Manufacturers of windows and doors are always looking for ways to improve performance, energy efficiency, and provide innovative solutions for their customers. Cascadia Windows & Doors of Langley, B.C., Canada, accomplished all of these goals with their sliding and swinging patio doors outfitted with hardware systems from Roto Frank of America, Chester, CT.
A few years ago John Sawatzky, General Manager of Cascadia Windows & Doors, met Pat Donnelly, Manager, Business Region West for Roto during the beginning of a great relationship between the two companies.
“As window and door manufacturers go, Cascadia is in a category of its own,” says Donnelly. “Their products cannot be simply categorized as North American or European, they possess characteristics of both. Their windows and doors are often used in luxury homes and in high rise buildings in the harshest climates of Canada and the United States. They may be in coastal areas or ten stories up. That requires superior quality and performance — the tightest seal possible to prevent air, water and sound penetration. We are happy to report that our hardware systems have enabled them to not only meet demanding industry standards, but exceed them,” Donnelly continues.
“Right from the start Pat was very responsive,” says Sawatzky. “Sometimes we were sitting with an architect and a technical question came up. I would call Pat and if he didn’t have the answer, he would get us the answer immediately through the Roto sales engineering group in Chester.” This type of service led Cascadia to transition first to Roto X-Drive casement hardware and then Roto swing door and tilt & slide hardware thereafter. “With our 325 Casement Window line we require great compression in terms of air loss and water penetration. Roto’s X-Drive hardware had the flexibility and high performance characteristics we needed.”
According to Sawatzky, “When you manufacture over-sized sliding doors, some of which weigh over 500 lbs., they have to meet rigorous industry standards for structural integrity, sound reduction, and air/water infiltration. With doors of this size, other manufacturers have typically increased the gasket’s thickness to get a good seal, but then the door won’t open smoothly and is somewhat difficult to operate. However, with Roto’s hardware system and their innovative bogie/roller design, our huge doors open with virtually one finger.”
Cascadia knew their products met the 15.5 psf. standard for high performing windows and doors, but asked a well known testing lab located in Seattle, Washington to take it a step further and conduct another test. “Our doors exceeded the 15.5 psf. by nearly three times! This was made possible because Roto worked with us and came up with the ideal hardware system for our design.”
“Another crucial factor in our using Roto’s hardware is that we didn’t have to make any die changes or change profiles,” says Sawatsky. “In our fiberglass manufacturing process a die change can cost $50,000 and up so this is a tremendous value. Now we can have one profile and make it work for in-swing and out-swing windows as well as in-swing, out-swing, and sliding doors.”
In addition, Sawatzky explained that by using Roto hardware Cascadia was able to develop a unique sliding door that has an innovative “popout” effect. With the “popout” sliding door, the door is positioned on the outside rather than the inside. Therefore the pressure is on the outside too, pressing against the door. This results in high performance ratings. “Our Pop Slide doors are like no other available today,” says Sawatzky. “This gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors and what’s more, our customers are very pleased with our quality and performance.”
“At Roto we always listen and try to find applications for our hardware systems that maximize benefits for our customers and their customers,” says Donnelly. “We’re so glad that we were able to collaborate with Cascadia in such innovative and meaningful ways.”