October 5, 2012
As specifiers, we strive to make sure that the hardware we specify on an opening meets code requirements, will perform to the Owner’s expectations, is the best use of the Owner’s funds and ties in with the Architect’s design theme. As the saying goes, “the best-laid plans of mice and men…”
Here are some pictures submitted by an architect we work with where they were inquiring about the pull location.
The doors are wide stile aluminum storefront. Our practice is to specify an entrance such as this to have one cylinder on the entrance (which requires generating two hardware sets, as the hardware for each pair is different). Doing this is a benefit to the Owner in that there’s only one cylinder on the entrance to have to worry about (security), and it saves some money by not unnecessarily duplicating hardware items. Typically, we will specify offset pulls to allow clearance for inserting keys in the cylinder to unlock the door. When we do not specify offset pulls, that is in request for a design consideration where the design professional has selected a particular pull.
Accessibility requires that the door pull not be higher than 48″ AFF, not require pinching or grasping and provide clearance for a loose fist in order to manipulate the pull. If you want to visit a discussion on door pulls in particular to accessibility, please see I Dig Hardware’s post.
Back to the project with the pictures…The offset pulls would allow for cylinder clearance and the pulls could then be mounted at an appropriate height (which should be about 10″ lower than the location in the pictures). However, the storefront supplier was apparently not considering that as you can see by the location of these pulls.
Sometimes you think you’ve done everything right, but there’s still a hitch in the execution somewhere. Have you had any similar situations?
September 11, 2012
Recently, I was shared an article from Woodworking Network entitled “Georgia Dumps LEED Wood Standard for State Buildings“. The next day, I saw a LinkedIn post on another article on the same topic entitled “Georgia Outlaws LEED in Latest “Wood Wars” Battle“. I invite you to read and compare the two articles (read each one again after reading the other) and offer your opinion: Is this a positive development for the State of Georgia?
Maine began the move to grant equal footing to the wood product certification systems back in late 2011. President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on December 31, 2011, and part of that legislation included the prohibition of funds being used to achieve LEED Gold or Platinum, unless prior notice was given to allow those funds to be used. Now Georgia has enacted legislation (through an executive order from Governor Deal) to broaden the certification of wood products to allow certification through American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) as well as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the only accepted body in current LEED requirements. Governor Deal is quoted as saying, “Recognizing all forest certifications equally will promote sustainable forestry in our state and will help create thousands of jobs.” Taking at least the first part of that statement at face value, there’s not too big a leap to say that projects themselves would also be helped in the area of regional material credit MRc5. There are no FSC-certified forests (with the category FM for Forest Management in any form) in Georgia that are producing timber for construction–the only one listed is owned by International Paper. Opening up to other accreditation avenues would perhaps enable Georgia timber farmers and harvesters to provide material on “green” projects and be able to contribute to regional material, as well.
The tone of the two articles is markedly different. I think the Woodworking Network article title is phrased more accurately in that Georgia is opting against the FSC-controlled LEED standard for wood products, rather than the “restriction of LEED” referenced in the BuildingGreen article mentioned above and here. There is no banning of “green building” standards as energy efficiency and sustainable practices are still sought on Georgia projects. I, for one, applaud the efforts of both the Georgia and the Federal governments to open up the accrediting bodies to competition (in the case of Georgia) and seek to actually get a benefit for what may be an increase in cost (in the case of the Feds). Conserving just to say we did or to get a plaque is not at the heart of conservancy. Conservancy is about being responsible with resources, among those would be time, energy and money.
July 2, 2012
Lately, I’ve been receiving questions regarding locations and sizes of lite cutouts in wood doors. What is acceptable?
The issue goes beyond aesthetics, although that certainly plays into much of the decision from a design perspective. First, there is a concern with safety. Vision lites allow those exiting to see a person on the opposite side of the door and prevent hitting that person with the door, as well as allowing one seeking entrance to avoid being struck by the door. Full-lite, half-lite or narrow lite doors will help with providing the sight lines necessary to allow for safe operation of the door.
