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Commercial roll-up doors, which may also be called rolling, coiling, industrial or overhead doors, can be found in a vast range of settings, from food courts to parking garages. These metal slatted doors provide extra security and protection against harsh weather, fires and other potential hazards.Unlike swing doors or revolving doors, which are primarily used for entering and exiting a building, commercial roll-up doors are mainly used for security purposes or material handling. Depending on the type of establishment, commercial security gates or grilles may take the place of a commercial door.
In this guide, we'll explore the different types of roll-up doors available to help you make the right selection as you design a commercial building. We'll also provide resources to help you incorporate roll-up doors into your technical drawings. If you have any questions about our commercial door specifications, please reach out to us — our design experts are ready to assist you.
Choosing a roll-up door is an involved process, but we'll help you get started. Consider the following factors to narrow your roll-up door options quickly:
First, think about the type of commercial building you're designing and the purpose the door will serve. Is it a medical center, school, or shopping mall? Will the commercial door mainly be used for off-hours security purposes, or will it open and close often throughout the day? If you're designing a warehouse, for example, your priorities may be security and durability, and you'll need a roll-up door that can handle heavy use. If you're designing a store or restaurant, you might want to focus more on visual appeal.
Although you may be mostly concerned with the size and functionality of a commercial door, you still have options when it comes to style. Some materials, like galvanized steel, can be powder-coated with a vibrant color to make the door stand out or blend with the overall building theme. You can also add a company's logo to the door to help promote the business's brand. Depending on your selection, a roll-up door can be both practical and attractive.
Commercial doors are typically made of stainless steel, aluminum, or galvanized steel, and each material offers unique benefits:
Think about the level of protection your door will need against the weather. If you're designing a building that will be exposed to extreme temperatures, you'll want to consider insulated overhead doors. Insulated doors provide greater climate control and energy efficiency where temperature and weather conditions are a concern.
You'll also want to consider speed when choosing an insulated door. For example, our million-cycle Extreme 1024 High-Performance Door moves three times faster than the average coiling door, which means it can help prevent heat from entering or escaping when the door is in motion. If you don't need a million cycles, our Extreme 300 Series Door offers the same increased speed.
In the 21st century, it's becoming increasingly important to focus on sustainability and green manufacturing. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a widely used rating system that helps architects and contractors select sustainable materials. Consider how you might incorporate doors that can help achieve LEED Certification into your design. Or, choose durable and recyclable materials like aluminum and steel to reduce waste.
Building codes are a critical part of the decision-making process for commercial doors. Depending on the situation, you may want to consider building codes first when making a selection.
All businesses will need to comply with the relevant fire requirements for their building and consider a path of egress in case of an emergency. While not used in paths of egress, rolling fire doors can be an integral part of a building's overall fire strategy. For example, businesses that handle combustible materials or cooking equipment may require fire-rated doors and counter shutters on walls with fire ratings. Our roll-up fire-rated doors form a tight seal to keep flames and smoke contained in non-egress areas of a building. Some fire doors activate automatically.
In other areas, such as Tornado Alley or Florida, you might also have to prioritize wind load requirements, particularly if you're in a tornado- or hurricane-prone region. Many rolling doors are engineered to withstand hurricanes or tornadoes and may comply with Florida Building Code or Miami-Dade requirements.
Whether you're designing a building for the healthcare, manufacturing, retail, or restaurant industry, you'll likely need to incorporate some type of roll-up door into the design. The type of roll-up door you choose greatly depends on the application and building requirements. To help you navigate the wide selection of commercial doors, let's look at typical applications and suggested products for each.
Educational facilities such as colleges, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools have many uses for commercial rolling doors. Schools may use exterior overhead doors at loading docks to bring in various supplies. On the interior, security gates may be used for bookstores, while rolling counter doors keep cafeterias secure.
Typically, schools require aesthetically pleasing materials that are also cost-effective, easy to maintain, and safe for the students. Any entrance into a school must be easy to control and should consist of durable materials. Depending on state and local building codes, you may need to choose doors specifically designed to withstand certain environmental conditions or ones that offer fire protection.
Here are a few commercial door recommendations for schools:
Parking lots and garages are common areas for property crimes. If you're building a parking garage, you may need to include a 24/7 security system in your design. An easy-to-operate security grille is an excellent solution because it keeps out trespassers and also offers visibility and ventilation. Security grilles can be connected to activation systems, so only authorized individuals can access the garage.
