Folding Glass Wall Comparison Guide—a Handbook for Easy Selection

By NanaWall Systems, January 8, 2020

inswing aluminum framed folding glass wall and folding glass wall comparison guide

How to Choose a Folding Glass Wall

If you go to the folding glass wall page on our website, you’ll find many different products. Each product is designed with intent. With twelve customizable systems, we’ve created a Folding Glass Wall Comparison Guide to help clarify each product’s designed solution. The information provided in the eBook can help you find the ideal folding system based on your project’s specifications.

NanaWall Folding Glass Wall Comparison Guide eBook

A folding glass wall is an opening system also commonly known as a bifold or accordion door. Each glass panel connects the other and folds as it opens—all within a single track. They create wide unobstructed openings to connect the indoors with the out.

To use the Folding Glass Wall Comparison Guide most effectively, define the answers to these questions beforehand:

  1. What is my panel height requirement? What are my system width requirements?

Different NanaWall systems meet different size requirements. Some systems can reach heights of 12’, while others are best served for less monumental heights. Similarly, some NanaWall systems can truly reach unlimited widths, but some folding systems are bound to 39’- 43’ widths.

Figure out the dimensions of your desired opening to make the decision easier.

folding glass wall in multifamily building

  1. Do I want an inswing or outswing system? Do I need an everyday swing door?

Some spaces are better suited by inswing systems, others are better suited by outswing systems. The decision depends on how the space will be used and where you want to maximize space.

Another operational consideration includes whether to add a swing door or not. Swing doors are available in an odd number of panels to one side, at the jamb, or in the middle with an odd configuration.

Often heavily trafficked areas use a swing door as an easy egress option. Does your project call for a swing door?

wood framed folding glass wall with swing door

  1. Are there structural considerations with my project?

This is a question you can’t skip out on – it’s perhaps the most important question to get right. Structural factors like deflection can impact folding glass walls, so they must be accounted for. For example, high-rise apartments need to consider the structural load and how it affects the NanaWall system.

NanaWall systems come in floor supported or top-hung options to suit the structural needs of the project. Floor supported systems are great options for remodels. Defining your structural needs helps dictate which NanaWall system to choose.

  1. What’s the climate like in my project’s region? What does the system’s thermal performance need to be so I can meet local energy codes?

The climate you’re building in dictates the thermal performance you’ll need from a folding glass wall system. Additionally, there are state or city-level energy codes that require a certain thermal performance from fenestration.

NanaWall Systems builds every system with performance top-of-mind, although some systems outperform others. If your energy requirements are strict, that’s an easy way to narrow in on your desired system.

aluminum clad folding glass door in the snow

  1. Do I want aluminum or wood frames? Or both with aluminum clad? Or no frame with a frameless system?

The choice of frame material is largely aesthetic. We have 7 aluminum framed folding systems, 2 wood framed, 1 aluminum clad framed, and 2 frameless. Which material best fits the look and application that your project is aiming for?

Final Thoughts

Aside from the requirements above, think about the most critical function that you’ll need from a system. Does it need to withstand storms with an impact rating? Or buffer sound with an STC of 45? What about meet Passive House energy requirements with a U-Value of 0.17?

Search for your ideal folding glass wall system with that single priority in mind, then check to see if it crosses off the rest of the checklist. We hope the NanaWall Folding Glass Wall Comparison Guide eBook simplifies your experience!

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