Working with partners

Glass Times feature editor Rebecca Clegg recently attended a UK dealer event, hosted by Kawneer, for the launch of the new AA190 TB door.

What do UK branches of McDonalds have in common with the NHS? This is a question that would surely generate some weird and wonderful answers in any pub quiz and one that would almost certainly not be guessed correctly. The answer is that their premises feature the Kawneer 190 severe-duty aluminium door, which has been around for some 50 years and recently superseded by the newly launched AA190 TB door.

Launched to eager groups of UK dealer partners, as well as the worldwide Kawneer product management team at two high profile events across the UK recently, the new door has taken on board customer feedback and is a stronger, larger, more thermally efficient version of its predecessor, which boasts the impressive fact that no testing house has ever managed to compromise it during testing.

The company regularly holds dealer panel meetings to gather feedback about how its products could be enhanced from those who fabricate and install them and has responded to requests for new hardware, dual-colour doors and increased sizes to meet the demands of commercial contracts.

While each of these features were extremely well received, it is the thermal breaks and four-point welded corners that set the door apart from its competitors, Kawneer said, and so confident is the company in the door that it is the only aluminium door of its type on the market to be offered with a lifetime guarantee.

Mark Hanson, marketing manager, said: “Through working closely with our dealer partners, we have reviewed every aspect of the door from the lock, the hardware, the thermal performance, sizing, colours – every aspect has been explored and bettered wherever possible. Commercial projects as well as high rise residential buildings are key markets for this next generation door, and as the demands of architects and specifiers are constantly evolving along with changes in legislation, we in turn cannot stand still. In fact, our technical team is already working on the first phase of enhancements to the new 190 TB door.”

The system has class 2 (300 Pa) air permeability, class 3A (100 Pa) water-tightness and class C2 (800 Pa) wind resistance – results that are based on an open-in double door with butt hinges and rebated threshold. An all-purpose door for use in high-traffic areas and automatic entrances, the 190 TB is as suitable for internal as well as external applications, for refurbishment as well as new-build, and for all sectors, particularly education, healthcare, commercial, and leisure and retail.

The technical plus points of the door form a long and impressive list, accepting glass units up to 43mm thick, with a maximum leaf weight of 120kg with an overhead closer and a maximum of 200kg using the floor closer, all with leaf sizes up to 1,320mm wide and 3,000mm high. A whole-door thermal transmittance of Uw = 1.7W/m2K can be achieved with a glass centre pane of Ug = 1.0W/m2K.

Chatting to the Kawneer worldwide product management team who had flown in from America for the launch event, it was clear to see that the UK market is of extreme importance for the aluminium giant, and the team was visibly impressed with the feedback from the UK fabricators to the new door.

Bennett Architectural’s design manager Paul Johnson, who attended the northern launch event, said: “I thought the presentation was well constructed and positively delivered by all speakers. The graphical details and movie clips made it easy to visualise and identify with the new features of the door system as well as there being full size working samples demonstrated by the Kawneer team. It was pleasing to see the willingness to engage with the audience and encourage questions from the floor, along with the request for continued feedback – all in all an excellent product launch.”

Supporting the launch events is a marketing plan which will see the company spend £20k in the media over the next few months, as well as providing a suite of superb marketing materials to its dealers including a range of upgraded samples, literature, and marketing direct to contractors and architects. Other advertising will focus on the glass and glazing press, to educate fabricators and installers that company not only has commercial severe-duty products, but also a constantly developing range of windows and doors which are ideal for the residential market.

When the audience was asked was there anything else they could have wanted, the overwhelming response was one of excitement about the new door and how refreshing it was for them as dealers to work so closely with Kawneer and be part of the development process.

It’s little wonder that prior its official launch, the 190 TB door had already been specified by architects Foster & Partners at Central Square in Cardiff, including on BBC Cymru’s HQ.