A Large Diameter Revolving Door - Maximizing Energy Efficiency

The Gaylord Palms Hotel and Conference Center is located in the heart of Orlando, Florida. Just outside of Walt Disney World and many other parks, this hotel is a major hub for both tourists and business people. The hotel lobby boasts a signature 4.5-acre enclosed glass atrium featuring several Florida-themed environments. With the intense design expectations coupled with the new state-adopted building codes on the wind load data, this installation required an entire team of engineering and construction experts working harmoniously.

The Goal

The hot, Florida climate can wreak havoc on a building’s air control. The air exchange every time a door opens can result in a few degrees too high or too low. Over a long, hot day, the difference is noticeable.  The Gaylord Palms has hundreds of guests passing through their grand entrance every day. And due to the real-life experience of the themed environments, any fluctuation in indoor temperature was not acceptable. The indoor climate must be comfortable and controlled.

The Gaylord Palms Hotel and Conference Center was designed as a turn of the century Florida mansion, yet with modern touches and amenities. Each detail, down to the floor, was intensely planned and carefully incorporated. The entrance to the signature atrium also needed to blend aesthetically and architecturally fit into the overall design of the hotel.

With hundreds of guests passing through, many of them families with children and luggage, both convenience and safety were a necessity. A safe, hands-free entrance would provide the warm welcome the hotel strived for. In addition, the state of Florida just introduced new building codes that required wind load data for all exterior doors.

The Gaylord Palms Hotel and Conference Center Result

Starting at the design phase, ASSA ABLOY was a part of the Gaylord Palms construction team. Meeting with architects and contractors well before construction began allowed ASSA ABLOY to provide the appropriate recommendations for meeting the hotel’s goals for energy efficiency, design, aesthetics and maximum safety. The ASSA ABLOY experts on the team were fluent on specification writing and working with architects, so they were able to place the door specifications into the project at the earliest possible moment. And, since this was going to be the first large diameter revolving door installed in Florida under the new building codes, there were many engineering reviews and approvals needed before installation could begin. It was exactly one year to complete engineering data, receive approval through the building department and then finally turn the first screw for installation.
ASSA ABLOY also worked to customize the ultimate solution for them, which turned out to be the ASSA ABLOY UniTurn. A revolving door provides the most energy efficiency by preventing air conditioning loss. It is also an elegant door that blends perfectly with the building’s facade, especially with the custom champagne color of the door finish. But first, ASSA ABLOY worked with the Gaylord and the tile contractor to ensure the custom tile of the Gaylord sunburst was lined up exactly to where the ASSA ABLOY revolving door would sit. This turned out to be the most complicated and critical floor layout for any automatic door installation at ASSA ABLOY.

Custom Entrance for Resort Hotel - Incorporating Style with Safety

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is another perfect example where critical and creative engineering were required in installing a safe, efficient and architecturally pleasing door into a hotel entrance.  The engineering of these doors took over 4 months, not including the critical layout and custom design work.

The Goal

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel team design a beautiful hotel. It was going to be an indulgent resting place for tired tourists and business people alike. The trouble was, the doors had many tricky specifications to meet in order to achieve the goal of the hotel; the doors had to meet the 120 M.P.H. wind load, but also be free-standing with no vertical or horizontal anchoring.  The door measurements were 16’ diameter, 2-wing automatic revolving doors.

The solution was to dig a 2-foot-deep by 2-foot-wide trench in a 16’ diameter. We then installed 4’ tall vertical steel posts inside the trench and filled the trench with concrete.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphins Hotel Result

The result was a 2-foot vertical steel posts standing out of the concrete slab, which were actually buried in 2 feet of solid concrete. We then installed the revolving doors on top of these posts.  This ensured the revolving doors were securely anchored 2 feet deep into the concrete slab below.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel are now the grand entrance way into the magical world of Disney for all guests of these landmark hotels.

Creative Application - Thinking Outside of the Entrance

It may seem like all we do are fun projects here in Florida, but in reality they are all high profile, making them, at times, very stressful. But when it came to the Apollo/Saturn Exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center, we had to admit, it was fun designing what turned out to be a really cool, unique automatic door project. Contributing to this exhibit, a part of the 70-acre facility, where over 1.5 million guests visit yearly, was a large, yet honorable task.

If you haven’t already visited, we’ll provide you with the details;
You enter this attraction through a huge 10-foot-tall automatic, polished stainless steel, sliding door with the NASA logo etched into the center. There is a countdown clock above, which counts down until the door opens, revealing the Saturn Lunar Theater. The theater has numerous pairs of swing door operators moving guests into and out of the theater. The opening function of the doors is all connected to show-controlled timer system.

Once you exit the theater, you will come to another twelve automatic, telescoping sliding doors, which lead you to numerous gift shops (collectively, the largest retail store in the world devoted to space- themed merchandise) and cafeterias. The highlighted finale is the area which houses full scale replicas of the Apollo and Saturn rockets used to carry astronauts to the moon.

Low Energy in Healthcare - The Tightest Budget, the Highest Safety.

As anyone in the door industry can imagine, taking on a hospital project can be both exhilarating and exhausting.  After 3 years of planning and construction, the six-story, 650,000 sq. ft.  Mayo Clinic Hospital opened its automatic doors to the Jacksonville Campus in April of 2008.

The Goal

Hospital work requires great diligence in planning the safest, doors in the most convenient locations, all the while falling into a very tight budget.  The entire project was specified in low energy doors. The cost difference from low energy to full duty is about 3 to 1.  ASSA ABLOY had to meet with every department head to consult and cut the door operator count down from the original count of 180 low energy doors to something that would fit into their budget, while not compromising the comfort, convenience and care of the patients.

The Mayo Clinic Hospital Result

Scheduling some all-day meetings with every department head in the hospital required weeks of consulting and negotiating.  The time invested was worth it; we reduced the operator count from 180 to 65 pair of full duty. The final inventory count for the Mayo Hospital included 23 automatic sliding doors, 65 pairs of full-duty swinging doors, 102 ICU sliding doors and 25 low energy swinging doors. The entire project spanned one year until the final door was installed.


Hands-Free Access for Cutting Edge Facility for Disabled Students

This project came to us by the Duval County School Board as a prototype for a new school. The school was being modeled after a modern day college campus, spread out over several acres.  The school is considered cutting edge for a learning facility for students with mental and physical disabilities allowing those students to experience a typical high school atmosphere. For ASSA ABLOY, this meant many doors, ones that provided the safety and convenience that the bright stars needed in order to enjoy their high school experience.

We installed over 100 low energy swinging doors throughout the facility.  There are now automatic operators on at least one door of every room of every building on the campus, allowing hands-free access to the entire campus.