Resource Center

PrivacyVue™, Dash Door’s own switchable glass product line, will be sponsoring the AIA continuing education Glass+Metal Symposium, “Designing the Building Envelope” in Orlando, FL.

The half-day seminar will feature discussions including architectural glass performance and trends, understanding pre-glazed unitized curtain wall systems and more. A complimentary breakfast and 4 AIA Learning Units (HSW) are also included, as well as a Certificate of Completion for all attendees.

The event takes place Friday, November 7th, at the Crowne Plaza Downtown, from 7:30 AM – 12 PM. Attendees can register here for $25 or register at the door on the day of the event for $45.

To learn more about the event, visit the Glass+Metal Symposium website or learn more here.

Glass and Metal Symposium – Orlando

One of our previous posts discussed the increased use of sliding glass doors in office layouts.  It was noted that the use of glass as office fronts increases natural light and energy efficiency.  The increased use of glass however can contribute to decreased privacy.  One solution type that can bring the best of both worlds is Switchable Privacy Glass like the Dash Door PrivacyVue™ line.

This technology will switch the glass from transparent to an opaque translucent state with the simple flip of a switch, tap of an app, or wave of a hand.  The technology makes available a dynamic space that can be both private and open.

Uses of switchable privacy glass include:

• Residential – bathroom / shower enclosures, partitions
• Commercial – conference rooms, office doors/partitions, reception
• Retail – changing rooms, projection displays
• Healthcare: ICU Doors, Nurseries, ERs, ORs, clinic partitions
• Hospitality – bathroom /shower enclosures, partitions
• Banking – ballistic teller lines, transaction windows, safe deposit rooms


Glass “OFF” – Opaque

Glass “OFF” – Opaque

Glass “ON” – Transparent

Glass “ON” – Transparent

The Principal

When the power is off the liquid crystal molecules are randomly oriented and will scatter incidental light. This renders the Switchable Privacy Glass panel opaque.

When an electric current is applied, the liquid crystal molecules line up, the incidental light passes through, and the privacy glass becomes clear.

Privacy Glass is a laminated glass. The laminated material within is Liquid Crystal Privacy Film, which responds to an electrical current.

When electricity is applied to the film via the wiring, the liquid crystals align and the glass instantly becomes clear.  When the power is turned off, the liquid crystals return to their normal scattered positions rendering the glass an opaque translucent.



PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) is a medium whose light scattering power is adjustable through applying an electric field. In their natural (uncharged) state, the PDLC droplets randomly align.

PDLC Film consists of a polymer matrix of liquid crystals enclosed by electrically conductive Indium Tin Oxide-coated PET film. The resulting PDLC Film has wiring attached to a conductive copper strip (busbar) along the film’s edge.  In a low voltage platform, this wiring is connected to a step-down transformer through which power is supplied for the “on” (clear) state.  In their natural (uncharged) state, the PDLC droplets randomly align, thus creating the an opaque translucent condition.

Two sheets of glass are laminated over the PDLC film. The components are assembled under high pressure and temperature to form a single unit.

The ordinary refractive index of these liquid crystals does not match that of the polymer, and the incident light is thus scattered, resulting in a translucent state. When an electric field is applied across the material, the PDLC droplets re-orient, and subsequently the extraordinary refractive index of the liquid crystal matches that of the polymer. Therefore, the incident light can pass through, resulting in a transparent state.


Laminated Switchable Privacy Glass is opaque / translucent when the switch is in the off position and clear when electric current is applied to each lite of glass


Factors Determining Proper Hinge Selection

by Steve Sanko on 8/10/2014

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a door hinge type and configuration.  Stanley Hinges has provided an aid to review all considerations before making a final selection.  As always, Dash Door’s Contract Door & Hardware Group reviews all of these considerations when estimating and detailing your project.  The reference below is intended for end-users so that they may be more familiar with all factors used to determine proper hinge selection.

