Designing the function
Fittings play a central role in the functional process of opening and closing windows and doors. While some parts are invisibly concealed between or within the frame and sash, others are prominently positioned and thus represent an essential link between the visual appearance and ease of operation. The fittings must be able to withstand different stresses, such as the hinge withstanding the weight of the sash or the handle withstanding operation by the user.
Here a renovation of an old building, a puristic reconstruction – the fittings can underline a certain stylistic direction or skilfully emphasis the key features
Locking elements hidden / visible
Locking elements that lock the sash towards the frame may be located in different parts of the door or window. Locking takes place via a key or automated.
Locking with a key is available in a wide range of variants; there may be a visible lock or a barely visible solution, e.g. on the handle. Automated locking mechanisms or the locking sequence of the lock can be triggered by fingerprint, remote control or programming, for example. As a rule, the specific requirements in the area of the element to be locked are decisive. Another component of a lock can be a door closer. An automatic door closer is mandatory in many countries if the automatic closing of a door is required under building law due to increased risk of fire or smoke. Door closers are available surface-mounted or integrated between the sash and frame, so they are either visible or not.
The hinges that allow a door or window to rotate and ensure fine adjustment in relation to the frame are partly located on the element, partly on the frame. The choice of these functional parts also contributes to the overall impression. Hinges can be prominent or delicate. Painted in the colour of the door or window, they are barely visible or can even be mounted in a concealed location between the moving elements. On the other hand, they can also be highlighted in colour to emphasise the technical aspect or add stylistic accents, for example.
The handles are the most exposed parts of the fittings. These should be positioned in an easily accessible position, but can be positioned in an eye-catching and restrained way, e.g. in recessed grips. As a rule, visually appealing specimens are desired. It is important to ensure that the handles are used all the time and are designed to ensure different functions. They have to be permanently usable and easy to operate and also withstand the forces of the leaf. In public buildings, the anti-panic regulations must be observed, among other things, which are intended to ensure rapid departure and require the appropriate type of fittings. Handles should be comfortable to grip and should not be sharp-edged or attached too close to the profile, ensuring that they are easy to grip. In highly frequented areas, the decision may be taken not to use handles in order to prevent germs from being passed on from one hand to another. Automatic doors that open without contact or corresponding coatings on the handles, which themselves have an antimicrobacterial effect, are useful here.
Transport hooks/selector bars
Simultaneous opening of double-leaf doors in the event of an escape is ensured by means of transport hooks and selector bars. These are mandatory for designated escape doors. In addition to visible selector bars, which often have a negative effect on the appearance of the elements due to their mechanics, there are concealed transport hooks. These retain the elegant overall appearance of the door and also serve to open both leaves at the same time in an emergency.