Color underfoot: new design possibilities with concrete

How colorful stains, dyes, marbling and effects can help you do more with exposed concrete flooring.

Today’s commercial interiors are increasingly being defined by organic shapes, playful palettes and inviting contrasts of opposing materials, such as wood accents and exposed concrete flooring. For both commercial and residential design pros, there’s an opportunity to expand the way you think about using color underfoot — specifically in the form of concrete stains and finishes.

“Whether you’re reclaiming a beautiful old warehouse space for a loft or office, or designing a retail space from scratch, you can do so much more now with concrete flooring than just traditional polished gray,” says Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams.

From retail to office environments, interiors today need to be human, engaging, adaptive, durable and high-performing — and that includes flooring. With concrete, new technology is leading the way, as enhanced stains, reactive dyes and protective concrete coatings offer vivid, customizable colors and organic effects.

Color underfoot: new design possibilities with concrete

Here’s a look at three ways you can expand your design possibilities using exposed concrete flooring:

  1. Solid-color stains
    When it comes to adding color to a properly treated and conditioned smooth concrete floor surface, your palette is virtually unlimited. Water-based solutions like H&C®ACRYLA-DECK® Water-Based Solid Color 100% Acrylic Deck Coating or H&C COLORTOP™ Water-Based Solid Color Concrete Stain can be tinted to match any color. ACRYLA-DECK provides resistance to chalking. COLORTOP provides additional durability and color-retention features, including resistance to salts, acids, alkalis, water, UV rays and oil.

    Both products offer a natural sheen, but you can also specify a clear coat on top, to add a glossy finish that looks fantastic in spaces where natural light is a key design element.

  2. Marbling and organic effects
    For projects where you want to go beyond a solid-color result and provide your client with a more signature design feature, such as swirls, layers of color depth or patterning, you can explore specifying a metallic coating or reactive dyes.

    H&C Pro Series Metallic Flooring System allows you and your contractor to build up a bold and beautiful result in layers. The system starts with a durable basecoat, to which you can add a metallic coat, and a vibrant color and finish coat to achieve your final desired look. There are 30 colors to choose from, which you can mix and match, and your final finish can come in either satin or gloss.

    For spaces where you want the concrete floor to retain an earthier, organic look that highlights and celebrates its natural imperfections — such as in spaces where the floor needs to complement exposed wood beams — a reactive stain is the best solution.

    H&C Infusion® Reactive Concrete Stains creates a translucent, variegated appearance, so small cracks and other imperfections in the concrete take on rich, lustrous character. This solution comes in 12 standard colors that can be intermixed to achieve a custom look.

  3. Texture + color
    Finally, in projects where you have a heavy traffic area that requires a texture for slip resistance, you can specify a combination concrete resurfacing solution with a color application.

    H&C Dura-Top™ Heavy Traffic Concrete Resurfacer is a low-maintenance, abrasion-resistant polymer that can be stamped or troweled to achieve your desired design or texture. A rich palette of color possibilities comes into play with the addition of a Dura-TopConcrete Resurfacer Color Pack, which can be added to the mixture as a pigment. The Color Packs come in 30 colors, in a spectrum that ranges from Cotton Ball to Pepper Black.

“Concrete has so much design potential,” Wadden says, “which is great since it’s everywhere now, from commercial spaces to multifamily lofts. A more organic-looking concrete finish can function as a neutral base that allows the rest of the interior’s materials and finishes to be the hero. Or you can get really colorful with it and make the floor the star. It’s really up to you.”

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company

Product: Interior Stains


Tags: Coating | Color | Concrete | Finishes | Interior Design


Why access control systems will never be enough to protect your premises

Security systems have long been in the business of risk mitigation. In addition to controlling potentially perilous situations as they occur and dealing with them safely and efficiently, a security system and its operators need to be able to identify problem areas and use the systems at their disposal to prevent issues, when possible, before they even occur.

A major source of risk for any facility—large or small, new or established—are the entrances and exits. Every facility has at least one entrance and an access control system alone cannot effectively mitigate the risk of unauthorized entry. Many buildings will have a number of different areas in their floorplan that require varying levels of security at the entrances to that area, even if it’s as simple as locking an office before the weekend.

Why access control systems will never be enough to protect your premises

The Risks Present in Today’s World

In light of the constant barrage in the news about shootings, data breaches, theft, violence in the workplace, smart mobs, and protests (are we missing anything?), the time of wide open, accessible lobbies and the simple, swinging door paired with an access control reader is coming to an end. The risk of the damage that could occur if the wrong person tailgates (follows an authorized user) into a facility is becoming too great. In fact, a 2014 survey we conducted revealed that 62% of security professionals polled believed one tailgating incident could cost their organization anywhere from $150,000 to “too high to measure.” Obvious examples of tailgaters are thieves, shooters, corporate spies, disgruntled former employees, angry domestic partners. However, there’s also Joe Q. Public getting into dangerous industrial areas, a journalist into a restricted area (bad PR), a teenager into a local gym or university recreation building (gets hurt and there’s liability), a protester into a bank, and the list goes on.

Integrating the right type of security entrance with access control is the best way to prevent tailgating from occurring while reducing the cost of manning entrances. More security managers are realizing that a higher level of access control is a critical need for their security system. While you could deploy a solution using video surveillance integrated with analytics and alarming, without the additional presence of a security guard to respond, this system only can verify that tailgating led to an incident after the fact. It’s therefore essential to proactively control who is going in and out of these areas, and ensure that only authorized people can enter.

Security entrances, when paired with access control systems, do exactly that.

Security Entrance Options

There are a number of different types of security entrances available to address differing tailgating mitigation needs. For example, an optical turnstile serves the purpose of verifying credentials while also adding a measure of deterrence against casual attempts to tailgate. However, optical turnstiles don’t prevent unauthorized entry; supervision is needed to respond to determined intruders.

For more sensitive areas of a facility, you will want to consider a higher-security solution that actually prevents tailgating. For example, a portal (or mantrap) has two sets of doors; the user’s credentials open the first door, but the second door will not open until the first has closed and the system has verified via analytics that only one individual is inside. Security revolving doors also rebuff tailgaters and piggybackers (two people sharing the same compartment) using the same technology, but operate about three times faster.