Second, there is a concern with accessibility. Vision lites need to be low enough (when provided) to allow a person in a wheelchair to see through the door. The 2010 ADA Standards says that the lowest point of a vision light in a door or sidelite shall not be above 43″ above the finished floor, unless the vision light is greater than 66″ above the finished floor. In that case the vision lite is exempt.
When using glass in wood doors, there is the additional concern of structure of the door, and the impact of placement and size of the glass cutout in relation to any hardware preparation in the door. Having less than six inches between vision lite cutouts and hardware preps (or the door edge itself) will void warranties on most particleboard core commercial doors. Oshkosh has a handy calculator for determining size and location of lite cutouts which will return whether your elevation is “Okay!” or in “Conflict!” The calculator can be found at this jump. You simply need to enter your lite kit size, hardware location and stile and rail margins.
If your design calls for a full glass cutout, small midrails or more than 40% of the door face cutout for glass then you should use a Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) core. This is a material made of strips of wood layered together to form billets of the size and thickness required. Due to the increased strength of SCL, you can have warranties on doors with more glass and smaller stiles and rails than possible with particleboard. This material also does not accept moisture as quickly as particleboard, nor does it swell as much, so this is an appropriate core to use in high-humidity applications. Here is a brief summary of the advantages of SCL: GT Series Core Advantages.
If we can help you with door design, please let us know.
May 25, 2012
Quite often, we have questions about which manufacturers and products in our industry offer regional material credit (MR5.1 and 5.2) towards LEED qualification. There is a handy tool on the web (if you’re not already aware) that allows you to place a radius of some definable value around a point on a map. Here is a handy tool for calculating a radius around a point on a map.
The requirements for meeting the MR5 credit are up for debate as to how this mileage gets calculated: is the distance based on the final point of manufacture, or is the total distance from extraction to manufacture to project site the correct amount? I’ve asked around and the answers are varied. Here’s an example:
Premier Products, in Monroe Louisiana is 455 miles from Atlanta as the crow flies and 498 miles by road according to this map, which should get you MR5.2 credit for a project in the Atlanta area, no matter whether road miles or straight-line distance is calculated. However, much of Premier’s steel comes from an arc furnace in Columbus, MS (a rare steel manufacturer in the US!), which is 225 miles from Premier. If you consider that distance for calculating regional material credit, then the distance from Monroe drops to 175 miles.
For much of the Atlanta area, the only manufacturers that Phillips-Langley represents that would offer you MR5 credit (based on calculating distance between the point of final manufacture and the jobsite) would be MS Sedco, National Guard Products, Premier Products, and record-usa. Should you have comment to offer regarding the calculation of distance for MR5 credit, please feel free to do so.
If we can help you with information or specifications, please contact us!
May 17, 2012
I received a call from an architect this week about using existing full-glass doors to resist the passage of smoke–would they?
The requirements for a smoke door vary based on occupancy and how that opening functions within the building, and beyond that which edition of the code you are meeting. It’s all confusing as we seek to find a quick and all-encompassing answer.
Not all doors that limit the passage of smoke are required to be self-closing (think patient room doors), but most are. Not all smoke doors are fire doors. Latching is not universally required (cross-corridor rated doors in I-2 occupancies) but often is. Wait a minute, did I just say that a rated door did not have to latch? That is correct, according to the 2009 IBC. Section 710.5 allows an exception for the latch on a pair of corridor doors. Lori Greene, with I Dig Hardware/I Hate Hardware, writes about this in her blog post. If you haven’t visited that website, I would highly recommend a trip over there to see some of the discussion on codes (that’s the main focus of the site), pictures of installations and lively comments from all across the globe.
While determining what exactly meets the requirement of UL1784 may be difficult, if you look for gasketing that carries an “S” label, that makes it easier. National Guard Products has a handy little logo: to look for when you need “S” label gasketing. Should you have needs in wading through the code on a particular project, or finding a product for your application, call us to help!
