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Progress Update: Garage Doors and Resiliency

Today was an exciting day at Sunset Green Home.  A Better Door, Sunset Green Home’s garage door contractor, arrived on site and installed Sunset Green Home’s Clopay Canyon Ridge garage doors and LiftMaster’s Model 8550 Elite Series garage door openers.  This slide show has the installation highlights:

You may be wondering what either of these products has to do with Sunset Green Home’s resiliency.  The answer is “a lot” as it turns out.  Here’s why…

If you've been following the Sunset Green Home project, you know that the house replaces a home that was made uninhabitable by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.  And you may also recall that Sunset Green Home has been built atop more than 100 pilings that elevate the home two feet above the code-compliant base flood elevation.  So what do we do with all of that space under the house – which may flood in another bad storm?  That’s where we've put the home’s garage. 

We consulted with the technical product team at Clopay, and they recommended two garage door styles that would work well in a coastal environment subject to periodic flooding – the Canyon Ridge insulated steel door with composite cladding and the Avante aluminum and glass door.  Both feature corrosion resistant materials.  We used Clopay’s Door Imagination System to overlay the doors onto Sunset Green Home’s façade and asked our followers to weigh in with their preferences.  Over 700 people took a look…and the winner was Canyon Ridge!

Canyon Ridge includes other features that make it a resilient door for a coastal application, and a good choice for Sunset Green Home:

  • Clopay’s Intellicore insulation contributes to the door’s rigidity and strength.  During Hurricane Sandy, large pieces of debris were pushed by the storm surge into the foundation and siding of the old home.  An uninsulated door does not have the same ability to withstand denting as an insulated door
  • While the Canyon Ridge door’s wood-grain composite cladding looks like real wood (Sunset Green Home’s doors came pre-primed and will be painted), its assembly (composite cladding over steel) resists warping – which may become important during a flood

The LiftMaster 8550 Elite Series opener is an equally smart choice from the perspective of resiliency and durability.  Each of Sunset Green Home’s garage doors is nine feet wide, which makes them very heavy.  Sunset Green Home’s neighborhood lost power for a week following Hurricane Sandy.  The 8550 Elite Series garage door opener features a battery backup system that will enable us to open the doors automatically in the case of a power outage.  The opener uses belt drive technology, which has the quietest operation (in comparison to chain drive openers) and requires less maintenance (no need to lubricate a belt drive).  In fact, LiftMaster offers a lifetime warranty on the opener’s motor and belt.

Sustainability encompasses many qualities, like energy- and water-efficiency.  But it also includes durability and resiliency – qualities that are very relevant to Sunset Green Home’s garage doors and openers, which are below the home’s base flood elevation and must be able to withstand the forces of nature that we've already seen on the site.  We’re confident that we've made good choices, and plan to report back once we've had a chance to take them for a test drive!  For now, we’re happy that they’re installed and ready for action!

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