All security entrances provide a visual deterrent to tailgating and other physical breaches, particularly full height entrances that require significant effort to brute-force entry. The right choice for you depends on the security needs of your organization. Whether you need to deter, detect or prevent tailgating, working with your manufacturer or integrator is the best way to determine which security entrances are the best fit to optimize system costs and effectiveness.

Metrics and an Auditable, Reliable SOP

When integrated with your access control system, security entrances also deliver a variety of business benefits beyond risk mitigation. In addition to preventing tailgating, they can provide a wealth of data, including completed passages, safety rejections, and emergency button usage, to give you more insight into how entrances are being used. They also give your organization an auditable, reliable, and consistent standard operating procedure that can be tailored to support existing or new policies.

Businesses today have more complex facilities, more sensitive and expensive assets, and a greater need to protect themselves from liability. Security entrances that deter access control breaches and prevent tailgating from occurring can help you protect yourself from these threats. Considering security entrances—from turnstiles to biometrically-activated full height revolving doors – as a fundamental part of your security system helps ensure that you not only protect your business today, but mitigate risk in the future.

Company: Boon Edam Inc.

Of: Greg Schreiber


Tags: Entrances | Security


7 Things to Consider When Designing a Commercial Interior using Glass Walls

The debate still rages over whether closed or open office floor plans are better for productivity. Glass walls offer a compromise that makes the best of both worlds and provides a balance of collaboration and privacy that is ideal for many office set-ups. However, installing glass walls represents a significant investment, so before you commit to incorporating them into your workspace, check out these seven things to consider.

7 Things to Consider When Designing a Commercial Interior using Glass Walls

1. Workplace Aesthetics

Glass walls are typically associated with modern construction, but can be incorporated into older buildings to modernize an interior space and give it the feeling of openness. Glass complements other stylistic aspects of the office, allowing them to come to the forefront and works in both modern interiors as well as more traditional settings.

2. Sound and Acoustics

One of the most commonly heard complaints against open workspaces is how noisy they can be. This is especially apparent in businesses that rely heavily on phone calls. Glass walls offer a solution in that they can be outfitted with noise absorbing materials to help cut down on office noise, without blocking light or making interiors feel enclosed. It’s important to hire a contractor specialized in acoustic planning to adequately plan and address acoustic design before building or remodeling a commercial interior, to avoid issues such as echo.

3. Space Requirements

Glass walls can make small spaces look larger because they open up a floor plan. However, in a floor plan that is already open, they can restrict space and make a previously roomy office seem cramped. Make sure that you choose the right space and have adequate room for these types of walls before planning and installing them.

4. Natural Light

Perhaps the biggest benefit of glass walls is the natural light they let in. They allow sunlight to penetrate even into interior rooms. This saves money on energy bills, reducing the need for interior lighting. Exposure to natural light also has an effect on mood. It has been shown to make employees feel more alert and happier in general.

5. Privacy Concerns

One of the major concerns associated with glass walls is that they allow relatively little privacy. People passing by may catch a glimpse of private meetings or even sensitive information on a computer screen. These concerns can be mitigated by installing blinds or by having designated private areas. Companies such as Avanti Systems offer privacy smart glass that will transform from transparent to opaque almost instantly, offering instantaneous privacy when needed.

6. Communication

While glass walls do act as a partition, they are not necessarily an impediment to communication or collaboration. Often, simply being able to look through the wall and see that a colleague is available is enough to open up communication. While walls and doors often impede communication, glass walls take away these barriers and allow employees to collaborate more openly.

7. Frames vs. Frameless

Frameless glass walls are a popular option in today’s modern office, giving a clean and polished look to an interior space. Frameless walls look great, but unfortunately, they can also pose a safety hazard. Workers and visitors can easily walk into them, which can be embarrassing as well as dangerous. If you have a space that tends to echo, glass walls can also be framed with sound-dampening materials to cut down on noise.

Glass walls can offer many benefits when incorporated into a commercial space and companies like Avanti Systems USA are the experts in manufacturing and distributing of interior glazed solutions. For more information, visit

Company: Avanti Systems USA


Tags: Acoustics | Glass Walls | Interior Design


From west to east with Howe Green access covers

From west to east with Howe Green access covers

Howe Green has supplied over 400 access covers to Tier 1 contractors working on Europe’s largest construction project – Crossrail. The new Elizabeth line will comprise 118 kilometres of track running through London and the South East and is set to reduce average journey times significantly. The Elizabeth line will open in December 2018 when services commence through central London. Tier 1 contractor Laing O’ Rourke has specified Howe Green access covers for Canary Wharf, Custom House and Tottenham Court Road stations.

2017 has been a busy year for Howe Green Ltd, the UK’s leading manufacturer of fabricated metal floor, wall and ceiling access covers.

Howe Green’s access covers have been specified and installed in a diverse range of projects over the last 12 months, from Scottish castles to Swedish museums. The strongest demand has, however, been generated from the infrastructure sector.

Over 60 of Howe Green’s 7500 Series Multipart Stainless Steel Floor Access Covers were supplied for Tottenham Court Road station. When completed this will be one of London’s busiest stations with over 200,000 passengers a day. All components of the building envelope in such a highly trafficked and challenging environment need to be robust and easy to maintain.

The large 4 part units were precision made to order to ensure that they would be a perfect fit. Installed by specialist stone contractor Vetter UK, the covers have been infilled with granite to match the surrounding area. Supplied with barrel lifting points, with just the securing bolt and barrel edge visible, the covers fit flush with the flooring to reduce the risk of slip and trip hazards.

The 7500 Series can be supplied as a single cover, in duct runs or as a multipart. Standard sizes are available from stock or can be custom made to order if a specific size or loading is necessary. There is the option to have up to a 3 hour fire rating BS 476: Part 20 1987 on stainless steel single covers or 2 hours on duct and multipart covers if required. The covers can also be supplied double-sealed to meet the highest standards of hygiene and security.

The 7500 Series can withstand up to a 5 tonne pneumatic wheel loading and is resistant to rust and corrosion.

