Custom Balanced Doors: A Match for Multifamily

Friday, May 26, 2023

Multifamily construction is on the rise. In fact, according to NAHB, the number of starts in the multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 28% from July to August 2022. Multifamily remains a bright spot for the construction industry for a variety of reasons, including the rising cost of single-family properties and the decrease in maintenance that multifamily living provides.

However, there are a host of considerations that developers, owners, and builders of multifamily projects must take into account. The building must be energy efficient and sustainable, and it must consider the needs of a high number of occupants.

Starting at the Entrance

Multifamily structures, especially those in big cities, see steady foot traffic at both interior and exterior doorways. Therefore, entrances on these buildings require special attention. Size, materials, longevity, accessibility, and sustainability are all considerations. As an architect or building owner, your ability to meet all of these demands for an entrance will depend on who you select to manufacture the doors.

Having options for door size and dimensions is essential. You will want to ensure that the manufacturer you select can make entrances large enough – width and height – to permit residents to move furniture and other large items in and out of the building. For luxury residential condos and high-rises where residents are furnishing areas larger than a traditional single-family home, this is especially important.

Material choice and longevity of an entrance system are also key considerations. Choosing a manufacturer that offers a variety of materials and finishes gives architects options when it comes to the aesthetics of an entrance. In addition, durable materials, such as extruded aluminum, stainless steel, and bronze, are less likely to scratch or dent in high-traffic areas.

Accessibility considerations are necessary for structures being used by the public. Ensuring your entrances are in line with the latest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards is important for the code compliance of your structure. Consider the size of door openings, the total number that must be in compliance, door maneuver clearance requirements for pedestrians in wheelchairs, and automatic openers. For a comprehensive guide on how to ensure compliance, download our ADA Planning Guide for Entrances and Doors.

Success Story #1 – Market Square Tower

The construction of Market Square Tower was part of Houston’s Downtown Living Initiative Program and serves as the pinnacle of upscale living in Houston where multifamily resort-style spaces are in high demand. For the entrance of the 40-story, 463-unit deluxe apartment tower, architects and owners “wanted that bronze monumental New York-style entrance” look, and relied on Ellison Bronze to deliver.

Ellison manufactured custom entrances ranging from 73" x 104" to 73" x 95" and constructed of heavy and durable bronze that would achieve the desired aesthetic. Although made with strong materials, the doors operate with ease. This effortless opening force can be attributed to the inset pivot point located at two-thirds the width of the door, ideal for the constant foot traffic of the thousands of tenants that call this one-of-a-kind structure home.

Learn more about this project here.

Success Story #2 – 35 Hudson Yards

35 Hudson Yards is the tallest residential tower in the Hudson Yards neighborhood, rising more than 1,000 feet in the air and complete with exquisite two-to-six-bedroom homes inside.

Only the highest-quality materials were used in its construction, including the main entrance, which is why architects at SOM called upon Ellison Bronze. The building’s entryways, which are accessed by thousands of guests and tenants daily, needed to possess the performance qualities necessary for high-use portals. Aesthetics played a role in the specification process as well. Architects needed custom doors to visually match and fit seamlessly into the storefront framing materials of the building’s various access points.

The building’s main residential entrance, facing south, required a unique solution. Due to the curved design of that portion of the structure, the doors themselves could not be flat, and architects at SOM needed a manufacturer that could produce doors to meet this atypical design requirement. Ellison craftsmen custom-made curved doors that fit to the precise angle of the facade, which bows inward at approximately 22 degrees.

The main entryway doors along with select others are made from Muntz bronze and feature a #4 Satin finish. The exceptionally unique custom curved main entry doors were equipped with Stanley® Magic Force™ power operators to meet ADA guidelines.

Learn more about this project here.

Making Multifamily Shine

Ellison custom balanced doors are specified by architects worldwide for a variety of project types. In the booming multifamily sector, not all buildings are the same, and not all entryways are identical. Choosing a manufacturer with experienced craftsmen who make each door by hand to precise specifications can be a game changer in helping you overcome design challenges and meet code for multifamily developments.



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