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Open the Door to Saving Energy

How to find Thermal Performing Doors to meet your Climate Zone

You have many opportunities to save energy. Take advantage of these opportunities and use your power and desire to conserve when choosing building products. You may find this especially relevant if you are in commercial construction, due to your State likely adopting their own Building Energy Codes Program. All but 8 States within the U.S. (according to BCAP) have adopted programs for public building exterior energy performance (as you can see below). The most common building energy code adopted by the States is ASHRAE 90.1.

ASHRAE 90.1 breaks the United States into climate zones, each with its own energy performance standard. Look at the Climate Zone Map below and find your location’s climate zone.

ASHRAE 90.1 specifies commercial, exterior doors and frames comply with the following independent, standard testing:

Air Leakage:        AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, NFRC 400 or ASTM E283
U-Factor:             NFRC 100
SHGC & VT          NFRC 200
Important Test Notes:

  1. NFRC specifies that non-residential door assemblies, less than ½ glass, meet Opaque Doors Swinging performance requirement; and non-residential door assemblies, more than ½ glass, meet Fenestration Metal Framing & Entrance Door performance requirements.
  2. Most noteworthy, NFRC sets a minimum test assembly size (single door in a frame) of 37 ¾” x 82 3/8”. Why? The larger the test assembly, the better the performance will appear to be. As a result, a standard test size ‘levels the playing field’.

If you are ready to Open the Door to Saving Energy, first discover your Climate Zone and purchase exterior doors and frames that meet the ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Standard.
Let’s make it even easier for you to begin. The toughest to meet performance requirement climate zones are Zones 6, 7 & 8. All 3 of these Zones have identical requirements:

Special-Lite’s Mission Statement for 20 years has included the statement, “Don’t hurt the environment”. As a result, our most popular exterior door and frame meets and exceeds the ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Standard for Zone 6, 7 & 8.

Furthermore, we continue to independently test all of our entrance products to bring you more solutions to ROCK YOUR WORLD. So, if you don’t see your favorite Special-Lite product on the graph below, call us! We may have the testing completed already!

Some Background Information

What is ASHRAE?
From the website: “ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, [we] shape tomorrow’s built environment today. ASHRAE formed as the “American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers” by the merger in 1959 of American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE) founded in 1894 and The American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE) founded in 1904.”


Finally, ASHRAE 90.1 is also an industry-standard referenced by the USGBC in the LEED building certification program. It is frequently used as a baseline for comparison during energy retrofit projects or any project that employs building energy simulation.