If you have a requirement for a safe solution for accessing concealed services in a demanding environment please call 01920 463230

Find out more - 7500 Series Medium Duty Floor Access Covers >

Company: Howe Green US

Product: Medium Duty Floor Access Covers


Tags: Access Control | Access Covers | Floor | Interior Design


5 Cutting-edge ideas to use 3D textured designs in your home today

5 Cutting-edge ideas to use 3D textured designs in your home today

If you’ve decided to build a new home – or remodel an existing one – you’re probably motivated by the words of famous TV chef Emeril Lagasse to “kick it up a notch.” Out with – boring, old, ugly, stained, chipped countertops, walls, ceiling, showers and enclosures. You want to be in with – fun, functional, low maintenance and cool items to leverage hot style trends. You don’t want to bust your budget in the process. What’s I’m seeing is hot, hot, hot in progressive remodeling project today are 3D textured products. You may be asking why are 3D textured products sizzling in today’s marketplace? Consider the following:

5 reasons why 3D textured designs are hot

  1. We’re living in a 3D high-tech world today – 3D printing, 3D televisions, 3D pens and 3D objects of all types are growing at a breakneck pace.
  2. Three dimensional products are easier to get and install – If you’re looking to do a bedroom feature wall or a grout free shower system there are simple to install premade panels to make these projects a breeze to do.
  3. Packing more style into smaller spaces – Given the increasing cost of land, permitting fees and a desire for simpler spaces – our homes for the first time in decades are getting smaller (the Mega-Mansions of the 2000’s is dead). However, our homes are getting cooler with more function and style per square foot.  3D walls, ceilings, counters and enclosures are part of our desire for more “cool-factor.”
  4. Hide scratches – When a countertop or wall is smooth it’s easy to see every little scratch. 3D textured building surfaces hide some ills which come from the beating your home “lives through.” Not everyone in the family treats your home with TLC (if you’ve got teenage boys like me you know what I’m talking about).
  5. Creating a focal point – Many people hire interior designers because they not only want colors and textures to work together, but they want to create an impression. You’re looking for a wow when entering the room. 3D textured surfaces do this. They are an element which is not like surrounding walls, floors and counters. A featured wall. A backlight glass counter. An interesting ceiling. Something unique – which will cause people to ask you, “Where did you get that?”

Enough about the reasons why 3D walls are getting popular, strap onto your seat and check out these 5 cutting-edge ideas to add cool-factor into your home today:

Cutting edge 3D idea #1 – Glass, leathered and brushed quartzite countertops

The central gathering place in the home is your kitchen (it really is all about the food – isn’t it?). Whether you’re hosting a big party for family or friends for the holidays – or enjoying a meal around the island with your kids (when you can slow them down for a few minutes) – the kitchen is the hub of the house. While cabinets are obviously a key item in a kitchen remodel– your countertops can also make a big impact.

One idea would be to use a leathered quartzite top. This top has a honed finish which is textured with diamond tipped brushes. It is less likely to show scratches and etches from everyday life.

Leathered 3D textured quartzite countertop in a luxury home | Innovate Building Solutions


A second idea is a cast glass countertop with LED lighting. This top not only gives a one of kind style with texture on the bottom surface of the glass – but in the evening, it can glow. How cool is that?

Cast glass countertop in a luxury custom home | Innovate Building Solutions

Cutting edge 3D idea #2 – Wood feature walls

There is no material which adds as much warmth to a room as wood. When you combine wood of different depths in the same wall you have an automatic focal point for a room. These feature walls are wonderful in a contemporary bedroom, a lofted seating area or even a rustic basement remodel. Since these wood feature walls are constructed in panels they are simple to install.

3D wood feature wall in a contemporary bedroom | Innovate Building Solutions

Cutting edge 3D idea #3 – Glass walls

When you think of glass, what do you think of? Windshield, house windows, glass table tops? These products use flat glass pieces (also called float glass in the industry). They can be tempered, laminated and even colored – but what they all have in common is they are flat.

Here’s an idea which demands attention. 3D textured glass block walls. These blocks jut out with a pyramid or fluted shape.

3D textured glass block partition wall in an upscale home in a pyramid shape | Innovate Building Solutions

They do an excellent job moving light through interior spaces in a downtown loft or for a light-transmitting privacy wall between a bedroom and a bathroom. One thing you’ll be certain of – is they will not look boring or blend into bland drywall walls!

Cutting edge 3D idea #4 – Ceiling tiles and panels

Most ceilings in homes are completely forgettable. Who pays attention to the same old same old popcorn stippled textures in most homes? Ceilings can make a statement and add warmth to a library, den, kitchen or basement remodel. These 2” x 2” panels create the look of a more expensive coffered ceiling at a fraction of the cost. They add an elegant finished touch and draw your eye up.

2 foot by 2 foot dimensional ceiling panels for a luxury coffered ceiling look | Innovate Building Solutions


Cutting edge 3D idea #5 – 3D textured shower and tub wall panels

When people think of shower panels the words which come to mind are – cheap, white, smooth and plastic. Not exactly what you’re looking for in an upgraded new home or remodel (you might have lived through these cheap panels already because a builder slapped them in your first low-cost production home).

In most cases when people want a stylish shower they will choose tile. However, with tile comes its evil stepsister – grout. With grout comes your scrub brush and a ton of maintenance.

New lines of grout free shower wall panels are stylish and textured. You don’t have to be embarrassed by your bathroom or have to deal with maintaining your tiled shower. There are tile patttern and faux stone shower walls which give you the benefit of a textured look – while eliminating maintenance.

3D textured faux stone solid surface shower wall panels with a decorative border | Innovate Building Solutions


You’ve worked hard to upgrade your home so why settle for another generic kitchen, bathroom, rec room or living room? 3D textured walls, ceilings and countertops give you the special look you deserve and will have family and friends asking, “You’ve got to tell me where you got that!”

If you’re looking for nationwide supply of 3D shower panels, glass block walls, or wood feature walls call Innovate Building Solutions nationwide at 877-668-5888 or in Columbus at 614-252-3242. For a Cleveland bathroom or kitchen remodeling project call Cleveland Design and Remodeling (216-658-1290).

Company: Innovate Building Solutions

Of: Mike Foti


Tags: 3D | Home | Interior Design


Updated projection screen science

Updated projection screen science

Over the past few years, the science of projection screens has made several major advances. Research and development of new methods and solutions have made the process of choosing a projection screen much different than it was just a few years ago.

