screw Lid

2. Hand-Lift Lid

Five concrete lids are discussed here, all having extremely robust locking mechanisms :

 A customised tool is inserted into an access tube and turned to screw the lid out of the seat. The lid is now turned through 90 degrees, the tool is partially withdrawn, and the lid is rolled away on tracks. (It is opened and closed in the same way as the lid of the Screw-lid vault). In this way relatively large and heavy lids may be opened without requiring a crane. Suitable for reservoirs, valve-chambers, etc.

- (Sizing Diagram)

Hand Lift Lid

A customised tool is inserted into the access hole and used to unlock two opposite rack-levers below. The lid may now be lifted out of the slab by the tool's handle. Suitable for small manholes in valve chambers or reservoirs.

3. Seat & Hand-lid

Seat & Hand Lid

Same opening sequence as above. The relatively small hand-lid fits into a concrete ‘seat’ which is large enough to cover a relatively large manhole in a roofslab. The seat can be detached from the roof-slab, from the inside of the valve-chamber, in case a large valve needs to be installed/replaced.  Suitable for retro-fitting valve chambers that have relatively large (steel) lids that have been vandalised.

4. Roll-open lid

Roll Open Lid

Suitable for relatively large manholes in valve chambers where quick and easy access is required, and where the opened lid must be clear of the manhole. Once the custom tool has unlocked the lid, the lid may be rotated through 90 degrees.

5. Roof-slab & hand lid

6. Sliding lid

This product has application where a customer requires a fully made roof slab, (complete with a lockable lid), to cover a existing valve chamber.

This lid is supported by the roof-slab, and once unlocked, slides open with relative ease. Suitable for valve chambers where a large opening is required for servicing the valves etc.

Concrete Vents

Three types of vents, one for air flow, and two suitable for lowering the humidity in valve chambers, are discussed here :

1. Panel-Vent

Panel Vent

The Panel Vent consists of a matrix of air passages. Each air passage has internal dimensions of 146mm by 146mm (X and Y axes respectively), and the Z axis dimension is made to be the same as the thickness of the wall. It is evident that more or fewer air passage columns, and/or rows can be used depending on ventilation requirements.

2. Swivel-venturi vent

Swivel Venturi Vent

The principle here is that the venturi can rotate horizontally, and a vertical vane aligns it with the wind. Then as the wind passes through the narrow section of the venturi a suction is created that pulls out the moist air from the valve chamber - which is  replaced with drier air from outside. This vent system is suitable for all valve chambers and reservoirs, and may be made from steel or plastic.

3. Enclosed-venturi vent

Enclosed Venturi Vent

Here there are two venturis, at 90 degrees to each other, so that regardless of the direction of the wind at least one will suck air out of the chamber. Furthermore the efficiency of both these venturis are improved by enclosing them in a cylindrical body such that only their two ends are open to the outside.


Contact Dr Nicholas Papenfus on

082 4168 958

or email

Focus on Products

Concrete Doors and Vaults (Pty) Ltd specializes in the development and manufacture of novel and relatively high-tech reinforced concrete products that offer extreme protection against theft and vandalism of vulnerable infrastructure in the water, power, and telecoms sectors. The products are mostly made from heavily reinforced high strength 50/60 MPa concrete, and include :

(a) A variety of sliding doors for securing pump stations and sub-stations

(b) A variety of vaults for securing boreholes and control panels

(c) A variety of lockable lids for securing valve chambers

(d) Ventilation panels for generator rooms

(e) High masts for elevating Eskom transformers and solar panels out of the reach of vandals

(f) The above products are all secured by extremely robust patented locking mechanisms

The latest development is a hybrid concrete chamber complete with concrete sliding door as in (a), optional secure lid in the roof slab as in (c) (for the case of certain borehole pump houses) and an optional high mast as in (e) protruding out of the centre of the roof slab (for the case of elevated transformers and solar panels). The mast has an outer steel shell encasing the concrete and an internal duct for the cable coming down from the Eskom transformer / solar panels.

The company has a core team of seven employees with Dr. Papenfus as director.

Contact Dr Nicholas Papenfus on

 082 4168 958

Or email

Please Click on the links for a 1-page PDF

The 146mm by 146mm openings are too small for even a child’s head to go through, and are lined with steel plates welded together, which are in effect permanent shutters. The spaces around the air passages are filled with 60 MPa reinforced concrete. The final construction is extremely strong, robust, and vandal resistant.

 According to the laws of fluid dynamics the air pressure in the lower right venturi is greater than atmospheric pressure on the upwind side and conversely lower than atmospheric on the downwind side - this forces more air through the venturi, making it in effect a super venturi. On the other hand the venturi at the top left experiences a negative pressure at both ends (owing the wind moving faster at these sides, resulting in lower pressure), and hence both ends of the venturi will suck out humid air from the chamber. In these vents the ducts and funnels of the venturis may all be made of thin plastic, and encapsulated in cylindrical body of concrete. This effectively makes this vent virtually immune to theft/vandalism.

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1. Screw-lid Vault

2. Screw Lid

3. Seat & Lid

4. Fortress Pump Stations

5. Borehole Vault

6. Panel Vent

7. Sliding Concrete Doors

8. Extreme Protection

9. Tall Concrete Doors

10. Vaults in the Veld

11. Installing Borehole Vaults

12. Gate Vault

13. Engineer the Problem Out

14. Sliding Lids on Valve Chambers

15. Lids that keep Valve Chambers safe

16. Protecting Valve Chambers


Please click on any of the following brochures to open up  a PDF :