Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most common questions asked by Skyfold customers. If you are unable to find your answer, please call us or contact one of our authorized representatives.
When stored away, do SKYFOLD operable walls take up any floor space?
When not in use, SKYFOLD rests in its folded position in the ceiling, requiring absolutely no floor space. In fact, in many installations, it is not even possible to tell if and where the SKYFOLD walls are located until they are operated.
What type of structural support is required for SKYFOLD operable walls?
SKYFOLD operable walls takes less structural steel than conventional operable walls since it is a static load. SKYFOLD walls’ loading on the structural steel is always evenly distributed across its width. SKYFOLD walls’ entire weight is never concentrated as a single point load on the structure. SKYFOLD operable walls weighs approximately 6.0 – 9.4 lbs/ft² (29.4 – 46 kg/m²), significantly less than conventional operable walls.
How much ceiling room is required to store SKYFOLD operable walls?
SKYFOLD operable walls is remarkably compact. In many instances, depending on the height of the wall, a folding ratio from 1:5 to 1:10 is achieved. This remarkable feature allows SKYFOLD operable walls to be stored in most existing ceiling spaces.
For more information, refer to the Design Charts in the Design Integration
What are the electrical requirements of SKYFOLD operable walls?
SKYFOLD operable walls requires a three-phase power supply commonly available in all buildings.
How is access achieved between rooms divided by SKYFOLD operable walls?
Although the SKYFOLD operable walls do not have pass through doors, the SKYFOLD operable walls are completely automatic. Simply raising the wall partially will allow passage between rooms.
How do SKYFOLD operable walls operate?
SKYFOLD operable walls are fully automatic. At the simple turn of a key plus a push-button, SKYFOLD operable walls either open or close, smoothly and quietly. There is no manual intervention. The wall stops instantly, without coasting, if either or both push buttons are released. LCD Display Touch Screens are an optional feature that replaces the key and push-button operation, but functions with the same two-person safety concept.
What is the difference between an operable wall’s acoustic rating (the complete system rating) and its panel acoustic rating?
The difference between an operable wall’s acoustic rating and its panel rating can be significant. In general, panel ratings are based on tests performed on one or more panels that are fixed in place and that do not necessarily have some or all the panel joints and associated gaskets and seals that the fully operable system has. As such, the panel acoustic ratings do not represent the actual fully operable system rating. Similarly, a test of a manual system cannot accurately represent the ratings achievable by a fully automatic operable system using the same panel construction as its “equivalent” manual system.
Skyfold operable wall system tests are of fully automatic Skyfold operable walls that are installed and tested within an independent and accredited lab’s, standard steel frames in accordance with ASTM E90 (North America) and ISO 140-3 (Europe). For the ratings to be legitimate the tested operable wall must be identical in construction and functionality as the ones manufactured for the market. They include all fixed acoustic seals and gaskets, mechanical acoustic seals, mechanisms, etc. Also, for the test specimen to be designated an operable wall it must be opened and closed no less than 5 times without further adjustments prior to testing as per the ASTM E90 test standard for operable walls.
What finishes are available for SKYFOLD operable walls?
For the Classic™, Zenith® (except for Zenith 48), and Zenith® Premium Series, possible finishes include, but are not limited to vinyl, fabric, stainless steel, customer supplied materials, wood veneer, plastic laminates, writing surface, etc. The finish cannot exceed 1/8” (3mm) thickness. For standard design criteria, the finish cannot exceed 0.111 pounds per square foot (0.542 kgs/m²). Heavier material will have to be approved by Skyfold. Our finishes are “railroaded” onto our panels, applied horizontally, in one piece, along the panel length, rather than vertically as is the typical application for wall finishes.
The finish on the Zenith® 48 model is limited to our standard fabrics, vinyl, paint, or standard markerboard finish.
Mirage® panel inserts can accept almost any material 1 1/16" (27mm) in thickness. Our standard options include laminated clear glass and frosted glass. Other possible options may include Plexiglass, Lexan and bullet proof glass to mention a few. Frame finishes available are Silver Metallic, Oil Rub Bronze, Sandstone Smooth Matte, Almond Smooth Matte (30 Gloss), Bronze Matte Metallic and Roman Bronze Smooth Matte.
What sizes are available for SKYFOLD operable walls?
All Skyfold solutions are customized to your space.
Classic Series: The minimum wall length, without modifying our system is 11’-3” (3430mm). There is no maximum length restriction. Walls over 100 feet (30480mm) are readily accommodated without any loss of function. The maximum ceiling height is 36 ft, (11 m).
Zenith Series: The maximum length is 48 ft. (14630 mm) (except for Zenith 48) and the maximum height is 12 ft. (3660 mm) to the finish ceiling. The minimum wall length, without modifying our Zenith system is 9’0” (3430 mm).
Zenith Premium Series: The width is unlimited, and the maximum height is 14 ft. (4267 m).
Mirage: The width is unlimited, and the maximum ceiling height is 24 ft. (7315 mm). The minimum wall length without modifying our system is 6 ft. (1830 mm).
For more information on sizes, refer to the Design Charts in the Design Tips
What are the fire and smoke properties SKYFOLD operable walls?