To help architects and AV consultants keep up, Draper has released an updated version of our class on projection screen technology. Projection Screens 301: Updated Science of Projection Screens (PS301) contains the latest information on specifying the right screen solution.

The course objective is to provide a clear understanding of the various factors to consider when choosing a projection screen.

Among the factors taken into consideration are:

  • Content/Use of system
  • Seating Configuration
  • Ambient Light Levels
  • Room Dimensions

One of the biggest updates in screen science has been the ability to deal with ambient light conditions.

In the past, the majority of viewing surfaces had mostly diffuse reflection. These typically matte materials are best for extremely wide off-axis viewing, blending, and short throw projection. They reflect as much projected light as possible out to viewers at all angles. While this is great for spaces with low or no ambient light, if there is ambient light it will also be reflected out to viewers at all angles, “washing out” the image.

For a time, screen companies tackled ambient light with grey screens. While a grey tint can help improve contrast and absorb unwanted stray light scatter, it isn’t a true ALR solution. Many grey screens are diffusive, so they are still reflecting ambient light to the viewers.

ALR surfaces are specular reflective. They reflect the projection light back to the viewers, but reflect off-axis ambient light away from the viewers. Most ambient light hits the surface and reflects at an opposite angle of incidence. For example, off-axis light at 65 degrees will mostly bounce 65 degrees in the opposite direction. The amount of light it reflects away from the viewer is dependent on the amount of reflective properties in the surface’s formulation. The more specular reflective in performance, the better the ALR properties. However, this typically reduces off axis viewing performance. For instance, Draper offers screen surfaces that reflect 60%, 73%, and 82% of ambient light.

PS301 also covers contrast. Image contrast affects how well you can read, which means it affects detail and resolution. Low contrast reduces image detail and resolution, while high contrast increases detail and resolution. Image contrast is even more critical when the application involves high resolution graphics, medical imaging, control rooms, and CAD applications.

System contrast is an average of measurements of black at different locations on the screen, compared to white at different locations on the screen. This is measured in the existing lighting conditions of the application. Ambient light will affect the measurement of black. When measuring system contrast an ANSI checkerboard pattern is used.

Other subjects covered and updated include gain, hotspotting, throw distance, sizes, formats, and solution design using online calculators.

Updated Science of Projection Screens earns one AIA learning unit for architects, or one learning unit toward CTS renewal for those in the AV industry.

To learn more about all of Draper’s continuing education offerings, and to register for in-house presentations, click here.

Company: Draper, Inc.

Product: Projection Screens


Tags: Audio Visual | Office


Oceanside: the 2018 color of the year

Oceanside: the 2018 color of the year

A collision of rich blue with jewel-toned green, a color that is both accessible and elusive, Oceanside SW 6496, is our 2018 Color of the Year. A complex, deep color that offers a sense of the familiar with a hint of the unknown, Oceanside, bridges together a harmonious balance of blues and greens that can be found in what's old and new.

The color blue evokes a multitude of moods and associations depending on hue, shade and application. Despite this variety, blues are universally perceived as intelligent, honest and interesting—making blue the most beloved color worldwide.

Oceanside's multi-dimensional, marine-inspired look can create a welcoming statement as a lively color for a front door. Its green-meets-blue tone can also boost creative thinking and clarity of thought in a home office, or invite meditation and introspection into a bedroom or reading nook.

Oceanside is universal when it comes to design style from mid-century modern to Mediterranean-inspired, traditional to contemporary.

Using the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer, you can explore the Color of the Year and with the swipe of a finger see it on any wall.

Tag your Oceanside Twitter and Instagram posts with #SWCOLORLOVE or upload a photo. 

#SWColorLove Terms of Use

2018 Key color combinations featuring Oceanside

Oceanside's versatility allows it to play well with many colors. It is a bright counterpart to equally eye-catching colors like Exuberant Pink SW 6840 or Honey Bees SW 9018 or it can rest relaxingly alongside other blues like In the Navy SW 9178 or Adrift SW 7608. It is also the ideal companion for corals and copper metallic tones because of its timeless association with nature.

Company: The Sherwin-Williams Company

Product: High Performance Architectural Coatings


Tags: Color | Design | Finishes


Securing your bulletproof glass investment in 2018

Securing your bulletproof glass investment in 2018

As 2017 draws to a close and we look forward to the promise of a new year, we thought it might be a perfect time to pause and reflect on something very important to us – the do’s and don’ts of cleaning your bulletproof glass. While that might not make the top three on most people’s list of resolutions for 2018, here’s why it should. Bulletproof glass is an investment and at Total Security Solutions, we want to protect that investment. We know that more than bullets, the thing that most often spoils a beautiful, crystal-clear sheet of bullet proof glass is an unlikely culprit: Windex.

When bullet proof polycarbonate or acrylic are cut, drilled, or flame-polish, microscopic fractures form in the plastic.  These are not visible to the naked eye, and are structurally inconsequential.  “But Windex attacks the edges of those fractures,” Jim Richards, CEO of Total Security Solutions explains, “and it will look like there’s cracks going into the glass. It’s what’s called crazing, and it makes the material look terrible,” even though it has no impact on the material’s bullet resistance.

With proper maintenance, bulletproof glass will look great for years, but crazing creates a haze that penetrates the surface and according to Jim, “when it’s done, it’s done.”

Another important tip, skip the paper towel! One downside of polycarbonates is that they are prone to scratches. This scratch potential is why you’ll get a cleaning cloth with eyeglasses or sunglasses you purchase, and why computer and TV screens have special cleaning products as well. Should a scratch occur on your bulletproof glass, it can often be buffed out, but it’s best to avoid them all together and stick to a soft cloth for cleaning.

Proper Care and Cleaning of Bullet Proof Glass

  • Gently dust with a soft lint-free cloth (like an old t-shirt).
  • Wash with a solution of warm water and mild soap or detergent, using a soft cloth or natural sponge.  Keep the sponge sopping wet.  Blot dry with clean soft cloth.
  • Remove grease and oil using hexane, kerosene, or naphtha, not aromatic compounds like benzene.
  • Surface scratches can be buffed out of acrylic by hand.
  • Polish acrylic or polycarbonate with quality commercial wax.  This fills minor scratches, restoring the original smooth surface.
  • Never use paper towels on bullet proof glass.
  • Never use scouring compounds or abrasive cloth.

