WORDS: Jahla Seppanen | IMAGES: Western Window Systems


Western Window Systems (WWS), the patio doors and window solutions designer, changed the game with their successful Classic Line of expansive multi-slide doors that vanquish the divide between outdoor and in. The only problem with these thin-profile, unobstructed rolling glass panels?

They didn’t have enough performance bite.

Western Window Systems found that architects commissioned in aggressive environments such as Canada, Montana, East Coast impact zones, and our Centennial home Colorado, sought to use these multi-slide doors but were unable due to stricter energy codes and material standards.

“So we made a performance line,” says WWS Architectural Sales Director, Ty Cranford. “The new Series 7600 Multi-Slide Door is the strongest and most energy-efficient aluminum multi-slide door ever, packed with unique innovations that address energy and structural requirements while embracing contemporary design.”

In essence, with Series 7600 you’re creating a wall of glass with a design pressure (DP) rating of 50, making it one of the strongest multi-slide doors on the market. A thin extrusion profile with a deeper section depth supports triple-pane, laminated, and security glass essential for noise reduction and impact resistance. Plus— and this is an architect’s dream— the new performance glass, used thanks to a new partnership between WW and Cardinal Glass, is highly energy efficient with a .30 U-value for standard, low-e, argon-filled dual-pane glass, and a .19 U-value for high- performance, triple-pane glass. For home owners, U-value or “U-factor” is the rate of heat loss of a window. The lower the U-value, the greater its insulating power.

“It used to be highly expensive to get these types of windows and doors at this energy requirement, not to mention the requirements set in more aggressive climates,” Cranford adds.

WWS’s Denver Architectural Consultant, John Schwaderer, agreed, “A lot of people have steered away from modern contemporary aluminum products in the past because they were told these product couldn’t meet the standards. Boulder and Aspen counties, for instance, are a lot more strict as to the U-value. And you simply have to meet these numbers. It became a major barrier to the naturally evolving modern design demanded in Colorado, where there’s a focus on the outdoors and healthy living. Being so close to the mountains and sunshine means an aesthetic that blurs the indoors and outdoors. Architects are getting more retro-fit and remodels to erase the barrier between inside and out.”


Schwaderer attests that the response so far to the release of Series 7600 has been phenomenal, as architects formerly had to turn to European door manufacturers for such solutions, which made lead times and pricing outrageous.

Now, the Arizona-based WW has a product that not only fits rigorous energy requirements, but is unique in maintaining WWS’s trademark thin profiles, clean lines, and large expanses of glass, while being offered up to 14-feet tall, with a 90-degree option that completely opens up the sides of a room. Series 7600 will no question carry the contemporary design company into another year on the Fortune 5,000 list (an honor given to WW the past four years in a row).

“People crave these doors,” Cranford adds. “You won’t open them every day of the year, but when you do— for those couple cocktail parties you host, or when family’s in town— it’s a statement. An experience. And it’s downright badass. We don’t mind you printing that, because the system very clearly helps you live better. To be blunt, it’s an ego boost whether you’re living in New York or Boulder.”

And in case you’re wondering how difficult an entire wall of 14-foot sliding doors would be to open, rest assured, “these aren’t your grandma’s patio doors,” Cranford says. “Someone utilizing these large panels should have no problem because we have some of the most sophisticated hardware out there. They roll on sealed stainless-steel ball bearing rollers, so an extremely large panel slides effortlessly.” Not to mention the look— open or closed— is simply breathtaking.


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