The SKYFOLD operable walls (except for Mirage) and their components have been designed for excellent flame and smoke properties. Panels have a Class "A" fire rating. SKYFOLD operable walls, however, are not designed to be a fire barrier. For more information, refer to the First Test Reports in the Product Documents
section of the Info Library.
What is the acoustic performance of SKYFOLD operable walls?
All SKYFOLD operable walls have excellent acoustics.
Standard SKYFOLD Classic™, Zenith® and Zenith® Premium operable walls are 11 3/4″ (300mm) thick with two independent planes of steel panels separated by a 10 1/4″ (260mm) air space that creates an anechoic chamber. It also has 1½” (38mm) insulation on the back of each panel. The combination of these elements creates an exceptional sound barrier that must be heard to be believed. SKYFOLD operable walls have been approved by many top architectural firms in the world for use in spaces where sound control is critical.
The Skyfold NRC models are not only designed to stop sound, but also to absorb sound.
For more information on acoustics, refer to the test reports in the Product Documents
section of the Info Library.
Do SKYFOLD operable walls require any wall or floor tracks?
Part of the beauty and elegance of SKYFOLD operable walls is that they do not require any floor or wall tracks. All acoustical components are integrated into the wall. Once the SKYFOLD operable wall is in the down position, acoustical seals automatically engage against the floor and fixed walls.
The only exception is Mirage, which requires wall tracks for consistent operation and performance.
What are the safety features on SKYFOLD operable walls?
All SKYFOLD operable walls are equipped with two switches; a key to activate the system and two push buttons to operate the system. These switches are wired in series to ensure they are operated simultaneously. When either or both push buttons are released, the wall stops immediately, without coasting.
SKYFOLD Classic, Zenith and Zenith Premium operable walls are also equipped with a continuous pressure sensing strip on the bottom leading edge of the wall. If this sensing strip comes in firm contact with an object, power will be cut to the system and it will then automatically reverse direction and ascend for approximately 3 seconds to clear the obstruction. Normal operation of the system can resume once the obstruction has been removed.
SKYFOLD Mirage comes equipped with an infrared sensor that will stop the walls decent and automatically reverse its direction if the light beam is broken by an object or person. Normal operation of the system can resume once the obstruction has been removed.
What makes the Zenith Premium different from the Zenith?
The Zenith Premium has the same path of travel as the Zenith, but a few extra features. Unlike the other Skyfold solutions, the Zenith Premium features a closure panels to hide the ceiling pocket from view, thereby maintaining the ceiling’s flushed and unobtrusive appearance. The Zenith Premium retracts and deploys quicker than the standard Zenith model (it will move at approximately the same speed as the Skyfold Classic walls). It also includes 2 LCD touch screen keypads with multilingual interface to operate your Skyfold wall (instead of the key and push-button).
Are lights available in the Zenith Premium model?
Yes, LED lights are available both in the pocket closure panels to wash the wall with light in the down (deployed) position and in the bottom panels of the wall to provide light from above when the wall in in the up (retracted) position.
Can Zenith Premium be stepped or sloped?
Only standard rectangular openings are suitable for Zenith Premium at this time.
Can Zenith Premium walls be intersecting?
Not at this time.
Will Zenith Premium require more width in the ceiling?
Yes, because of the pocket closure, the width at the ceiling (or bottom of the pocket) will be slightly wider than a standard Zenith wall of the same size.
Will Zenith Premium require more stack space in the plenum?
Not a simple yes or no answer. In many cases, it takes less room to stack Zenith Premium. In other cases, it takes slightly more. The elimination of the top of the pocket (which adds inches to the stack height) allows Zenith Premium to stack in essentially the same space as standard Zenith or Classic. Due to the various differences in panel height and pocket width, however, there are separate Design Tips charts for Zenith Premium.
Is the acoustical barrier different for Zenith Premium?
Yes, the acoustical barrier will extend from the bottom of the pocket to the deck on both sides of the wall. Acoustical barriers for standard Zenith wall are directly above the wall. As always, all acoustical barriers must meet ASTM E557 standards based on the acoustical performance of the wall.
Will access panels be required for the Zenith Premium wall?
Yes, an access panel will be required through the acoustical barrier to access the motor. Brackets, lifting mechanisms, cables and motor will be accessible through the flip up pocket closure panels when the wall is in the down position.
How different is the installation of Zenith Premium from the standard Zenith wall?
It will take approximately the same time to install Zenith Premium as the standard Zenith model. However, all installers will need to be trained on the differences including: installing the cable, installing the horizontal panels and the pocket angle, and setting up the AC drive (which is required to vary the motor speed and maintain a more constant travel speed between transitions and decrease the overall travel time). Up-to-date installation instructions will be available prior to the first installation.
Will the pocket closure angle with gaskets on the acoustical barrier change with the STC?
The pocket closure angle (one standard design) attached to the acoustical barrier will always be the same gauge steel as the thicker STC 60 panel lips. They will be Firestone bone white and in standard 8’ lengths and will need to be snipped on site to the necessary length. They can be painted in the field to match the pocket / ceiling.
Is Zenith Premium Patented?
Yes, worldwide patents are pending – the patents cover the use of this technology on all vertically folding partitions, including systems that fold simultaneously, randomly, sequentially from top, and sequentially from the bottom.
Are any other Skyfold solutions available with the pocket closure option?
Not at this time.