Company: Total Security Solutions Inc

Product: Bullet Resistant Barriers


Tags: Bullet Resistant | Security | Windows


A Gateway To A Translucent Space

A Gateway To A Translucent Space

The typical point of entry into an interior environment tends to be simple, boring, and often mediocre. The primary purpose is to allow access, paying no attention to any crucial design attributes Avanti Eclipse sliding glass doors are a collection of quality Sliding Glass Door Systems that provide a contemporary solution to applying design and seamless flexibility.

Integrated Sliding Glass System

The Eclipse Sliding Glass Door incorporates a series of functional components, creating a unique system that fuses stainless steel hardware and single pane glass. This creates a simple sliding system that may be integrated with corresponding glass wall systems such as Elite or Solare Single Glazed. We also now carry the Eclipse Plus Sliding Glass Doors that functions with our Double Glazed Wall Systems. Eclipse utilizes a series of module and glass panel mounted stainless steel hardware components.

The Eclipse Sliding Glass Door system can be fixed on glass partitions and even solid walls. This provides a high degree of flexibility, creating practical solutions which satisfy specific requirements. This system provides a unique “floating” look, as the rollers glide on a track. Each Eclipse Sliding Glass Door System comes standard with a 4 Foot Stainless Steel Handle and includes other locking and pull options.

Single Elevation – Integrated with Solare Single Glazed

Single Elevation – Integrated with Solare Single Glazed


Pair Elevation (Barn Doors) – Integrated with Solare Single Glazed

Pair Elevation (Barn Doors) – Integrated with Solare Single Glazed


Assisted Close Glass Systems

Glide the Eclipse Sliding Glass Door System to the closed position and you will see a halo right before your eyes. This halo consists of a 1 1/2’’ overlap at the top, left, and right of the system. The Eclipse Sliding Glass Door is a gateway to a translucent space, and is also a gateway to promoting a sustainable environment. Eclipse is compliant with LEED sections including recycled content, daylight and views, acoustic performance, and regional material.

Company: Avanti Systems USA

Product: Eclipse Standard Doors


Tags: Acoustics | Doors | Glass | Interior Design | LEED Certification | Office


Polished Concrete Flooring

Polished Concrete Flooring

Polished concrete flooring is one of the hottest trends for homeowners and business owners alike. Thanks to recent advancements in equipment and technology, the process of polishing concrete is more efficient and economical than ever. Concrete surfaces, both old and new, can be polished to a high-luster finish. When compared to other types of flooring: marble, tile, linoleum, wood and coated concrete, polished concrete is more durable and better performing. Polished concrete never needs waxing and is therefore low maintenance as well.

Aesthetically pleasing, polished concrete flooring has a striking high-luster appearance. The exposure of aggregate in the substrate reveals beautiful textures and natural looking patterns. It can also be stained or colorized in some other way to achieve a one-of-a-kind look that resembles natural stone.

One of the keys to achieving a beautiful high-luster polished concrete floor is to obtain a less porous concrete substrate. This is the job of a product known as a concrete densifier or colloidal silica densifier. Concrete densifiers have been around for nearly 100 years and are specifically designed for this task.

Modern concrete densifiers contain microscopic colloidal silica particles suspended in a low-tension liquid. When the densifier is applied to concrete, it is immediately absorbed into the concrete’s pores. The colloidal silica reacts with the soft calcium in the concrete. This reaction creates a new hard material that is not water-soluble and expands to fills the pores in the concrete. The newly hardened concrete will take a better polish and is more durable providing better abrasion resistance.

Hermetix Densifier is Duraamen’s high performance concrete densifier product. It penetrates more deeply and reacts faster than other brands. Once applied, it starts working in 1-2 minutes. After the application there is nothing to broom off and nothing to dispose of. Hermetix is non-hazardous as well.

To obtain an ultra-high luster, it is recommended that a colloidal silica finishing conditioner is also applied to the finished floor. Hermetix Shield is Duraamen’s protective finishing conditioner that further hardens the polished concrete by adding additional colloidal silica while helping to protect the finished floor with specifically engineered polymers.

Company: Duraamen Engineered Products Inc.

Product: Concrete Flooring: Concrete Densifier


Tags: Color | Concrete | Design | Finishes | Floor


Blue polycarbonate translucent wall system for Gap in Times Square NYC

The Gap store in Times Square, NYC. The blue facade is EXTECH's LIGHTWALL 3440 translucent wall system coupled with custom-colored polycarbonate. Image by Vanni Archive Architectural Photography
The Gap store in Times Square, NYC. The blue facade is EXTECH's LIGHTWALL 3440 translucent wall system coupled with custom-colored polycarbonate. Image by Vanni Archive Architectural Photography

The new Gap store in Times Square, NYC is clad in EXTECH's LIGHTWALL 3440. Nearly 5,000 square feet, the blue polycarbonate panels are a custom hue that matches Gap's color palette and was chosen based on polycarbonate samples provided by EXTECH. To ensure even light transmission, the facade utilizes specialized mounting clips that EXTECH developed and the panels are treated with an anti-glare coating that promotes balanced light filtration. 

The LIGHTWALL 3440 polycarbonate wall panel system offers beauty, durability, and economy with vertical panels that can extend up to 54 feet long and eliminate leak-prone horizontal joints.

Translucent polycarbonate wall panels offer a host of benefits including energy savings via daylighting, outstanding insulating value, and elimination of leak-prone horizontal joints. LEED credits are also available for 100% recyclable polycarbonate and aluminum framing. The LIGHTWALL 3440 has provided façade solutions for a wide range of structures in a wide range of industries, and has been subjected to a complete battery of air, water, and structural testing to ensure it offers superior insulation, durability, and weather-tight performance. 

Company: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies, Inc.

Product: Translucent Walls


Tags: Architecture | Color | Lighting | Wall Panels


Design spotlight: daylighting for privacy

When we talk about daylighting, the first thing that comes to mind is often the image of natural light pouring into a space... but what happens when you need to bring light to a area that also demands privacy?

