Over the last decade, the popularity of sliding door systems has significantly increased across a range of commercial projects. This is primarily driven by the increased cost of floor space and the efficiencies sliding doors offer to maximize space that often might be otherwise unusable.
The quality of sliding doors has improved over the years and architects are increasingly confident specifying them for their clients.
An Innovation for Improvement
The Cavity Slider Pocket Frame is constructed from aluminum extrusions, ensuring it remains robust and meets the requirements dictated by Type 1 construction (no combustible material within the wall).
As it becomes more mainstream for architects and designers to choose pocket openings, manufacturers have to keep up with the demands of different project types and aesthetic details.
As an example, Cavity Sliders recently supplied the Cavity Slider Pocket Frames for a California College of the Arts (CCA) student apartment complex in San Francisco. Natoma Architects knew that to meet the spatial requirements of the floor plans, they would have to use pocket openings for all 500 student apartments.
Initially, the building ownership had been skeptical about the use of pocket doors because of previous experiences as well as the heavy use the students would subject them to. But, it became clear that Cavity Sliders could deliver on the requirements of the openings.
“We needed a product that could withstand long-term abuse with minimal maintenance,” said the project manager of Natoma Architects. “The frame is sturdy, and the track hardware allows the door to be lifted up and out for easy replacement. We especially like the soft stop feature that limits impact noise and bruising on the receiving jamb.”
Rough Openings and Soft Closes
The openings in the student apartments were required to be ADA adaptable, with soft-close functionality, no closing jamb detail with a 1 3/4-inch door in a 3 5/8-inch stud framework and a rough-opening width of 70 inches. For sliding openings, the ADA regulations specify a clear walkthrough of at least 32 inches and accessible handle hardware should allow 1 1/2 inches between the jamb and pull in both the open and closed position. This means the door should protrude a minimum 4 inches from the pocket in the open position.
Cavity Sliders custom-manufactured these frames with a shorter pocket basket than the opening to ensure they met the ADA requirements as well as the tight rough-opening dimensions. As a result, assembly and installation took only 15 minutes, as no on-site alteration was required by the installing subcontractor.
On top of the spatial requirements, the openings were detailed with a flush drywall finish on the perpendicular wall the door closes against. This is a common trend in contemporary interiors in residential projects. The soft close function has become synonymous with pocket and barn door openings. It is used to provide quiet and safety but also prevents the drywall from any bruising. It also reduces the wear on the door over time.
The openings were finished with Cavilock CL400 Magnetic handles. The standard housing units have a flush handle, while the ADA-compliant units have the ADA version. The standard and ADA handles have the same door prep. It was important for the building ownership to have the flexibility to change the ADA compliancy of the units in the future, without replacing the doors.
The patented magnetic striker of this lock sits flush with the drywall and supports a clean aesthetic look without any protrusion into the opening. The Division 8 subcontractor responsible for installation used a wooden block fixed between the stud framework to anchor the fixture striker beneath the drywall.
It is the challenging requirements of openings like these in the student apartments, as well as progressive trends in our industry, that keep manufacturers on their toes. And it is often these challenges that inspire innovative new products that efficiently meet the most intricate details while fulfilling the intended aesthetic.
Learn more about the CL400 Magnetic
Learn more about the CS Cavity Slider Pocket Frame
Have questions about using our hardware in an upcoming project?
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