High-speed doors enhance parking experience at high-end Houston complex.
The upscale Mosaic on Hermann Park in Houston’s Museum District stands out among the many luxury residences in that city. It is one of the largest complexes in the metro area and offers just about every amenity imaginable, including 24/7 concierge and valet services, the largest high-rise wellness center in the city, and an outdoor infinity pool. The units themselves feature private balconies, stylish chef’s kitchens, and dramatic city views through 10-ft. high floor-to-ceiling windows.
The building’s 30-story twin towers are topped with a luxury penthouse as well as retail at street level. One tower is for rentals; the other has condos.
A high-end complex means high-end vehicles fill the building’s four-level parking garage. According to Don Johnson, general manager for The Mosaic, their old-style garage doors leading in and out of the parking garage meant “we had cars and motorcycles stolen.”
“After we put in the Rytec, Jackson, WI, Spiral doors all of that ceased,” Johnson said.
A collection of vehicles such as those parked at The Mosaic posed temptation to criminals, and their invitation had been a slowly opening parking-garage door. As the door crept open, the intruder slipped into the building behind the resident’s vehicle. Since the doorway was wide-open for such a long period of time, the criminal was able to follow behind a vehicle.
In contrast, the Spiral door operates at a high speed of more than 100 in./sec. It fully closes behind a vehicle in less than 2 sec. and features heavy-aluminum slat panels. Together, these discourage uninvited access and encourage the bad guys to pass by the building.
The best part is that residents do not think about the kind of protection the door speed provide. As Johnson put it, “with the Rytec doors you are talking zoom up and zoom down, which has given us a better sense of security here at the property.”
While the doors might take the residents’ minds off security, most people today are also time-starved; everyone’s thoughts are on the clock. With the Spiral doors, residents appreciate that they don’t have to wait in a long line to get in and out of the building. Residents keep an RFID chip in their vehicle’s visor, so the door opens automatically as the vehicle approaches. The driver can pass through the doorway without stopping and the door will remain open if another resident’s vehicle is detected immediately behind the first, but will close quickly if unauthorized vehicles attempt entry.
Though the door’s rapid speed and formidable panel construction says “no unauthorized admittance,” additional door features help prevent injury to someone who happens to be walking through the doorway if the door is operating. The door has dual-photo eyes to detect pedestrian presence in the doorway, and as backup protection, a sensitive bottom bar on the door panel.
The high speed of the door offers other, perhaps less obvious, benefits. Johnson said The Mosaic has had situations with the old doors in which tenants misjudged the door opening and collided with the panel. Along with damage to the car body, the old garage doors would be left inoperable. With 800 parking spots serving 390 units, losing any one of the doors was very disruptive. But because the doors open and close so quickly, there have been no similar incidents since these doors have been installed.
As a result, the maintenance costs with The Mosaic’s older doors were so high that, “the money we saved on the old gate system was actually used to purchase the Spiral doors.”
Pablo Ibarra, the facilities manager for The Mosaic, further noted that The Mosaic kept back up parts and even entire doors in an off-site storage facility in an attempt to minimize door downtime, which incurred additional costs and was a hassle for the crew. Ibarra previously worked at another location that had the Spiral doors, so he knew “they installed easily and quickly.” The doors fit into confined areas on the building wall. The panel rolls up into a tight bundle over the doorway and along the sides, and guides attach within the doorway.
Many of the mechanical functions previously handled by older doors are managed by the door’s System 4 electronic control box operating the door’s AC drive, housed in a water-resistant case. This means that door adjustments to enable smooth operation, precisely adjust the desired closing speed, and prolong the life of the life of the door can be performed at ground level rather than in the header. Repair technicians don’t have to bring in a man-lift, which means greater safety and minimal repair time.
The doors are also a great fit aesthetically for The Mosaic. Building management chose grated, ventilated aluminum panels with Lexan slats to give drivers a clear view past the doorway. The aluminum slats have a weather-resistant acrylic coating and can be ordered in color choices to match the building design.
In addition, Rytec has designed the door so that there is no metal-to-metal contact. This results in ultra-quiet operation and reduced panel wear.
Johnson was introduced to the doors as he happened to be shopping at a local Houston business where the doors were operating nearby. Impressed with the door speed, he decided to look into them for The Mosaic. Based on his experience, Johnson says he would recommend Rytec doors for all the properties he manages “because it is the most high-tech and best gate system out there right now.”
Both the security and speed of the Spiral doors maximize the residents’ satisfaction with The Mosaic, while the doors’ minimal maintenance keeps building operation on budget.