HDR/TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, NE - Guardian 275® Wall System - Mix Natural Light and Privacy!
HDR/TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, NE - Guardian 275® Wall System - Mix Natural Light and Privacy!

Translucent panel systems, like the Guardian 275® wall system above, allow for building occupants to enjoy controlled, glare-free light while eliminating direct lines of sight from the exterior and maintaining a feeling of safety and security. This can be a great asset to traditionally dark and window-less areas like public restrooms, hallways, in waiting areas in medical centers and hospitals (for patient confidentiality), or in secure facilities where it's of up-most importance to maintain a certain level of secrecy.

Translucent systems can also benefit schools as they allow students the advantages of natural light while affording them privacy from outside eyes. And while there are other options in the market such as fritted or channel glass, these systems are often on the higher end of the cost scale. Electrochromic glass options are also available, but can cost even more and may require additional maintenance and upkeep.

Their versatility, light weight and design flexibility make translucent panel systems a great choice for letting light in and keeping prying eyes out. From simple wall panels to curved systems to our Verti-Lite™ option that has an appearance similar to channel glass, we have a system that will fit your needs. 

Bruns General Contracting/St. Mina and St. Abanoub Church/Miamisburg, OH - Guardian 275® TransCURVE® Dome; Garcia Architecture and Design/Rosetta/San Luis Obispo, CA - Guardian 275® with Verti-Lite™ Grid Pattern

For additional information on our full line of daylighting systems, as well as thermal performance and testing information, visit our website.

Company: Major Industries Inc.

Product: Guardian 275® - Translucent Panel Skylights & Curtainwall


Tags: Architecture | Design | Lighting | Wall Panels | Window Shades | Windows


High gloss acrylic wall panels - back painted glass alternative

High gloss acrylic wall panels - back painted glass alternative

High gloss acrylic walls provide a sleek, contemporary look for bath/shower walls, kitchen backsplashes, reception desks and office areas while being light and easy to work with. Learn the many benefits of this product.

Creates a clean, contemporary look

The high gloss acrylic wall panels created a fresh clean European look with a luxurious and elegant finish.

Unique colors adds a stylish touch for a backsplash or tub or shower wall

Choose from a wide range of fun colors like arctic white, blue atoll, glacier, mocha, carbon black, red rouge, and titan gray to dress up any indoor residential or commercial space.

Flexible material can be used in a wide range of remodeling and new construction

High gloss panels from Innovate Building Solutions can be used in bathrooms, bedrooms, media rooms, hallways, reception desks and commercial lobbies to name just a few rooms. Cool, eclectic and exciting are just some of the words used to describe these panels.

Easy to clean with no grout to maintain

While tile is the most commonly used material in shower and tub wall panels and kitchen backsplashes most people hate the cost and hassle of cleaning and resealing grout! With these innovative wall panels you’ll get a sleek euro look and eliminate the effort and cost of maintaining grout. These smooth/non-stick walls are easily cleaned with warm water and a soft cloth.

Glass type look with the benefits of acrylic

High gloss acrylic panels are 25 times tougher than glass with 1/2 the weight.

More cost effective than back painted glass

Back painted glass is also very stylish - but in most cases will be 2 times as expensive as high gloss acrylic wall panels.

Durable long lasting material

High resistance to UV light, cracking and chipping makes this is popular materials vs. glass, ceramic tiles, aluminum or wood.

Simple installation process

These high gloss acrylic panels can be cut drilled and shaped with common woodworking materials and the panels can be set with double sided foam tape and neutral cure silicone. Installation will take 1/3 of the time of a tile job.

100% waterproof

In wet applications likes showers, tubs and backsplashes it’s nice to know with high gloss acrylic walls you don’t have to worry about moisture growing behind the wall.

Multiple panels sizes for design flexibility

Choose either our 2 standard panel sizes (39"x96" and 60"x96") or get your panels custom made to your size through our custom cut program.

Company: Innovate Building Solutions

Product: High Gloss Acrylic Wall Panels


Tags: Color | Interior Design | Wall Panels


Art Gallery of Ontario enjoys more space and comfort with BoonAssist TQ revolving door entrance

Art Gallery of Ontario enjoys more space and comfort with BoonAssist TQ revolving door entrance

Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 6.5 million, the AGO is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO’s collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to European masterpieces; from the vast collection by the Group of Seven to works by established and emerging Indigenous Canadian artists; with a photography collection that tracks the impact of the medium and with focused collections in Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art. A major expansion designed by Frank Gehry in 2008 with lead support from the family of Ken Thomson makes the AGO a highly-photographed architectural landmark.

The AGO has been undergoing improvements and renovations for a number of years and the most recent project was an ambitious one. In a joint effort with the City of Toronto and the local community, the AGO worked to revitalize Grange Park, a 4.5 acre green space located behind the Gallery. Where there was only an emergency exit into the park before, the AGO and its architect, Harari Pontarini, devised a plan to tear out the existing interior stairwell and room and the double doors to create a new space with a 6 ½ foot diameter, 4-wing BoonAssist TQ revolving door that opens the Gallery to the park.

“We definitely had some space constraints in creating this new entrance,” explained Warren Wilson, Manager of Facilities Services. “There was no room for a vestibule, so we decided on a revolving door configuration, and the Boon Edam entrance was recommended by our architects.”

Boon Edam’s BoonAssist TQ is a manual revolving door that has three distinct features: a “push and go” power assist drive that reduces user effort by up to 50%, automatic positioning of the door wings at the end posts upon completion of rotation, and speed control that prevents rotation faster than 12 rpm to help ensure safe operation.  

Wilson explained that the park is one of the few green spaces surrounding the AGO and space is at a premium. “We’re very conscious of our effect on the neighborhood and the fact that we could locate the entire door inside the building with its opening attached to the exterior wall minimized the impact on the surrounding area. I also really like the ‘smart’ feature of the door—after use it positions itself to close the opening to the outside automatically.”

From Grange Park, one enters the South entrance through the BoonAssist door and travels 11 feet to a downward staircase that connects the entrance directly to the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre. The space adjacent to the door also features prominently displayed artwork. “The South entrance is now our fourth entrance to the gallery, but it’s unique in that it offers an additional art space while opening us to the park, offering our staff and visitors a new way to interact with this beautiful new green space.”   

