High performance doors (HPD) have been around for over forty years when they became a solution for demanding high-traffic areas within behind-the-scenes industrial applications. Original models were made of heavy-duty fabric panels, and opening speeds were five times faster than conventional rolling steel doors. Designed to be easier to repair following a hit, as compared to rolling steel doors that would either be destroyed or require costly repairs, high-speed, HPD got noticed. Demand for modern HPD grew within rugged, industrial applications where the fast, high-speed door operation could accommodate demanding workflow in operations the likes of manufacturing, mining, and transit yards. High performance fabric doors continue to be a popular choice for industrial applications, while more recently, high performance rigid doors came onto the scene offering the fast-operating speeds like their fabric counterpart, with the added benefit of security. Today, high performance fabric and rigid doors have become a staple for highly visible, and even glamourous applications, such as: parking garages & stadiums, emergency service facilities, and retail automotive. BIM models are also now available from HPD manufacturers to help incorporate specific models into building designs.
HPD are fast moving and used in commercial and industrial applications where the door will cycle many times a day. Classified as fabric or rigid, they assist in reducing energy costs, and accommodate high cycles with minimal maintenance. According to DASMA (Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association International), HPD are power-operated rolling, folding, or sliding non-residential doors, generally characterized by 100 or more cycles per day or having an opening speed of 20 or more inches per second. Elevator Control
Typically, they’re made-to-order and/or designed for higher durability, and/or designed to break away due to equipment impact. HPD’s include safety features and activations, which make the doors safer for people, equipment, and products to pass through. They are designed with breakaway and self-repairing features for minimal maintenance. Many companies integrate HPD for a progressive, growth-oriented corporate image.
Classified as fabric or rigid, HPD assist in reducing energy costs, and accommodate high cycles with minimal maintenance. Many companies integrate HPD for a progressive, growth-oriented corporate image.
Smart alternative to conventional rolling doors in high traffic areas
Door openings where high amounts of traffic exist and have slow-moving conventional rolling steel or sectional doors on them, are hit more often and experience costly repairs including broken springs and burned-out motors; those types of doors are not designed for high cycles. The expensive repair costs and downtime that follows can jeopardize operational efficiency and worker productivity.
Conventional rolling steel and sectional doors are designed to be cycled just a few times per day; the cycle life of springs ranges from 12,000 to 100,000 cycles. Slow operating speeds (8” to 12” / second) equates to lost productivity while workers wait for the door to open / close, while valuable heat and AC escape. Poor weather sealing around the doors also contributes to energy loss. Because of fast operating speeds, high-cycle motors, and repairability features, HPDs are a durable and highly effective alternative to conventional roll-up doors, with the difference in initial purchase costs recovered through lower maintenance costs and increased productivity.
Advanced safety & protection features
Built for lasting operation in demanding environments, standard features such as built-in light curtains (which automatically reverse the door if interrupted), breakaway bottom bar as well as advanced safety features such as the latest IR, radar and laser sending technologies, keep vehicles, equipment and pedestrians safe and the door from impact. This kind of technology is the norm for HPDs and not for conventional rolling doors.
A typical HPD opens in about 5 seconds versus a sectional door at 20 seconds.
Acoustic barrier and contaminant control
HPD are also able to provide acoustic isolation by creating a reduction in sound transfer and may double as a barrier between workspaces. Due to their swift operation, they minimize the transmission of contaminants between specific areas as well.
Rigid HPD add an extra layer of security and their modern, sleek appearance demonstrates a commitment toward progress and growth.
If loss of profits due to an underperforming building isn’t convincing enough to keep HPD from being “value engineered,” how about sacrificing safety and security of the building occupants? Springs on a standard overhead door can fail causing the door to slam shut, risking serious injuries. While conventional roll-up doors may use a single photo eye at the threshold to stop the door from coming down, HPD have enhanced safety features including a light curtain which is a wall of infrared beams, which automatically reverses the door if a beam is interrupted, preventing the door from closing on people or equipment.
With the growing need for businesses to minimize environmental damage and to ‘go green,’ every building component matters, including doors! Some HPD models can help earn Building Design + Construction points with the US Green Building Council’s LEED program.
Some door models can help your building qualify for Building design + Construction points with the US Green Building Council’s LEED program.
