Entrances and Framing

Exploring Thermally Improved Doors in Today’s Buildings

08:01:40 AM on 07/27/2011

It has been just over two months since the introduction of Kawneer’s newest door product, the AA®250/425 Thermal Entrance Door. Introduced to provide an additional solution to meet the increasing requirements of energy codes that are requiring lower and lower u-values, the AA®250/425 is a truly thermally broken product, which still offers Kawneer’s industry leading dual moment corner construction.

AA250 Corner Corner construction
(Click image to enlarge)

Our long-standing approach to thermally improved doors has been our Insulclad® Entrance, which is a clad version of our standard door product.  In essence, this product is not truly thermally broken, but it does add value to the thermal performance over conventional entrance doors.  The new AA®250/425 door, however, achieves its increased thermal characteristics through polyamide struts. The polyamide struts create the thermal break or barrier separating the exterior surface from the interior surface. And while the polyamide struts are certainly not new to the industry, they are still somewhat new to door product offerings. 

AA250-Poly-strut Polyamide
strut used as thermal barrier(Click image to enlarge)

  • Any thoughts on this type of design approach for products that will be touched, operated, or simply put, used on a daily basis? 
  • Does it really matter what the thermal break is, or is the more important issue to have the increased thermal performance or lowered u-values? 


Another new concept within the AA®250/425 is the vertical stile options. Traditionally aluminum storefront entrances have been made available in three width options; narrow (2-1/8”), medium (3-1/2”), and wide (5”).   The AA®250/425 is offered in two stile widths: narrow (2-1/2”) and wide (4-1/4”).


  • What are your thoughts on this change? 
  • Are we locked into an industry that will not accept change?
  • Is breaking with tradition needed to move the industry forward? 
  • Are having more or different choices more desirable or less desirable? 

I could give more information; features-functions-benefits about the AA®250/425 but you can find that on our website. Click here to see more. 

Since we’re on the subject of thermally broken products:

  • How long do you think it will be before thermally broken products become the only option available, 5-10-12 years?  
  • Will there be a coating, such as some type of paint, which might give the thermal characteristics needed? 
  • What about nano-technology, will it offer something in the near future? 


I know I veered off the subject of a newly released product but hopefully this will open your mind to think about our industry in new terms.  I’m certainly not sure where we will be 5/10/12 years down the road relative to commercial glazing but I suspect things will be different and products will not be the same as they are today…what do you think?


Best regards,



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