CornellCookson, a company with a rich history and a wealth of powerful, insulated door technologies, successfully defeats a long-standing challenge of rolling doors —air infiltration.

“The Door to Building Excellence” is the mantra found on the CornellCookson webpage. And a cursory inspection of their credentials would yield a convincing case in support of it. The company, having existed in varying incarnations since the early 19th century, has a decorated history of achievements, innovations, and awards. From holding the patent for metal dual-slat storefront shutters in 1854, to providing the base and stairways for the Statue of Liberty in the 1880s, to receiving the 2007 International Door Association’s Heritage Award, to securing five patents so far this year alone, CornellCookson is no stranger to industry success. And their latest green product advancement, Thermiser Max Insulated Rolling Doors, comes backed with the data and tools designers desire.

The patented Thermiser Max Insulated Rolling Doors are as much an asset for the industry as they are for the environment. These eco-conscious rolling doors were designed to efficiently combat air leakage, a common rolling door vulnerability that is notoriously difficult to fully remedy. Distinguished Architect and Technical Director at Perkins + Will, Marc Chavez, has observed that “for more and more communities around the country, energy conservation is gaining greater importance. I simply cannot expect my building owners to accept a giant hole in their building envelopes any longer.” Compared to competing products on the market, Thermiser Max reduces air filtration by more than 90% and can also help contribute up to 38 LEED credit points in five different categories, a boon for clients like Chavez’s.


Thermiser Max reduces air filtration by more than 90% and can also help contribute up to 38 LEED credit points in five different categories. Photo: courtesy of CornellCookson

Behind the Rolling Doors


Thermiser Max also helps buildings comply with ever-increasing air leakage standards.  While many do not know about these non-negotiable standards, there are, in fact, several. The stringent IECC and ASHRAE 90.1 are two national energy codes that enforce rigorous air leakage standards for building envelopes, so as to drive down the energy consumption required for heating and cooling. According to Dave Spath, CornellCookson director of product management, they were “a crucial driver” of the development of Thermiser Max. “The adoption of air leakage standards in the IECC and ASHRAE 90.1 helped drive the development of a product solution,” Spath states, “that ultimately reduced air leakage for coiling doors by an astounding 94 perecent. And what is important to note about these standards is that a trade-off path to approval is not permissible, meaning you can’t ‘green-up’ elsewhere in exchange for installing a rolling door with a higher-than-mandated air leakage rate. Air leakage requirements are mandatory.”

Reduced air filtration by more than 90%


While air leakage requirements may be mandatory, it doesn’t mean that they’re widely understood or strictly enforced. And adoption of these codes varies state-by-state, compounding the confusion.  CornellCookson hopes its new “Stop Air Leakage” campaign will help to educate and inform the industry about these vital requirements. The company created to house a number of helpful tools for those designing a green building envelope. The site features three main tools:

1) Air Infiltration Requirements by State: While there are generally accepted national air leakage standards, each state must decide how and what parts of each standard to adopt.  For architects and designers that work nationally, this can be a challenge.  That’s why CornellCookson offers a state-by-state code tool that provides specific air leakage codes, along with the exact maximum air leakage allowed.

2) Return on Investment Calculator: If you ever wondered how much money you’d save by switching to an insulated door, wonder no more.  This interactive calculator returns annual energy and kilowatt per hour savings an owner can expect by switching to Thermiser Max.

3) LEED Information:  The paperwork of LEED can be daunting. CornellCookson makes it easier to complete by providing comprehensive LEED documentation that will help any architect or designer hoping to achieve LEED certification.

CC_By_the_NumbersBut the benefits of Thermiser Max doors aren’t just apparent to CornellCookson. Phil Salb, owner of Illinois-based House of Doors supplier, speaks favorably of the environmental mastery characterized by Thermiser Max, noting the improved “8.0 R-Value (capacity to resist external heat) rating that is achieved using high efficiency polyurethane insulating core,” exhibited by the door curtain’s slats. “They continually eclipse expectations,” says Salb of CornellCookson’s air leakage ingenuities, pointing to the lintel seal of the head and “the extra foam insulation that goes in the guides.” The thermally broken guides create a barrier to the door on either side, which in turn reduces thermal energy loss, improves U-Factor (i.e., value of heat transference), and enhances air leakage performance.  

One attribute that often dovetails with enhanced thermal performance is enhanced acoustic performance, which doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of eco-friendly design. Until rather recently, anyway. “Acoustics are finally getting some real respect in hospitals,” Chavez observes; healthcare is an industry where you can find many CornellCookson products. But orienting insulation in such a way that considers acoustical benefits is worth adopting across lines of all major facilities. “Acoustic performance is important for diminishing sound pollution,” Salb affirms. “Factories can reduce noise levels and operate equipment with a lower decibel of sound emittance.” The Thermiser Max door seals and double insulated curtains reduce sound transmission to a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of 27, ensuring the elimination of disturbances emanating from the other side of Thermiser Max’s robust rolling doors.

Much of what makes Thermiser Max a green alternative is the materials used in its construction. CornellCookson uses primarily steel and aluminum to manufacture the Thermiser Max Rolling Doors, which are among the greenest materials one can use. Much of the Thermiser Max components can be recycled and repurposed. Mr. Salb says that, “using highly energy-efficient materials, installing product properly with a minimum of air infiltration, [and] increasing recycled material content,” are in large part what makes Thermiser Max such a profoundly valuable resource for attaining LEED accreditation. In short, the CornellCookson Thermiser Max doors will blow you away by not blowing you away.

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