High Performance Flexible / Fabric Doors
These doors have a heavy-duty “fabric” curtain, and they offer the same dependable performance as their predecessor with the most current door technology. The flexible door panel material may be heavy-duty vinyl or rubber. Low-profile guide tracks fit into most applications, and most models may be installed on exterior or interior door openings; some models are designed only for interior applications and can separate workspaces. Fast operating speeds effectively control contamination between workspaces.
High performance fabric doors are also specified as a separation between quiet and noisy work areas by providing an acoustical barrier. In addition, some models are completely Food & Drug Administration (FDA) compliant and may be installed in wash down applications ensuring that sanitary conditions are easily maintained.
High performance fabric doors work great as a separation between quiet and noisy work areas by providing acoustical isolation.
As the name suggests, rigid doors are made using stiff, non-flexible materials such as steel and aluminum. Rigid HPD can be used for both exterior and interior applications, may be insulated or non-insulated, and offer a modern, sleek look with fast and efficient operation. Some rigid HPD can open as fast as 80 inches per second and up to 100 inches per second. Minimal opening and closing times mean more security between cycles. Low-headroom and low-profile track designs are available. To ensure that these doors meet your requirements, before you specify a rigid HPD, be aware of how much headroom there is, or how much available space there is above the door opening, so you’re sure to select the best configuration for the application type.
Rigid HPDs can be used for both exterior and interior applications, and offer a modern, sleek look.
How Do I Choose the Right High Performance Door for My Application
When to choose a fabric high performance door
Openings that do not require a secure door, and otherwise may have used impact doors, PVC strip doors, sliding, sectional or rolling doors, are perfect locations for fabric HPD.
When to choose a rigid high performance door
Rigid HPDs are typically installed in areas where building aesthetics and security are priorities.
Fast opening and closing speeds of doors at entrances and exits are essential for optimizing traffic flow and security in parking applications. Common installations include office buildings, condominiums, government and law enforcement buildings, sally ports, banks, armored car facilities and secure urban parking areas. Safety, looks, security and functionality are all possible while maintaining style and image. With highly customizable options such as choosing from a variety of door models, vision options (no vision, clear, tinted and ventilated) and various track designs, designers can specify a HPD system that satisfies building dimensions, design and budget requirements.
Fast opening and closing speeds of doors at entrances and exits are essential for optimizing traffic flow and security in parking applications.
HPD are designed for high-cycle door openings. A fire station door can easily experience at least 40 to 50 cycles per day. DASMA (Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association) conducted a study that showed that if a door is used at or above 55 cycles per day, a high performance door delivers superior traffic flow and increased energy efficiency. In an emergency, waiting even just a few additional seconds for the door to open, can mean the difference between life or death. Most HPDs open at 80-100” per second. This is the kind of speed a fire station, police station, or EMS vehicle dispatch needs to ensure traffic flow is efficient and uninterrupted. To ensure optimum use of space, most HPDs roll up and out of the way, allowing for large EMS vehicles exit quickly. Fast closing speeds secure the building and avoid unwanted entry.
High-speed, HPD are designed for high-cycle door openings. A fire station door can easily experience at least 40 to 50 cycles per day.
With many of our nation’s auto dealerships rapidly expanding and renovating, new facility image requirements and the ever-growing equipment technologies offered to this industry have made the equipment selection process a full-time task. Taking the time to select the most appropriate equipment for a specific area of the building will equate to cost savings.
One of the best examples of this selection process is choosing new roll-up doors for drive-through service and shop areas. Now, doors are an important component of retail automotive building design and have become an integral part of the overall building aesthetics.
High-speed doors open and close much more quickly so the air exchange between each side of the opening is reduced, improving energy performance in a building.
Architects and owners prefer the look of all doors around the building to be consistent, including drive-through service lanes and doors leading to shop areas. By carefully evaluating each door opening for the type of traffic (pedestrian, service or shop) and potential cycles per month, it is possible to tailor fit the degree of performance needed for that opening with an appropriate HPD. Most manufacturers offer both high-speed and low-speed models. The models will look the same from the exterior view, but high-speed HPD models are more expensive and selected generally for door openings that have high cycles (over 55 cycles per day). Though not classified as a HPD, low-speed models may be specified to have the same aesthetics as their high-speed counterpart but are less expensive and are a smart fit for openings that only experience a few cycles a day.
High performance doors have been a phenomenal invention benefiting countless industries for over forty years. For high-traffic doorways, extremely fast operating speeds and clever repairability features contribute to greater productivity, reduced energy expenditures, and maintenance cost savings. Combine these desired benefits with aesthetics and modern appeal, you’ll find high performance doors are worth consideration.
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