A Different Kind of Clad

By NanaWall Systems, April 3, 2019

NanaWall opening glass doors

Figure 1: From the outside. An aluminum exterior provides weather protection.

Wood or metal substances are the commonly chosen frames for opening glass doors. People forget about the third option. Clad brings the benefits of both wood and metal material into one frame. With cladding, you have the energy-efficient thermal performance that comes with wood, and the durability of metal.

NanaWall aluminum clad-framed doors

Figure 2: From the inside. A warm wood interior matches the aesthetic of the home.

At NanaWall Systems, we use wood and aluminum in our clad system, NW Clad 740. However, we construct our frames differently than other manufacturers that make aluminum clad framed doors. NW Clad 740 is primarily composed of wood, unlike most clad frames. Inside the 2 5/8” frame of the WA67 is a thick piece of pure wood. Only the exterior is wrapped with aluminum. NanaWall constructed its aluminum-clad this way to improve its energy performance. The thick wood interior of the frame controls energy transfer and, with the best glass and sill choices, the WA67 can reach a U-Value of .18. The system performs so well with energy efficiency that it is included in even the most energy-efficient buildings; including

Figure 3: Quadruple laminated cross grained wood provides structural strength that allows for the slim frame aesthetic.

Going into aesthetics, there are many wood choices for wood and clad projects: FSC-certified Sapeli Mahogany, Pine, Oak, Western Hemlock, Meranti, and other specialty woods upon request. Rest assured, there are FSC-certified options and the wood meets responsible forestry standards. The wood of choice is the material that is visible to the interior of the home.

NanaWall clad folding doors

Figure 4: NW Clad 740 is made for enduring cold climates.

Wrapping around the outdoor-facing side of the NW Clad 740 is an aluminum shield to bring weather protection and durability to the wood interior. The aluminum material not only provides physical weather protection for the wood, but the way it is spaced creates an evaporation chamber to protect the wood from warping. With an evaporation chamber, moisture can escape and the wood has room to expand and contract without affecting seals or gaskets. Both the weather protection and evacuation chamber add years to the system’s durability which is proven through its survival of 20,000 cycles during testing. The protective powder-coated aluminum eliminates the need for costly maintenance as well. The aluminum shield is offered in 50 Standard and up to 200 RAL colors available in order to fit the exterior aesthetic.

The clad system is flexible enough to accommodate almost any project. The floor supported systems can fold either inward or outward, and there are multiple sill and glass pane options. Look into some unique projects and how the clad system fits a unique need such as a Park City Residence, Lake Erie Residence, and Chappaqua Kitchen.

Figure 5: Performance when closed is what separates NanaWall products, especially the clad system.

At NanaWall, we like to describe our clad product as a system with durable beauty. Both the metal and the wood are crucial to making that phrase a reality. The solid wood frame interior is what truly separates our system from other clad folding doors on the market because of the performance advantage it brings.

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