Banner Thunderbird Sticks With Sargent Locks

Oct. 1, 2010

The 2009 expansion of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, AZ, was all about the doors - literally and figuratively.

From a figurative perspective, the expansion opened up the door to a new level of medical attention and patient service With the expansion in April 2009 -- highlighted by a $289 million, seven-story, 200-bed patient tower -- Banner Thunderbird can provide top-notch healthcare to a much larger audience.

“In terms of patient numbers, we have been running at maximum capacity for years,” noted Alan Lamon, a locksmith with Banner Thunderbird who has been with the facility for 12 years. “This expansion gives us the means to care for another 200 people on the inpatient side, as well as countless patients on an emergency and outpatient basis.”

Literally speaking, the expansion led to the addition of another 800 doors to the facility. The majority of these were in the new, state-of-the-art tower, which houses areas and equipment for respiratory therapy, support services, human resources, an Intensive Care Unit for general surgical patients and an Intensive Care Unit for heart patients.

New doors also needed to be installed in myriad renovated areas outside the tower, which included an emergency department that offers double the space of the previous area, a cutting-edge cardiovascular center, a new main entrance, and a modern cafeteria. That’s a lot of doors - and associated hardware - to be chosen and installed.

According to Lamon, numerous security, design and functional factors had to be considered before the optimal locks could be selected for the job.

“Of course, the first concern is functionality,” said Lamon, who noted that all doors and hardware within Banner Thunderbird are ultimately his responsibility. “Making sure the doors open and shut easily and quickly is obviously the function of any opening in a commercial installation.

“But we also have critical safety issues, ensuring that patients in our behavioral health unit cannot get off the floor or hurt themselves in any way,” he added. “Plus, we have an area in the hospital called Banner Security Support Services where the more sensitive areas such as the pharmacy are located; access to this area must be highly restricted.”

Taking into account the security and access needs of the various areas, the architectural firm that designed the project wrote the specifications for the door hardware. One item that was not up for debate was which company would actually supply the hardware. “When I walked into this facility over 12 years ago, I inherited Sargent as a lock and hardware supplier,” said Lamon. “As long as I’ve known, Banner has used Sargent any time we expand or remodel. Our satisfaction level with the performance of their products, as well as their customer service, has been such that we haven’t found it necessary to consider anyone else.”

The Banner Thunderbird installation utilized a variety of Sargent products. The company’s 80 Series Exit Devices; T-Zone® (11 Line) bored locks; and the 351 Powerglide® closers were used throughout the facility. The only location-specific items are the 115 hospital push/pull latches, which were used on patient-room and operating-room doors.

The 80 Series Exit Devices provide simplicity, strength, durability, aesthetics and innovation. The devices are marked by easy installation and maintenance-free design; what’s more, few moving parts means less wear.

The unique T-Zone construction of the 11 Line provides strength and durability for the most demanding applications and is particularly suited to the hospital environment. This strength comes from true interlocking between the lockbody and the latch, far exceeding the ANSI/BHMA 156.2 Series 4000 Grade 1 standards. In fact, the 11 Line experiences no lever sag after 8 million cycles.

The 351 Series Powerglide line of surface door closers features an adjustable spring which allows for a size range of 1 through 6. Adjustable delayed action permits easy access for physically impaired individuals. The 351 also meets ADA requirements in all applications (except Push Side Track applications).

The 115 Hospital Push/Pull Latches were designed for convenience plus utility. These latches open with a gentle pull or slight push, ideal for hands-free operation. The 115 push-pull latch with its low profile helps eliminate any obstruction while passing through an opening.

All hardware at Banner Thunderbird utilizes MicroShield® anti-microbial finish to help minimize infections and the spread of bacteria - a critical consideration in the healthcare setting.

Lamon explained that Sargent was involved at the inception of the project while decisions were being made on exactly what would go where.

“Right from beginning they were involved, making sure that we chose the right products for each area,” he said. “They worked directly with me and the architect. It was definitely a team effort to get the equipment we wanted.”

While Sargent does not install its products, the company ensured that a hardware specialist was present throughout the process in case changes needed to be made on the fly.

“Their hardware specialist was particularly helpful when we had to make changes to one specific door,” Lamon recalled. “Sometimes changing one thing means changing everything.”

Lamon’s — and Banner’s — satisfaction with the locks goes beyond their actual performance.

“Not only do the locks work the way they were intended, they’re very attractive. They even feel good; sometimes that’s a person’s first impression of a product, when they touch it. That’s certainly the case with door locks.”

The appearance of the locks, while certainly pleasing to Lamon, was truthfully not a strong consideration for him when the product criteria were being outlined.

“I helped make decisions on what I would like to see on the door based largely on function and ease of use, as well as the ease of replacing current items,” he said. “Aesthetics wasn’t as strong an area of concern for me as it was for the architectural folks. Architects tend to favor the mortise locks, with their cleaner-looking lines, where I personally like the more basic, bored-through locks.”

For more information on Sargent products, contact your local locksmith distributor or visit