Thermal Performance

© 2003 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2003
Author: Joe Hetzel
Page 58


Thermal Performance

By Joe Hetzel, DASMA Technical Director

Recently, DASMA found itself amid a flurry of activity about thermal performance of garage doors and rolling doors.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) has incorporated garage door provisions into its thermal performance standards, and the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has initiated a research project to study the thermal performance of garage doors. Both organizations have also targeted rolling doors.

This hot topic has generated several questions. Here are a few, along with my responses:

    1. “People don't live in their garages. What's the big deal?”
      True. Residential garages are not habitable spaces, and significantly different health and safety codes relating to fire and egress apply to habitable spaces. However, garage areas are now getting attention because they can be heated or cooled.

    1. “When you open and close garage doors and rolling doors, don't you let in the environment anyway?”
      Yes, but you open entry doors for homes, and the thermal performance of doors, walls, and windows is still important inside the home. When energy requirements are calculated for interior spaces with garage doors or rolling doors, the opening of those doors is a factor.

    1. “When people heat or cool their garages, don't they do it only as convenience for themselves?”
      For residential applications, heating/cooling garage spaces has been a marketing issue. Current codes and standards do not appear to mandate that such garage spaces meet certain energy conservation guidelines.

  1. “If this is regulated by the government, isn't that a waste of effort?”
    The government is not mandating certain performance requirements for garage doors and rolling doors. However, the NFRC and ASHRAE are interested in the accurate thermal performance of those products.

As heating and air conditioning engineers analyze energy requirements for various buildings, they want accurate thermal performance values for garage doors and rolling doors in their “Handbook of Fundamentals.” That's why ASHRAE is researching and testing our products.

DASMA is involved in much activity on this subject. We'll continue to keep you updated on our progress.