Originally dedicated in 1959, the home of Pathfinder Church has seen a lot of change in the last half-century. A couple of major additions were added as membership grew along with the community, and several minor refresh projects were undertaken along the way. But by 2013, with changes in technology and worship styles, the time had come for a major update to the sanctuary.
Included in the renovation plan was the removal of two walls flanking the stage, which would expose to the seated congregation, a view of two emergency exit doors. At some point more than twenty years ago the original doors were replaced with Special-Lite SL-16 Aluminum Flush doors. These doors, while a little beat up, were still perfectly functional, but in their newly exposed locations, they needed to be replaced. Having enjoyed decades of trouble-free service from the SL-16 doors, Pathfinder naturally wanted to stay with Special-Lite Doors for the replacements.
Preparing the Openings for New Doors
The original hollow metal frames were still structurally sound but had shifted over the years to become out of plumb and square. Removing the frames carried the risk of damaging adjoining original brick and block walls, which would require expensive repairs and delays in a very tight project timeline and budget.
To prepare the exterior openings for new doors, Special-Lite Insert Frames were used. The insert frame sits inside of, and anchors to, the existing hollow metal frame, which allows it to be shimmed as required to bring each opening back to a plumb and square condition.
The Perfect Door–Either Way You Look At It
With the inside of the new exterior doors immediately adjacent to the pews, our SL-19 Rustic Wood Grain Door was a natural choice, in an oak stain finish to match the woodwork in the sanctuary. But for the outside of these doors, our SL-17 FRP door with through-colored face sheets matching the exterior trim was the better choice. Fortunately for Pathfinder Church, Special-Lite can do that. The new doors installed were hybrid FRP doors that meet their needs perfectly.
Do you need Doors that Brand your building? Follow the making of a Winning Entrance
In March, we completed our #inoticedoors hashtag photo contest, and we announced the winning photo by Mike of The Lazzaro Companies: an entrance at Peoples Bank in Highland, IN.
A Winning Design
This entrance is unique, featuring not only curved framing but also curved muntins that complete the circular shape. Where the curved muntins run thru the door– completing the circle design– vertical muntins begin and travel down to the bottom rail. What an intricate design! Also notable– the vertical framing above the entrance echoes the lines of the inactive middle leaf. These are not your typical bank doors!
Arches with Curved Framing in Production
Little did anyone know, this entrance had caught our eye much earlier on! We had several projects coming through production with beautifully curved framing in December.
Any project with curved framing results in a show-stopping entrance– but it wasn’t until I saw the drawings that I knew this would be an entrance that brands a building!
An Entrance that Brands a building– and Endures
Many Peoples Bank locations feature a similar or nearly identical design with a circular shape and arched framing. However, this is the first to feature Special-Lite entrance products. According to Mike Nolan at The Lazzaro Companies, the original drawings called for aluminum-clad residential doors to suit the overall look the designer wanted. However, Mike advised the bank that Special-Lite was the way to go for this opening. Mike had experience using Special-Lite products in the past. He understood that residential doors do not accept commercial hardware well. In addition, residential doors are certainly not as durable as commercial entrance systems. With support from the contractor, Larson-Danielson, Mike worked with the engineering department at Special-Lite to come up with the opening you see in the photo.
Every entrance product at Special-Lite is made-to-order. This enables us to make a one-of-a-kind entrance such as this one, that stands out and communicates your brand. We love helping organizations create an entrance that leaves a lasting impression on all who enter!
A few weeks ago, I spoke to Special-Lite Sales Representative Joe Hoffman of D.A. Loss Associates. He excitedly told me that he had just been on-site at a courthouse, where Special-Lite doors had been installed over 30 years ago and still looked great!
Joe enthusiastically shared his story:
In 1981 Fond du Lac County built a new courthouse with Special-Lite SL-16 Aluminum Flush doors. Around that time, we [D.A. Loss Associates] started representing Special-Lite. John Nelson started working for the County in 1977, but will be retiring soon. He has come to appreciate the longevity of the doors, “They were installed when the building was built and we have not had any problems.”
