Windows Key To Scenic Delights

Extreme climate conditions dictate window selection at picturesque resorts.

At Martis Camp a custom wood door paired with large sidelites and a stunning, curved transom welcomes visitors year-round while bathing the lodge’s lobby in natural light.

At Martis Camp a custom wood door paired with large sidelites and a stunning, curved transom welcomes visitors year-round while bathing the lodge’s lobby in natural light.

Whether located in an alpine or desert climate, windows and doors of resort communities must withstand a variety of environmental extremes. Such is the case at Martis Camp, located in the High Sierras along the California and Nevada border or at Furnace Creek in Death Valley.

Martis Camp homes and facilities enjoy the sunny warmth of southwestern summers along with the snow-covered winters of the mountainous American Cordillera. These buildings must be prepared to withstand a variety of environmental extremes that roll through every season.

Nationally recognized as one of the nation’s premiere luxury vacation home communities, with world-class golf and skiing on site, Martis Camp structures must blend the beauty of a five-star resort with the functionality to maintain interior comfort regardless of the extreme weather Mother Nature throws at the neighborhood in any given season. Residents also require a personalized look and feel for every space, demanding that the doors and windows must be custom designed and fabricated specifically for this project.

To further complicate the project, all materials and products used need to support Martis Camp’s commitment to LEED certification. While some energy-efficiency products are optimized for climates that tend to be hotter or colder, the community needed options that could provide the best of both worlds.

After an extensive review process, the Martis Camp design team decided that gorgeous views of the High Sierras would be best captured through Jeld-Wen Inc., Charlotte, NC, custom clad-wood windows made with AuraLast wood, while guests would enter their own personal wilderness getaway through the company’s IWP custom doors.

As guests arrive at the exclusive mountain oasis, they are met with the grandest of entrances. A custom wood door paired with large sidelites and a stunning, curved transom welcomes visitors year-round while bathing the lodge’s lobby in natural light.

When the warmth of spring and summer sweeps along the border of Truckee, CA, and Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, the Martis Camp Lodge and community facilities let the outdoors in. Custom bifold doors sweep open and fold into concealed closets to create a 40-ft.-wide opening between dining and patio spaces.

Custom bifold doors sweep open to create a 40-ft.-wide opening between dining and patio spaces at Martis Camp.

Custom bifold doors sweep open to create a 40-ft.-wide opening between dining and patio spaces at Martis Camp.

Throughout the property—from individual guest rooms in private homes to spa facilities and dining locations in public spaces—custom wood windows pair energy efficiency with luxurious design. A blend of window varieties, from traditional casement to custom radius-top designs, create an atmosphere that mixes the feel of a traditional wilderness lodge and a jaw-dropping luxury resort.

“Constructing a luxury development in a region with climates that can vary so dramatically every few months is enough of a challenge. For this project, we needed a partner that could help us ensure the comfort of our residents while providing windows and doors that project the luxurious look and feel Martis Camp is known for,” said Larry van Hook with Martis Camp. “Jeld-Wen’s collection of solutions went above and beyond our needs. These windows and doors not only helped us craft the luxury environment our customers desire, they also made it possible to ensure our buildings met LEED guidelines while delivering a level of durability that will stand up to Mother Nature year after year.”

Buildings at the Inn at Furnace Creek face accelerated wear as exteriors contend with extreme temperatures.

Buildings at the Inn at Furnace Creek face accelerated wear as exteriors contend with extreme temperatures.

Hottest Place on Earth

Some 400 miles to the south, the climate of Death Valley, CA, is far from forgiving. “The hottest place on Earth,” this desert is baked by temperatures averaging 116 F in July and cooling to a chilly 67 F in the heart of winter. The intense heat is compounded by a significant lack of rainfall throughout the year. In fact, the region may only see a couple of inches of rain in an entire year.

Buildings at the Inn at Furnace Creek face accelerated wear as exteriors contend with extreme temperatures. The powerful rays from the sun and hot, dry air make it more likely for doors and windows to fade, warp, or crack more quickly than in other climates. In addition, structures must be properly insulated to help keep the heat out and room interiors cool.

Pairing substantial design flexibility with energy-efficiency technology, Jeld-Wen custom clad-wood windows combining AuraLast wood and finishes meeting the AAMA 2605 Standard were the optimal solution for this project.

To begin, each window needed to be custom measured and fitted to its location. The century-old buildings featured many openings of different sizes and shapes that may have further warped, shifted, or settled over the decades due to the intense heat. To further complicate the process, many openings feature eye-catching designs that reflect the trademark Furnace Creek aesthetic, such as the signature palm-frond etched-glass entry doors, inverted curved transoms, radius windows, and custom interiors.

Once the architecture teams were confident in the design of each window, it was necessary to select the materials to enhance the style of each space while also helping to protect the structure from Mother Nature. Interior windows were paired with custom paint colors or rich, stained woods, including reclaimed fir, to evoke the fine finishes and natural, rustic atmosphere of the inn’s various interiors. Exterior windows used clad wood that would maintain the building’s color scheme while eliminating the maintenance headache of hand-painted wood frames.

Each window needed to be custom measured and fitted to its location. The century-old Furnace Creek buildings featured many openings of different sizes and shapes that may have warped, shifted, or settled over the decades.

Each window needed to be custom measured and fitted to its location. The century-old Furnace Creek buildings featured many openings of different sizes and shapes that may have warped, shifted, or settled over the decades.

Finally, it wasn’t enough to design custom products for each space. In some cases, a custom installation process was also needed. Some of the facilities at Furnace Creek feature original adobe masonry that uses straw as a binder. A unique anchor system was called for that would hold each window in place without sacrificing the structural integrity of the building.

For one last challenge, each install team had to work at a much more rapid pace than normal. The epoxy used to aid in the installation of many doors would dry much more rapidly than usual due to the extremely arid, hot climate.

“One of our biggest selling points is our very unique climate and geography here at Furnace Creek, but it can also be one of our biggest challenges in terms of maintenance,” said Bill Sherwood with Furnace Creek. “While we looked at several options, Jeld-Wen was the best partner to provide a solution that would maintain the historic look and feel of this property while also incorporating the modern technology that will help Furnace Creek maintain energy efficiency and keep our guests comfortable year round.”


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