Request for Quote

Case Studies

Case Studies

High-Speed Door Curbs Energy & Maintenance Costs

Posted: 5/13/20


This 66-story, high-end commercial building is home to department stores, a hotel, up-scale shops and luxury condominiums.

Skyscraper Sectional Door Racks Up $40,000 in Repair Costs in One Year

Virtually all shipments and deliveries enter through the building’s large, sectional, parking and dock door. At 24′ x 16′, just covering this door opening presents a sizeable problem. Since the door is the “mouth” of this building, it must be big enough to accommodate a variety of traffic and truck loads. Consequently, the longer a door this size takes to open and close, the greater the energy loss. During the winter months, sub-zero winds gusting through the skyscraper canyons of downtown Chicago only added to the skyrocketing energy costs. Constant wind pressures increased the “drag” on the old sectional door, causing it to operate even more slowly and further compound the energy loss.

Management also faced extensive repair bills as vehicles repeatedly collided with the slow, sectional door. Repairs had totaled $40,000 in the previous year, alone. The collisions had a common pattern: as the door opened, vehicles sped toward it thinking the way was clear, when in fact, the door wasn’t completely up. The result was door damage, downtime, more energy loss and security concerns as the door was left open until repairs could be scheduled.


Working with their local ASI Doors distributor, building managers replaced the sectional door with a Marathon Model 109-LP, high performance exterior roll-up door.

Exterior High Speed Roll-Up Door For Quick Access, Energy Savings and Security

With an operating speed four times faster than the old sectional door, the entrance is fully accessible in just seconds, making collision damage an issue of the past. Faster operation also, means uninterrupted passage and increased productivity for the several hundred trucks requiring daily access to the facility.

In addition to high speed, the 109-LP has other features that make it the ideal solution.

Unlike fabric doors that could deliver speed, but not intrusion protections, 109 series doors are comprised of rigid, insulated slats. Each slat has an exterior aluminum shell and interior PVC shell that provide a significant visual and physical barrier for greater security.

And, what about those winds? A fabric door would become a huge sail, slowing down considerably in wind speeds over 25 mph. Marathon’s 109 series doors with their nylon windlocks and rigid slats are designed to perform even in high winds. Unlike some high-speed doors, insulated slats are a standard feature of the 109-LP. Additionally, the Marathon door is weathersealed along its entire perimeter. Building managers note a significant reduction in energy costs since installing the Marathon Door.

Solution Cont.

With the wind factor and level of activity in and out of this facility, tremendous demands are put on the door motor, but the 109’s direct drive operator is designed to perform reliably in high-cycle applications.

Multiple Activation Options that Integrate with Existing Building Security

Nylon windlocks in lieu of roller-wheels means there’s no metal-to-metal contact between the door and the side guides and no high wear parts to replace. Coupled with the high performance operator, this door powers through the high winds with no drag and without slowing down.

Prior to installing the 109, problems at the main doorway could throw off the schedules of businesses throughout the building. In contrast, Marathon’s high-performance door is actuated by remote control from the security office. With the door seamlessly integrated into the building’s access control system, building engineers and security staff crossed the old door and its recurring management issues off their list of concerns.