John recently asked for help when he needed a new weather brush. He decided to use our SL-301 Adjustable Bottom Brush that Special-Lite invented a few years back, and now these courthouse doors will be better than new. I love my job because I get to work with people like John and see how we have grown to become a part of many communities in Wisconsin. I hope I get to see John before he retires, if not I wish him all the best.
More Design Options for Energy Efficient Entrances
DECATUR, MI, April 6, 2017—
Special-Lite has engineered additional sill sizes for their Thermally Broken Aluminum Framing to provide a more robust offering to the product line.
Both the SL-450TB (2″ x 4-1/2″) and SL-600TB (2″ x 6″) thermally broken framing provide excellent performance that matches or exceeds the thermal performance of glass. With the addition of new sill sizes (listed below), the added variations provide customers with a better energy efficient entrance solution.
New thermally broken sill sizes:
2″ x 4-1/2″
2″ x 6″
4″ x 4-1/2″
4″ x 6″
6″ x 4-1/2″
6″ x 6″
Unique Finish Options for Your Thermally Efficient Entrance
With Thermally Broken Framing, you can even choose to have the interior side of framing a different finish than the exterior! This design option is possible because we apply the finish on the aluminum first. After finishing, the thermal strut completes the construction of the framing. Class 1 anodized finishes for the thermally broken framing include clear, dark bronze, black, champagne, light bronze and medium bronze. Special-Lite can also paint thermally broken framing with any of their established Kynar 500® paint colors. If you would like the look of wood without the maintenance, select the ‘Wood Expressions’ decorative finish as an option.
About Special-Lite, Inc.
Special-Lite manufacturers engineered, made to order architectural products, including commercial entrance systems, interior aluminum (Type II) framing with swing or sliding aluminum framed doors, and FRP restroom partitions. Complete entrance system products are fiberglass or aluminum flush doors with many door face texture options including wood grain, aluminum monumental (stile & rail) doors, fiberglass, and aluminum framing. Special-Lite’s products are used in new construction and renovation projects for educational, commercial, institutional, industrial and municipal applications. Founded in 1971, the company pioneered the use of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) material for door skins. Today, Special-Lite is the largest volume producer of commercial FRP doors in the United States.
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Do you have large equipment you need to move in or out of your building? Do you have a showroom where you regularly rotate large promotional items, such as trucks or cars? Will you need to occasionally move a large animal, like an elephant, from one building to another? If you shook your head YES to any of these questions, Special-Lite has your solution!
We celebrate Special-Lite’s dedication to bringing engineered solutions to you. Does this mean we employ entrance designers and skilled craftspeople? Oh yeah! We know that our customers sometimes need something out of the ordinary. Is there any better way to communicate to you our unique skills than to show you? Just look at how we solved this customer’s need.
The Showroom’s Entrance Solution
Would it be possible to bring massive products in and out of a beautiful building without huge roll up doors? Does function have to trump aesthetics? Working with Special-Lite, a showroom found the perfect solution.
Collaboration between building owner, sales representative, installer, and Special-Lite resulted in a custom designed, large commercial opening, with all of the functionality and design appeal desired. The design uses an aluminum frame system that can swing out of the opening for ‘moving’ day, yet have man doors for everyday use! The side hinged frame sections and doors are equipped with continuous gear hinges for ease of use and durability, eliminating the need for trackways and side clearances. The frame units are locked down with flush bolts on top and bottom when closed to provide added security. You have the option for removable center posts for rigid support in securing the doors.
Beautiful Doors with Secret Superpowers!
Special-Lite® Elephant Doors provide a brilliant solution for accommodating the passage of large objects in and out of a facility. They are perfect entrance solutions for shopping malls, convention centers, sports arenas, dealership showrooms, zoos, and museums.
Intrigued? Meet with one of our Special-Lite Reps and find out what we can do for your building!