Impact sliding glass doors and their respective track widths are important design factors to consider when professionally installing new impact doors in existing buildings.
This post is intended for design professionals who plan to specify impact-resistant sliding glass doors with three moving panels on three independent tracks. A three-track system allows for wide openings with unobstructed views when all panels stack on one end behind each other. It is important, though, to understand that the new generation of approved for impact, heavy-duty, three-track configurations could measure more than 8 inches in depth. As a result, door tracks can extend beyond tie beams' and columns' depths, which presents a problem: Miami-Dade County and State of Florida approvals require that structural substrates must provide full support to the door tracks. The table below provides dimensions for four impact-resistant sliding glass door systems rated for hurricane protection and approved by Miami-Dade County. On one column we show the nominal track width, assuming no screen rail tracks are desired. On the other column, we present our estimated jamb support and tie beam minimum depth to appropriately offer full support to the sliding glass door system.
It is important that architects and structural engineers learn about these track dimensions before they finalize their designs for new structures.
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