Special-Purpose Doors and Windows Fit a Unique Need

Aug. 1, 2005

A door is a door, right? Wrong. When it comes to live performance centers, high-security buildings, and industrial laboratories, not just any door or window will do. Acoustical, bullet- and blast-resistant, radio frequency-shielding, and thermal-barrier doors are the required fit when standard doors and windows cannot serve the need.

For over 69 years, Krieger Specialty Products has been the silent giant behind the custom manufactured doors installed in premiere buildings such as the Disney Concert Hall, the Kodak Theater, the Pentagon, Boeing Integration Center, General Motors testing laboratories, Getty Museum, the U.S. Postal Service, airports, air force bases, and embassies throughout the world. With a track record that spans the world and a reputation for the highest quality, Krieger is called on to manufacture doors and windows needed for unique needs and specific functions.

Most commonly, special-purpose doors and windows are called on for acoustical and soundproofing needs in live performance centers. The Kodak Theater (home of the Academy Awards) in Los Angeles selected Krieger to manufacture and install dozens of cherry wood veneer, oversized STC doors within the theater and throughout the office areas, as well as the windows and hardware needed for the sound control rooms. The Disney Concert Hall also called on Krieger for the custom manufacture of over 500 doors, 200 of which were Krieger’s signature STC-49 rated, straight grain Douglas fir wood veneered acoustical doors. This model features high-rated soundproofing and, for the Disney Concert Hall, was combined with concealed egress hardware to meet the unique look and functionality the architect was looking for.

Most recently, Krieger was called on when the Department of Music, Theater, and Dance at California State University-Fullerton took upon itself to build a new and innovative live performance arts center. The building, rather compact in architecture, had many mechanical rooms adjacent to, above, and below noise-sensitive areas. Sound-rated doors were needed to prevent the equipment noise from entering performance areas. Krieger supplied 12 standard-sized STC 50 doors from the hall to the backstage areas, along with two 10-foot by 12-foot STC 53 doors for moving large scenery and musical equipment in and out of the theaters.

The real challenge of the project came in the form of six hollow metal doors that had to blend into the façade of the convex walls in the back of the concert hall stage. This unique radius on these doors required a custom-made bracket and hinge arrangement so that each leaf would meet correctly in the center. It takes talent and creativity to engineer hinging brackets and bracing for a door that does not swing within the same plain as the wall. Furthermore, the soundproofing materials of each door meant that each leaf weighed in at approximately 1,100 pounds; the door frames needed to support 2,200 pounds in total and to work with the connected wall support. Only custom engineering and manufacturing can solve a need such as this.

The field of special-purpose doors and windows also services security and industrial applications. From information-sensitive buildings that require electronic eaves dropping protection to laboratories and machine rooms that require protection from blasts and explosions to retail and public buildings where bullets are a threat, special-purpose doors and windows that look ordinary at first glance, but are actually engineered and manufactured to protect people, information, and assets.

The Boeing Integration Center in Washington, D.C., for example, is a high-tech facility that offers a secure product and technology pre?sentation space for Boeing and its clients, namely the Pen?tagon. Because of the sensitive nature of these presentations, the facility faces the threat of electronic eavesdrop?ping and spying that might be perpetrated by competitors, ter?rorists, or other outside threats. Gensler Architects, the firm heading up the development of this high-tech building, requested Krieger doors because as the architect said, “We wanted radio frequency shielding doors that look like high-tech office doors rather than ominous industrial looking vault doors.” In additional to handling the specifications and Auto CAD details, Krieger also provided guidance on the selection of compatible door hardware. Furnishing the center with strategically placed 60 dB RF shielding combined with a STC-53 rated acoustical door, Krieger’s products integrated with the walls, ceilings, and flooring materials to create a radio frequency-impermeable space of approximately 10,600 square feet.

While only a limited number of buildings need the same security measures as the Boeing Integration Center, there are many buildings that require protection from explosions, freezing temperatures, even forced entry; along with, the building’s standard for environmental and fire protection considerations. Companies like General Motors, Bayer Laboratories, Chevron Oil Refineries, and Bank of America turn to Krieger for doors and windows that can completely contain an explosion, withstand 15 minutes of automatic gun fire, and create an impermeable barrier against sub-artic temperatures. Leading acoustical testing laboratories such as Western Electro-Acoustic Lab., Toyota’s research and development lab, and U.S. Gypsum also rely on Krieger doors for their business critical assets and their testing environments.

And while special-purpose doors and windows are typically scientifically researched and developed for specific performance needs, there are times when unusual shapes, heights, widths, or operational configurations are all that is needed. The large curved window wall protecting the staircase of the multi-level Getty Museum’s main lobby were specially engineered and manufactured by Krieger. At the Aish Ha Torah Synagogue in Los Angeles, two Krieger manufactured door leafs (each 22 feet wide by 14 feet high by 4 inches thick) serve as a room divider that can be neatly folded away. And at the Los Angeles Zoo, 192 Krieger doors (including stainless steel reinforced doors and frames with polycarbonate glazed windows and tranquilizer “dart ports”) serve a state-of-the-art animal clinic.

When no ordinary door or window will fit the need, architects, engineers, contractors, and consultants reach out to manufacturers of custom engineered, special-purpose doors and windows. From soundproofing to personnel protection from bullets, explosion, and hazardous material containment to radio frequency and thermal barrier shielding, special-purpose doors and windows fill a unique need in the construction industry. And no other manufacturer has the experience and reputation of 69 years in business and thousands of buildings across the world that benefit from the doors and windows that Krieger has built.

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