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Sliding Hardware Systems: An Essential Tool for Saving Space in Commercial and Residential Spaces

February 2012
Sponsored by Hawa Americas Inc.

By Jeanette Fitzgerald

Continuing Education

Use the following learning objectives to focus your study while reading this month’s Continuing Education article.

Learning Objectives - After reading this article, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the benefits and design efficiencies of architectural sliding hardware systems, including cost savings, accessibility and flexibility.
  2. Discuss wide-ranging project applications for architectural sliding hardware systems.
  3. Explain the key components and materials that comprise a basic architectural sliding hardware system.
  4. Select the most appropriate architectural sliding hardware system for a project based on functionality and aesthetics.

Credits: 1.00 HSW

This test is no longer available for credit

In the never-ending pursuit of efficiency in design, space continues to be one of the most valuable assets in the built environment, putting a premium importance on the tools and techniques that enable the design community to make the most out of every square foot. Beyond simply offering building systems, furniture, and technology in more compact models, today’s product innovations are flipping the traditional methodologies on their heads, finding new ways to accomplish design objectives that make better use of space.

One of the most established and egregious space wasters is the door hinge, requiring that a significant amount of space remain free and clear, so that the door may swing open and closed. A solution that eliminates the wasted space, without sacrificing the ability for a person to enter or exit an area, is a sliding hardware system.

Sliding hardware systems are not a new concept. For years, sliding doors have been used in residential and commercial applications. However, the sliding doors of yesterday often failed to work well or reliably. The doors would regularly fall off of the tracks or rattle uncontrollably.

Technological, material, and manufacturing advancements have dramatically improved the sliding systems of today over the sliding door solutions that worked so poorly years ago. Today these systems are aesthetically appealing, reliably smooth and silent, and still space saving.

Today’s Architectural Sliding Hardware Systems

Today, sliding architectural hardware provides doors, walls, exterior shutters, and furniture panels that are a dynamic, space-saving alternative to the traditional hinged door or immovable wall. These new system solutions slide, fold, and stack and can be used with a variety of materials: glass, wood, metal, a manufactured material, or in any combination of the above. The new architectural sliding hardware systems provide the design community with endless opportunities to make their favorite dividing or partitioning material more space savvy.

Today's sliding hardware systems offer designers a partitioning solution that delivers aesthetic appeal, reliably smooth and silent motion, and significant space savings over the traditional hinged or pivot doors.

Image courtesy Hawa Americas Inc.


Originally published in February 2012
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