By James Piper, P.E. April 2017 – Doors & Hardware
Inadequate duty selection
Managers need to match door hardware selected for a particular application to the durability requirements of that application. Fortunately, a series of standards can help managers throughout this process. Rating procedures developed by ANSI and BHMA give door hardware a grade based on the number of cycles that it can be expected to withstand in a typical application. Grade 1 hardware has the longest service life and Grade 3 hardware has the shortest.
For example, a Grade 1 butt hinge should be able to withstand 2.5 million cycles, while a Grade 3 butt hinge should be able to withstand 350,000 cycles. Those ratings do not mean managers always should specify Grade 1 hardware. Grade 1 components might last longer, but their costs can be 50 percent more than those of similar Grade 3 components.
Installing a Grade 1 component in a relatively low-use application would increase installation costs with no return benefit. Installing a Grade 3 hardware component in a high-use application would increase maintenance costs and decrease the level of security due to wear and tear and possible early component failure. It is important for managers to understand the requirements of the particular application in order to specify the most appropriate hardware.
With the ANSI and BHMA constantly reviewing product standards, managers can take advantage of those standards for a range of door hardware components. The demand for improved building security has led to the development of new technologies, materials and improved manufacturing techniques. This change, in turn, has led to the development of door hardware components that exceed Grade 1 standards. If considering one of these components, managers must verify the component was properly tested according to the established procedures.
Lack of standardization
When a door hardware component fails, not only are building occupants and visitors inconvenienced. Building security is compromised. For that reason, managers must respond quickly to incidents. A quick response requires that maintenance technicians know ahead of time the type of hardware that has been installed and the procedures to use in adjusting or replacing it. Just as importantly, maintenance technicians must have ready access to replacement inventory, which can only happen through standardization.