Insulating Our Red Front Door with SpaceLoft

We received an e-mail from Nathan Merrill today, including four photos showing the progress that American Ornamental Iron is making on fabricating our red front door.

Insulating Our Red Front Door

Nathan designed our front door and is fabricating it from steel.  As with our original red front door, the new red front door will make a statement.  Being made of steel, the door will be quite heavy so the frame and structural components must be very strong.  We want the door to look monolithic but be light to the touch.  And, of course, the frame and structural elements must be minimal but designed to last for 100 years (or so).

The door is fabricated with a metal frame, with two sheets of steel on the outside.  The cavity between the two sheets of metal will house the braces that are part of the frame, the Soss hinges and the electric mortise.  Importantly, the door must be insulated so it does not allow heat to go into the house nor to escape from the house.

With only a one-inch cavity, we decided to use Aerogel’s SpaceLoft insulation so we would have the maximum insulation for the door.  We obtained a roll of 0.4-inch thick SpaceLoft insulation, which is rated at R-10.3 per inch. 

Nathan used three sheets of SpaceLoft and cut the first two sheets so they would fit inside the diagonal metal braces that provide structural strength to the door.  The third sheet of SpaceLoft covered over the entire door frame assembly to prevent any thermal bridging inside the door.

To allow for the 24 volt DC electrical wires going to the mortise, Nathan designed a curved conduit that goes from the hinged part of the door to the mortise.  This small conduit is covered with the SpaceLoft insulation.

It is very exciting for us to see our red front door coming together so nicely.

Ovrrview of the door, showing the top layer of Aerogel SpaceLoft insulation.  Note the pockets on the left side for the Soss hinges.  Also, note the pocket on the right side for the electric mortise.  There are three layers of SpaceLoft in the door cavity, resulting in more than R-12 (not considering the structural components and thermal bridging).

Ovrrview of the door, showing the top layer of Aerogel SpaceLoft insulation. Note the pockets on the left side for the Soss hinges. Also, note the pocket on the right side for the electric mortise. There are three layers of SpaceLoft in the door cavity, resulting in more than R-12 (not considering the structural components and thermal bridging).

The three layers of SpaceLoft insulation, cut to fit inside the structural frame and the pockets for the Soss hinges.

The three layers of SpaceLoft insulation, cut to fit inside the structural frame and the pockets for the Soss hinges.

The pocket for the electric mortise.  Note the hole leading to the conduit for the electrical wires.

The pocket for the electric mortise. Note the hole leading to the conduit for the electrical wires.

Close up of the mini conduit that goes into the steel door frame.  This tube will protect the wires that go from the door frame to the electric mortise that will allow the door to be opened remotely.

Close up of the mini conduit that goes into the steel door frame. This tube will protect the wires that go from the door frame to the electric mortise that will allow the door to be opened remotely.

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