If you need a parking garage gate, consider the Extreme 300 Series MicroCoil Grille, which typically requires only 13 inches of headroom space and boasts 500K cycles. This space-saving solution allows taller vehicles to enter or exit with ease. With quiet operation at a speed of up to 24 inches per second, the MicroCoil Grille can be a great choice for parking garages near apartment buildings. You can choose from straight and brick curtain patterns, or incorporate exciting colors into the finish.
Store and restaurant owners must protect their supplies and merchandise from theft, and they also must find ways to make their space appealing to customers. Burglars don't stand a chance if they have to cut through a steel or aluminum security grille, especially if there's also an alarm system in place. When designing a store or restaurant, you can choose commercial doors and grilles that are both secure and attractive. Here are a few options:
To get an idea of what a roll-up door looks like and how it works, here's a general overview of the different components:
Roll-up doors can include hand crank, push-up, or motion-operated options. Most of our roll-up doors coil at the head, meaning they offer a space-saving solution in addition to high security. Other features may include:
At Cornell, we construct each door based on your exact specifications. No matter your vision, you can trust we'll create a commercial door to suit your aesthetic, operational, and building-code needs. If you would like to learn more about overhead coiling door details, please check out our Industry Glossary.
Building codes help ensure public health and safety. Since we spend nearly 90% of our lives indoors, these codes are critical to every aspect of design. The International Code Council was developed in 1994 to set model codes, such as the International Building Code (IBC), to offer consistency in federal, state, and local requirements. Jurisdictions may adopt and adapt the standards of the IBC to meet their needs. Therefore, commercial building code requirements, including roll-up door regulations, vary depending on local and state laws.
Other organizations, such as the National Fire Protection Association, develop model codes to ensure the use of safe products in buildings and to help prevent the loss of life and property. ASTM International is another major contributor to safety standards to improve the quality of industrial products. While not all of these standards may be adopted as law in a particular region, they can provide valuable guidance.
For roll-up door codes, consider building regulations in New York City as an example. Since 2011, stores have been banned from installing solid panel security gates. Existing gates must be replaced with open-grille gates by 2026. Also, the city requires that security grilles feature at least 70% transparency.
If you need assistance with finding code-compliant products for your design location, you can browse the various product ratings on our building codes, listings and project requirements page. We've also compiled a list of organizations and website links to help you learn more about specific regulations and commercial doors.
While the standard man door size for commercial buildings is around 32 inches wide and 80 inches high, overhead doors or grilles are often much larger, depending on the installation site. At Cornell, all our roll-up doors are built to order. To determine the correct roll-up door size for a design, you need to consider the following measurements:
If you're interested in a security grille but lack headroom, you might go with our Extreme High Performance MicroCoil Grille - 500K Cycles, which requires almost 50% less headroom than other high-cycle security grilles available. If you're not sure what roll-up door specifications you need, we're here to help. We offer custom commercial door sizes to help you find the ideal fit and material for your project.
We understand your architectural drawings will serve as a road map for everyone involved in your project, and want to help things run smoothly. With our drawing generator, you can create your own AutoCAD drawings according to your commercial door specifications. You'll need to enter information such as the opening width, height, what wall construction material you'd like to use, and where you plan to mount the guides. Once you've entered the information, we'll send you a link to your tailored roll-up door drawings.
You can also use our library of building information modeling (BIM) objects, which allows you to download and add our products to your technical drawings. With BIM objects at your disposal, you'll be able to see how our roll-up doors will look and behave in the real world. As a result, you'll be prepared to make decisions early in the planning process.
If you could use further assistance, our Architectural Design Team is here to help you through every stage. Upload your plans or specifications, and a member of our Design Team will create a drawing and specifications for you. Feel free to use any of our self-service tools so you can incorporate roll-up doors into your design with confidence.
Choosing a roll-up door that's functional, secure and visually appealing is a critical part of the design process — but it doesn't have to be time-consuming. At Cornell, we know you need easy and quick access to commercial overhead door details to keep your project moving.
Cornell is a leading manufacturer of roll-up doors and security grilles. Since 1828, Cornell has been innovating commercial door solutions and enhancing the security and functionality of businesses throughout the country. Today, we continue to value integrity, vision, accountability and the relationships we uphold with our customers. We do what it takes to find custom solutions using superior products.
If you're ready to add commercial doors to your project, contact a local representative or locate a dealer today.