Secure Your Home and Business with Exterior Glass Wall Systems
By NanaWall Systems, January 26, 2022
We get it. At first sight, exterior glass wall systems may not seem like the most secure door alternative for commercial or residential applications. However, despite the fragile nature of glass, advancements in fenestration like interlayering and chemical treatments have made the material a lot tougher—NanaWall Systems then adds innovative design technology to enhance security even further. A factory-installed and independently tested multipoint locking mechanism ensures that each system meets all forced entry testing (see below) at accredited labs. So, before you dismiss installing moveable glass walls, let’s take a look at how NanaWall provides peace of mind by offering flexible and secure design solutions for both commercial and residential spaces.
Demystifying Security Concerns of Exterior Glass Wall Systems
From commercial storefronts to residential spaces, security is of utmost priority in ensuring secured interiors. Conventional sliders have a reputation of being prone to break-ins due to their poor locking design. A burglar can simply use a crowbar to disable the latching mechanism and pry open the door or by lifting it off its tracks as an alternative method. On the other hand, weak commercial glass storefronts can be easily shattered and lead to theft and costly damages. Because of this, it may be easy to assume that exterior glass wall systems are not any safer.
NanaWall Systems debunks these misconceptions with advanced security options. Systems like the single track sliding glass wall HSW60 feature an additional interlock mechanism that engages to create a strong seal and improve performance when locking panels together. Similarly, the frameless sliding glass walls ClimaCLEAR and PrivaSEE feature patented panel interlocks at the top and bottom rails. These panel floor bolts are foot activated to lock the panel into place without the need to kneel, offering greater flexibility, security, and ease of operation when adapted in commercial spaces.
Innovative Technology for Advanced Security
Engaging multiple mechanisms to lock your moveable glass walls prevent the likelihood of it being broken into. The multi-point locking technology on a primary swing door means the handle must be depressed to withdraw the latch, lifted to engage the rods, then opened. Let’s take a deeper look at each level of security offered:
The multi-point lock mechanism on the swing doors of many of our products involves a latch, a deadbolt operated by a keyed cylinder or thumbturn, and top/bottom locking rods. The top and bottom locking bolts have approximately a 1” (24 mm) throw for maximum security engagement into the head and floor track.
A two-point locking mechanism is standard between each pair of folding panels and a swing panel. A 180-degree turn of the handle moves the locking rod up or down. It features a concealed locking rod that penetrates one inch into the tracks and locks into both the head track and sill. In our HSW systems, each panel features this two-point locking mechanism with flat handles.
A deadbolt locking system features pull handles on both sides of the deadbolt. There is the option of having key operation on both sides. With a profile cylinder, the panel is lockable with a thumbturn from the inside and a key from the outside.
Forced Entry Testing
Forced entry testing is used to assess the integrity and security of windows, doors, and other building envelope components. NanaWall systems are tested in accredited independent laboratories. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 1303, or AAMA, defines the requirements for forced entry resistant glass doors and the parameters of each testing procedure. While all panels are closed and locked using NanaWall systems’ locking mechanisms, concentrated loads ranging from 50 to 300 pounds are applied to each panel repeatedly. Another series of tests requires an operable panel to be moved upwards to the fullest extent within the confines of the door frame to identify whether it can be pried off its tracks. NanaWall Systems have repeatedly passed these forced entry tests with excellent results.
Added Technology Features
Our minimal sliding glass wall, cero®, can be customized with automation accessories by others. Panels can be mechanized to slide and securely lock with a simple touch of a button while exhibiting the same effortless quiet operation. With system auto-lock, if cero is closed manually, the system locks automatically after one hour. With manual lock detention, the system knows when cero is manually locked to ensure no damage to the motor or door unit. For a more streamlined look, our Generation 4 Folding Glass Walls feature a multipurpose frame insert within the head track that offers space for concealed cable routing for state-of-the-art security systems. A special concealed locking mechanism end cap, in combination with concealed Reed contacts, create an open or closed loop for home security systems by others.
Keep Bears Outside with BEARricade
Remote homes surrounded by luscious forests and lookout vistas are prime sites for an elevated indoor/outdoor living experience, so why wouldn’t you want to optimize the view with exterior glass wall systems? Woodland areas may be surrounded by beautiful landscapes, but they are also home to wildlife like bears, who have been known to open doors and lift windows. NanaWall Systems’ BEARricade is designed with bear-resistant handles, reinforced structural posts, impact-rated laminated glass, and secure multi-point tamper-resistant locks that make remote living a breeze. The structural posts and impact-rated glass resist attempts to push in the panel. The multi-point locks engage concealed lockbolts deep into the track, while the bottom shoot bolts have a one-inch throw which further strengthens the effectiveness of the lock. On the opposite end on the spectrum, the hurricane zone approved SL73 aluminum framed folding glass wall can be specified in coastal buildings prone to extreme weather.
Additional Security Options for Exterior Glass Wall Systems
This type of fenestration is composed of two or more sheets of glass bonded together with a plastic interlayer, offering superior strength and durability. This interlayer holds the glass together and will be retained in the frame in the instance of impact or breakage. The integrity of laminated glass makes it nearly impossible to break, making it ideal for commercial storefronts or even homes. Additionally, the interlayer protects interiors from impacts relating to weather and can offer sound control for quieter interiors.
Laminated glass diagram courtesy of Lee Glass and Glazing
Also known as toughened glass, tempered glass is processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength and overall safety. Tempering puts the outer surfaces into compression and the interior into tension. When broken, this type of fenestration shatters into small granular chunks less likely to cause injures than jagged shards. Tempered glass is often used in moveable glass walls to withstand impact and harsh weather debris. This also applies to double glazed and triple glazed systems that feature multiple sheets of glass.
How secure are NanaWall exterior glass wall systems? Undoubtedly, these systems have become highly secure with strengthened glass and innovative design features. From a design-forward locking mechanism to built-in reinforcements that ensure the integrity of the system, NanaWall moveable glass walls offer the security demands where it matters most. ADA compliant tracks and easy-to-operate panels add an additional layer of security that prevents tripping hazards and injury. So, if security concerns are preventing you from installing exterior glass wall systems, don’t fret, NanaWall systems has a solution for you!
Learn more about the security features of NanaWall moveable glass walls at NanaWall.com/products!