Company: Boon Edam Inc.

Product: Revolving Doors


Tags: Architecture | Doors | Entrances


Architectural Wall Louvers

Architectural Wall Louvers

Architectural Wall Louvers are used to allow air into a building, while keeping out undesirable elements from mother nature like rain, water, dirt, and debris. They also add the extra element of aesthetic design to a building exterior. Use your air intake or ventilation requirements to improve the look of any building.

What if I want more rain protection?

Gain the utmost protection against water penetration by using one of our Wind Driven Rain Louvers. These louvers will protect your building from water damage, even under heavy wind and rain conditions.

What if I have high wind loads?

Any of our louvers can be modified to handle higher wind loads (within limits). However, if you are in Florida or other coastal states with hurricane force winds, use one of our Hurricane Louvers to gain the highest levels of protection.

Louvers are commonly specified in project documents under these divisions:

  • 08 90 00 Louvers and Vents (sometimes listed as 08 9000, 089000)
  • 08 91 00 Louvers (sometimes listed as 08 9100, 089100)
  • 08 91 19 Fixed Louvers (sometimes listed as 08 9119, 089119)

Company: Architectural Louvers


Tags: Architecture | Design | Louvers | Ventilation


High Performance Insulated Wall System a Game Changer for Architects

High performance insulated wall systems like the innovative StoTherm® ci XPS provide the air, weather and thermal tightness required for today’s most energy-efficient architecture, but are also cost-effective and provide designers with a wide range of aesthetic options.
High performance insulated wall systems like the innovative StoTherm® ci XPS provide the air, weather and thermal tightness required for today’s most energy-efficient architecture, but are also cost-effective and provide designers with a wide range of aesthetic options.

Sto Corp. has joined forces with insulation specialists Owens Corning and Dow to produce one of the most technically advanced exterior wall systems available. The innovative StoTherm® ci XPS wall system is designed to provide the air, weather and thermal tightness required for today’s most energy-efficient architecture, but also makes for exterior walls that look good, and are cost-effective.

One of the first things architects will notice about the product is its design flexibility. The multi-layered system offers a wide range of finishes from the natural look of raw materials to boldly colored finishes, allowing for a variety of looks from traditional textured surfaces to limestone, concrete, metal and many more.

Hidden behind the beautiful outer skin, are important energy efficient properties; StoTherm® ci XPS meets rigorous sustainable design standards, including ASHRAE 90.1-2010, the new International Green Construction Code (IGCC), and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requirements for continuous insulation.

This smart architectural product combines high quality, technologically advanced materials, including Dow and Owens Corning insulation with a closed cell structure which helps prevent liquid movement through the material and provides exceptional thermal performance with an R-value of 5.0 per 1”. The final result is a combination of layers that delivers exceptional air and moisture control, that also meets the latest building code requirements for energy efficient continuous insulation and fire testing. The highly durable system also provides significant impact resistance that exceeds IBC and IECC codes.

How can such a high-performance product, also be economical? The high R-value of Sto’s system (R5/inch) makes for a thinner wall, reducing the overall weight and cost-per-square foot for the building envelope. Add this to lifetime savings from superior energy-efficiency, and you have a product that offers both short- and long-term cost benefits to the client.

StoTherm® ci XPS is truly a system designed with the architect in mind –its versatile and seamless combination of energy-efficient qualities and aesthetically pleasing finishes provide a true “end-to-end” solution for architects.

Company: Sto Corp.

Product: ci Systems


Tags: Architecture | Insulation | Walls


Bullet Proof Barriers For Utility And Electric Co-Op Offices

Remote locations, wide service areas, and lots of cash on hand presents unique security challenges for customer service staff.
Remote locations, wide service areas, and lots of cash on hand presents unique security challenges for customer service staff.

While electrical cooperatives are a relatively small part of the total electricity market (about 15 percent of the U.S. population is part of a co-op) they’re responsible for maintaining close to half of the nation’s electric distribution lines. Remote locations, wide service areas, and lots of cash on hand present unique security challenges for their customer service staff. Recently TSS has helped design and install several bulletproof barriers for utility and electric co-op offices.

Over the years Total Security Solutions sales manager Bob George has worked with a large number of electrical cooperatives. He recently noted, “I don’t think people really appreciate the challenges co-ops face. They might have only 1/10th or 1/100th as many customers as a big publicly traded power company. But that co-op has just as big a service area. They end up maintaining 8 to 10 times as much equipment per customer. It’s a real case of ‘Do twice as much with half the resources’. But they consistently rise to and exceed those challenges.”

Electrical cooperatives and other small utilities face challenges beyond the economics of narrow margins, high costs, and large territories. They also face security challenges that are unique to their mission.

Unique Threats to Utility and Electric Cooperatives

Unlike the bigger investor-owned companies, co-ops serve small and mid-sized communities. They tend to be very spread out geographically. This means that they often need several small branch offices in addition to their headquarters. These satellite offices are a special concern, as they are often in remote locations with very few staff members on hand throughout the day. It’s not unusual to see just a single clerk behind the counter during business hours when the line workers are out on the road.  These offices often have a great deal of cash on hand (especially if their clientele are older or live within limited financial means). That lone clerk is now seen as the face of the company to irate customers who have missed a payment or want to dispute their bill.

“With the climate we’re in right now,” Bob George explains, “with these awful incidents that just keep happening every couple weeks, people are being more proactive.  With a lot of cash on hand, and irate customers, there’s a tendency to want to make sure your people are protected. And I hate to bring up gender, but it’s just a fact that in most of these isolated offices it is women working behind the counter, and the level of abuse that some people will aim at a female worker, it’s just hard to believe.”