  • Application
    • Primary consideration is given to the type of door and frame for selection of a proper hinge configuration.
  • Hinge Size
    • Determined by door size, thickness, weight, frequency of use, and clearance required.
  • Hinge Type
    • The weight of the door and frequency of use determine whether a heavy weight, standard weight
      anti-friction* bearing or, a plain bearing hinge should be used.
    • Heavy weight hinges should always be used on heavy doors and doors where high frequency is expected.
      Use anti-friction* bearing hinges on doors equipped with closers.
  • Metal and Finish
    • Determined by considerations such as atmospheric conditions, location of doors, or special conditions as in
      chemical laboratories, sewage disposal plants, etc.
    • While ferrous metal can be given a good rust-resisting base, it cannot be given the same absolute
      guarantee against rust as nonferrous metals and should not be used for extreme exposure.
    • Finish on hinges can be furnished to Stanley or ANSI/BHMA Standards.
    • When an exact match of another manufacturer’s finish is desired, please submit sample.
  • Fasteners
    • Standard fasteners furnished with each hinge are specified in this catalog. Other fasteners are available and
      must be clearly specified.
  • Hand of Hinge
    • Loose joint hinges, pivot reinforced, electric, etc. are handed and should be specified right or left hand.
  • Hinge Edge of Door
    • Is the door edge on the hinge side square or beveled?
  • Tip Options
    • Institutions often require hospital type tips (barrel ends sloped) making it difficult to attach rope, wearing
      apparel, etc.
    • Flat button tip is universally used as standard.
    • Decorative tips and conversion kits are available for decorative effects.
  • Special Hinge Types
    • Raised barrel, electric hinges, pivot reinforced hinges, hinges with non-removable pins, security studs, etc.
  • Quality Level, Budget


Number of Hinges Required

Use two hinges on doors up to 5′ (1.52m) and an additional hinge for each additional 2.5′ (.76m) or
fraction thereof.


Location of Hinges on Doors

(US Standards Procedure)
Top hinge 5″ (127mm) from frame rabbet to top of barrel.

Bottom hinge 10″ (254mm) from bottom edge of barrel to finished floor.

Third hinge centered between top and bottom hinges.



* Anti-friction bearings include Lifestan® CB bearings and ball bearings

** Certain western states use as standard 7″ (178mm) from top and 11″ (279mm) from the bottom.

*** The suggested location for olive knuckle and paumelle hinges is 1/4″ (6.4mm) from pull side of door to edge of hinge leaf.


Finish Charts

The AHFB-18 (Architectural Hardware Finish Board) EDP# 06-9601 pictured above represents only a fraction of more than 60 high quality architectural grade finishes offered by the majority of hardware manufacturers.  Colors are an indication only do to limitation of photography, and computer hardware and software.

Please find below for your reference downloadable finish sheets per ANSI / BHMA.  All charts feature the ANSI/BHMA codes as they relate to the “former” US codes which like most things, refuses to go away – hardware folks are a stubborn lot aren’t they!  Weren’t you told in grade school that we were going metric?


Architectural Hardware Finish Board (AHFB-18)    

(courtesy of Stanley)

Dash Door – Finish Chart #1

Dash Door – Finish Chart #2

Service Response Work-Flow

Many lessons have been learned over decades of providing service to and interacting with facility managers.  Perhaps the easiest step which will minimize frustration by all parties is to clearly define the service call work-flow.  IT IS IMPORTANT that a facility’s service vendors make clear and COMMUNICATE their preferred service response work-flow; this will enable a facility manager to either incorporate or request revisions to the work-flow.

Presented here is a sample service call work-flow which a number of Dash Door facility manager clients have elected to utilize.  There are many variations of this workflow; however, the basic elements of communication remain.  This sample will not work for every facility; the important point is to have the discussion early with whatever type of vendor you are considering bringing aboard your team.  Defining expectations formally will serve as a guide to evaluate performance and save time.


Service Call – 24 Hour Dispatch

The backbone of a solid service / maintenance work-flow is a 24 hour dispatch capability.  If this is not required by a particular facility, it is important to have responsive dispatch during the required working hours.  Redundancy is key to any dispatch.  Multiple dispatch staff must be sharing the SAME data.  Service dispatch software integrated with the office network will ensure all are working form the same data.

Technical Expediter

While not necessary for some trades, the inclusion of a technical expediter for after-hours calls will ensure that a service technician has access to in-house technical support.  This will often times mean the difference between a completed after-hours call and a call that must be revisited after a temporary fix has been employed.  Two heads are better than one and the experience of a seasoned technical expediter does not cost the end-user added labor on the service call.