Those glass doors the architect called about? Sadly, I’m afraid they’ll be pulling them out and installing something else, as the gaps are too large, and the PVC adhesive gasketing that would go on the door is not “S” labeled. That is, unless the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) grants a variance, and that’s the story of another blog post…
May 2, 2012
Last year, the demise of a supplier brought changes in the wood door industry. We have posted about agrifiber (wheatstraw) cores being available to meet rapidly-renewable credits under LEED MR6. The supplier that Oshkosh Door was using has filed bankruptcy, and as such this offering is no longer available. Personally, we’re fans of the agrifiber core here at Phillips-Langley and we hope to see this core material return.
Please see the new LEED offering product grid from Oshkosh below.
If we can help you with cost-benefit analysis of seeking LEED credits in the realm of doors and door hardware, please feel free to contact us.
February 10, 2012
The calendar has flipped to 2012 and we’re beginning a new year. I think many are happy to see the last year in the rear-view mirror, in hopes that this year will be better than the past. I join in that sentiment, but am not without concern. The construction market seems to be brightening somewhat, perhaps from pent-up demand, but there is still the specter of the debt/mortgage fallout and wondering if the “other shoe will drop” in the form of bank defaults and other business failures due to the weak environment and competitiveness in the construction industry. We can’t do much individually to change that, so we’ll just try to maintain or reduce expenses and work hard to bring in all the work we can. To that, we are thankful for the business folks have chosen to send our way–we are most appreciative and realize that you chose to conduct business with us.
Along the lines of working smart, we’ll exploring some technological changes, and one of those is an Andriod OS phone. Moving from Blackberry, there is a bit of a learning curve, but so far the capabilities seem greater. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit one of our projects that we specified for the Perkins + Will Atlanta office, a renovation and expansion of Benjamin E. Mays High School for the Atlanta Public School system. The school was originally built in 1981 and the project consisted of an update to the existing school in the way of technology and aesthetics.
Here is a photograph demonstrating the panorama photo tool on the phone. It was simple to take!
August 31, 2011
It doesn’t roll off the tongue like “Santa Claus”, but for those of you in or near Atlanta, we wanted to offer a special gift from SELECT Hinges. Admission to the Glassbuild America exhibit hall floor is available complimentary! This is a wonderful opportunity to see developing industry trends in the world of glass. Don’t think just storefront and curtainwall–there’s been a recent focus on decorative glass, too, as well as developing trends to embrace solar energy. The exhibit runs from September 12-14, 2011, and is open 11:00-6:00 on Monday, 10:00-5:00 on Tuesday and 9:00-3:00 on Wednesday.
There will be live impact demonstrations of impact- and non-impact-rated glazing by HTL Testing. See this 7 second video of a test:
For those wanting to take advantage of this offer, please let us know. Registration must be completed by September 9. This is a $70 value, at no cost to you beyond your time to attend. Thank you to SELECT Hinges, for this generous present come early! HO, HO, HO!
August 8, 2011
As we brace for the after-math of the S&P downgrade of US credit, we thought we’d pass along any good news we can find. McGraw-Hill Construction reports that new construction starts were up 15% in June over May figures, to the highest reading for the Dodge index this year. Nonresidential building surged 11%, nonbuilding (roads/infrastructure) climbed 34% and residential building ticked up 1%. The largest projects of nonresidential building were privately-funded projects, which is a good sign. Large projects are:
- $160 million corporate campus in Houston, TX
- $147 million federal building in Ft. Snelling, MN
- $75 million distribution center for Amazon.com in SC
- $60 million corporate campus renovation in Seattle, WA
- $50 million hotel renovation in Philadelphia, PA
Institutional construction forged ahead 15%, with the aid of several large hospitals, and entertainment/amusement construction was buoyed by several large projects to show an increase of 90% over May.
In full disclosure, the June numbers look good (and they’re not BAD) because May had been so dismal. Nationally, the first six months of 2011 are 7% behind the same period for 2010 in total new construction starts, with the South Atlantic region down 10%. But here’s hoping that we’re beginning to see some brightening of the economic gloom of the past three years.
If Phillips-Langley can assist you in preparing door and door hardware specifications that offer your owners and clients VALUE, please let us know! We can work within your fee structure to meet your needs.