This was certainly a key concern for Clark Energy when they contacted TSS in 2014, following an incident at another local utility co-op office near their Winchester, KY headquarters.  As Holly Eades, Clark Energy vice president of finance, explained at that time: “When a big man is standing at the counter, screaming and cussing at a female customer service rep who’s  five-foot-four, there’s something wrong with him…You just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Electric and Utility Co-op Security Essentials

No two utility co-op offices are alike—even in the same cooperative. That said, there are a few key considerations for bullet resistant barrier systems designed for small utility co-ops. In general, a utility co-op should have a system that:

  • Protects against common handguns calibers (i.e., a “Level 1 or 3” system).  This would include appropriate bullet resistant glass and framing, as well as bullet resistant fiberglass to reinforce the counter front.
  • Has two to three transaction windows (one of which should be ADA compliant, to accommodate customers with limited mobility)
  • Includes a bullet resistant door with an electric strike or sturdy pushbutton Simplex lockset
  • Will be installed with absolutely no business disruption (TSS, for example, installs barrier systems overnight or on the weekend)

Many builders, renovators, and security companies treat custom design work as an extra. TSS has built custom design, fabrication, and installation into their foundations—every job is a custom job to TSS.

“What’s key here,” notes TSS CEO Jim Richards, “Is that there’s no unending up-sell. We don’t live on change orders, and we don’t treat custom work like it’s a hassle or price it like it’s luxury. Doing custom work, making that system fit your office as though it was built in from day one, that is where we shine.”

Company: Total Security Solutions Inc

Product: Bullet Resistant Barriers


Tags: Bullet Resistant | Security | Windows


Brick Stairways

Alamo Blend, Belcrest 530,  Harbour Mist Blend, Rosewood Blend, St Anne Clear - The Belden Brick Company
Alamo Blend, Belcrest 530, Harbour Mist Blend, Rosewood Blend, St Anne Clear - The Belden Brick Company

It is a well-known fact that first impressions are lasting. Belden Brick adds an elegant touch to your project's entryway and represents a classic look of beauty and grace. The addition of a brick stairway leaves your guests with an indelible impression of rich tradition.

Stairway design has become an art form in itself and for those who appreciate the finest in craftsmanship, Belden Brick is the perfect solution to all your landscaping ideas. Paving brick can be used in any number of different ways. Talk to your landscape architect about the alternative uses of color and patterns to create a one-of-a-kind entryway design. As you look through the sample pages provided here, you will see how versatile brick can be when it comes to creating a personalized look for your home or commercial project. If you need additional information about the options available for your particular plan, please contact one of our Belden Brick distributors.

Company: Belden Brick Co.

Product: Paving Brick


Tags: Brick | Landscape Design | Masonry


Fast-Fold NXT Screen System

Fast-Fold NXT Screen System

Fast-Fold NXT is a stronger, faster and simpler screen system for rental and staging environments. The re-invented design features a stronger extrusion, hinge and corner as well as new height adjustment that allows the viewing area to be raised and lowered easily. A new case design upgrades the storage and transport capabilities, and a foldable 4K-ready surface is the first and only available on the market.

Key Features

New Extrusion

  • More aluminum means a slightly larger frame and more strength
  • Channels give additional strength where you need it and prevent bowing
  • Shape improves aesthetic of frame and streamlines accessories by centralizing the location of all attachments
  • Fly any model with fly kit

New Hinge

  • Internal hinge improves durability and aesthetic
  • Increased strength in design that uses epoxy instead of exposed rivets
  • Push Button release for easy tear down

New Corner

  • Push Button release for easy tear down
  • Fixed corner design improves durability
  • Welded insert for additional reinforced strength
  • Surface alignment that is the same every time

New Legs

  • No speedy cranks. Easily adjust screen height while screen is assembled and upright with micro-tooth height adjustment
  • Easily add height adjustment sections when additional height is needed
  • Latch-attach to frame
  • Independently leveling feet for uneven floors

New Reinforced Case

  • Reinforced for increased strength
  • Updated internal organization to protect surface and components 
  • New design featuring 4 wheels
  • Designed to be stored upright or stacked horizontally

New Surface Binding

  • New vinyl binding design replaces a woven binding and allows for easier attachment and flexibility
  • Smaller 1” white binding wrap-around option for borderless viewing area
  • RF Weld for clean lines
  • Easy attachment with new clip design

Company: Da-Lite

Product: Fast-Fold®Portable Screens


Tags: Audio Visual | Design


Visual Blog: Kalwall Retrofit

Visual Blog: Kalwall Retrofit

The design challenges facing architects and builders when renovating older buildings are considerable from increasing energy efficiency, to navigating inherited structural and building code changes. Here are five projects highlighting how such issues were solved, and illustrate some incredible transformations.

Charles H. Shaw Technology & Learning Center

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A

Farr Associates converted a century-old industrial powerhouse into a modern learning center filled with natural diffuse daylight, while preserving key structural elements, including brick walls and floor tile, as well as some of the original machinery.

Charles H. Shaw Technology & Learning Center

Buurtsporthal Parkloods

Antwerp, Belgium

This neighborhood sports park utilized Kalwall for its ability to provide balanced daylight and line of sight for athletes inside. The translucent panels help ensure the safety & security of athletes with visual privacy and impact resistance. As an extremely lightweight option in retrofit design, Kalwall offered large clear spans and accommodated the existing brick walls of a historical munitions factory.

Buurtsporthal Parkloods

Crouch End Picturehouse

London, UK

VertiKal™ panels were factory unitized with sash, for a sleek, energy efficient recladding of the Crouch End Picturehouse – a renovated 1950s factory building. The Panter Hudspith design, which won three industry awards, uses the curtainwall to create gentle backlighting at night as a visual marquis.

Crouch End Picturehouse

1060 Redwood Office Building

Mill Valley, California, U.S.A.

An ordinary commercial box building was transformed by adding top-lighting from Kalwall skylights. This modern workspace is now filled with natural, diffuse daylight, creating an ambiance that ensures a healthy work environment that boosts productivity. The OSHA fall-through compliant (`man-safe’) translucent skylights enable effective and easy maintenance without the need for safety cages.

1060 Redwood Office Building

Featherstone High School

London, UK

Kalwall window replacements were an economical energy upgrade for an old school building that was failing due to decay and ingress of water. The highly-insulated translucent sandwich panels bathe the classrooms in diffuse natural daylight while reducing HVAC and artificial lighting costs. Unitized construction allowed for fast installation and minimal disruption to school operation.

Featherstone High School

Company: Kalwall Corporation

Product: Wall Systems


Tags: Architecture | Design | Skylights | Walls | Windows