Work Order Generation

Work order generation may begin with a formal work order being issued by the facility being served.  In any case, the service vendor will create an internal work order via the in-house dispatch / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.  Location history and existing equipment warranty information may all be accessible via mobile applications available to today’s service technician via smart phone or tablet.  The home office and service technician are working from a single work order via cloud /  mobile network communication.  Less data entry yields less human error, saved time / greater efficiency.

Technician Dispatch – 24 Hour

Technician dispatch is as easy as sending the work order to the desired tech via the dispatch board at the home office or any number of mobile management tablets that are also in the field.  Integration of vehicle GPS adds another level of competency in being able to “survey the battlefield” and make intelligent “tactical” decisions regarding technician competencies and equipment they possess on their particular vehicles.  Intelligent vehicle routing for on-the-fly work order assignments also saves time by considering existing traffic conditions.  Technicians are able to be dispatched quickly without multiple phone calls and requests for directions.

Site Arrival Notification

Many software packages with GPS integration permit an imaginary boundary around the facility within the software called a “geofence”.  When a work order is assigned to a particular tech, and that vehicle crosses into the geofence, a text and/or email may be automatically sent by the software to the facility manager(s) to notify of the service provider’s arrival.  The clock starts ticking – this ability helps with time and material contracts in terms of tracking technician movements.  Vehicle movements can be tracked on a large college campus for example with work status updates “In Process”, “Need Parts”, “Work Complete” being set by the technician via mobile device.   It’s a brave new world!

Parts Acquisition

If it is found that non-stock parts are required (or parts are not present on the responding technician’s vehicle), a “Parts Needed” status will be communicated to the facility manager representative.  Communication of this status is important as is noting the lead-time of the required part.  Any circumstances where parts are delayed by a manufacturer for example would be communicated to the end-user – it is always good to make those unsolicited “we haven’t forgotten about you” phone calls.  Even with the technology available today, a service provider should understand that a phone call beats an email any day when it comes to communicating unforeseen delays or scheduling issues.  Technology should be a tool – not a crutch.

Problem Resolution

The resolution of the problem at the initial service call or after a part has been ordered and installed, data collection for the service call is included in the history of the work order, location and equipment installed.  Many service provider software packages permit access to this data through a web-based customer portal which shows outstanding invoices and location based history.

Site Exit Notification

Similar to the geofence capability in the site arrival step, the same geofence may be employed to signal the exit of the responding technician to the end-user.  Service call status may be elected to be communicated at this step rather than an intermediate communication step while on site.  Many facility manager’s would rather receive a single notification upon exit along with the status of the call.


Again – the sample work-flow above is just that, a sample of steps which works for a number of our existing clients.  There are many small variations preferred by other end-users.  The main point again is to communicate the expectations and arrive at a work-flow that is acceptable and useable for both the service provider and the facility.


Service Response Work-Flow – SAMPLE Download

Saving Energy with Revolving Door Systems

by Steve Sanko on 4/30/2014

In warm climates, like South Florida, it’s important that the inside of buildings stay cool in order to have maximum comfort for all occupants. Aside from routine HVAC maintenance, entryway systems also affect how efficiently the air conditioning in a building distributes throughout the space. In a 2006 MIT study, revolving doors were proven to serve as effective airlocks minimizing a building’s cooling losses. Revolving doors were said to have generated up to 74% in energy savings when compared to other entrance alternatives.


In order to determine if implementing a revolving door system for your building will provide the best return on investment, there are various factors that must be put into the equation. Some of these factors include location, foot traffic, wind speed and more. Click here to view Horton Automatic’s Energy Savings Calculator (Adobe Flash Player required). Just input your project specifications and entrance characteristics to calculate your savings.

Revolving Door Energy Savings Calculator

To learn more about the benefits of revolving doors, view Horton Automatic’s Revolving Doors: A Greener, More Secure Environment and view Dash Door’s Revolving Door product lines here.

RS2 Technologies Access Control Resources

by Steve Sanko on 3/28/2014

Dash Door and our vendor partner RS2 Technologies are pleased to present this series of White Papers that are intended to provide valuable information on topics of general and specific interest to customers and other participants in the Access Control industry. Please check the Dash Door Technical Article page occasionally to see new White Paper offerings.

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