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Two Innovative Commercial Door Types for Your Next Project

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Innovation in the commercial garage door industry drives door products into new territories that benefit specifiers, designers and facility owners alike.

Several recent advancements in sectional doors, for example, have led to revolutionary new product designs. This article will examine two types of sectional doors that pair aesthetics and functionality while addressing unique application requirements. These innovative doors offer specifiers and facility owners a broader set of options when specifying for applications with limited ceiling space, full-view aesthetics, or high-performance requirements.

Clean Aesthetics for Stunning Spaces

While sectional doors are common in residential garages, they also have many practical uses in commercial buildings. Sectional doors feature large panels, allowing for full-view door options to offer natural light and visibility creating a sleek look that’s ideal for modern commercial environments like retail locations, restaurants, co-working spaces, and more. These types of doors move upward—rather than rolling into a coil like typical rolling doors—and are usually supported by a track suspended overhead.

However, there are applications and structures—such as buildings undergoing historic adaptive reuse renovations—where ceiling space is at a premium and architects wish to preserve design elements. This creates challenges with clearances for doors that require an overhead track. Stacking sectional doors are a new solution for these applications.

Recently introduced to the market, compact stacking sectional doors are uniquely engineered to stack above the opening without the need for overhead tracks. This serves both the practical need for space clearance and the aesthetic desire for a clean, open ceiling plane. The minimalistic design features hinge-free components and a concealed guide system, allowing the door to take up very little ceiling space. This also provides room for mechanical, electrical, or plumbing fixtures above the door if needed.

Some manufacturers offer options with full-view panels, creating direct visual connections between the indoors and outdoors. And because they're engineered for smooth operation that won’t cause a disruption while cycling, stacking sectional doors also enable patrons to move easily from the indoors to outside patios, or facility owners can open the doors to enjoy balmy breezes during seasonable weather. This makes stacking sectional doors an ideal option for the hospitality industry, including restaurants, event venues and more.

Stacking sectional doors often have the benefit of being customized. Anodized or painted finishes in a variety of colors are typically available with glass, acrylic, or polycarbonate panels in tempered, frosted, insulated, and Low-E options in several thicknesses. One stackable door from a leading manufacturer is even tested to ASTM E283 standards and meets the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC®) requirements for air infiltration, making it an energy-efficient choice.

Speed and Reliability When You Need It Most

If your application involves frequent opening and closing of a door, performance is a primary factor in the selection process. Some sectional doors are specifically engineered for these types of environments, with the ability to operate three times faster and five times longer than standard sectional doors. In conditioned spaces, sectional doors provide improved thermal control because of their taller sections, fewer seams than rolling high performance doors, and high degree of insulation.

Ideal for automotive dealerships, service centers, and emergency services facilities such as first responder or fire stations, these high-performance products are reliable, safe, and fast-cycling for when every second counts.

High-performance sectional doors have systems with direct drive operators that open and close the doors quickly, with soft start and stop technology to reduce wear and tear. Some systems also feature cloud-based access management control systems with monitoring capabilities. And, floor-mounted controllers help set limits, reducing the risk of injury and decreasing maintenance requirements and installation costs.

Higher operating speeds call for more sophisticated safety devices as a best practice. Some leading manufacturers include contactless safety devices, such as light curtains, as standard on all high-performance products.

While these doors are engineered for performance, they are also designed to complement a structure’s exterior. There are many design options, including full-view or window panels and anodized or paint finishes, enabling the doors to check off specifiers’ boxes for both beautiful building design and performance.

Choosing the Right Door

Choosing the correct sectional door for commercial applications can be daunting. Specifiers must account for everything from space clearances to cycle ratings, and thermal requirements to code compliances and more, which is why it’s a good idea to rely on manufacturers for help. Most manufacturers employ a team of in-house experts to help with your selection and specification process.

Some manufacturers even offer dedicated design portals that include everything from product data sheets and editable specification documents to code listings and BIM object libraries. When looking for a design portal, choose a manufacturer that features a combination of easy-to-navigate resource tools and covers everything from product selection to real-time customization and rendering.

By working under the guidance of a manufacturer’s innovative design team, specifiers are able to select the proper aesthetics, speed, and options for their specific applications and achieve their design goals.