Automatic Doors vs. Revolving Doors

Space, Traffic, and Operations Considerations

The AAADM defines high traffic as more than two persons per minute moving through an opening and could also include equipment such as grocery carts or wheelchairs. Medium traffic is one person per minute, and low is one person every five minutes. Automatic and revolving doors are more ideal than swing doors at accommodating two-way traffic.

“Entertainment venues, educational facilities, and public transportation stations that get large rushes of crowds at peak times can benefit greatly by easing the funnel of people coming and going,” Moerbe says.

Neither automatic nor revolving doors require the space needed for a traditional door to open, the swinging of which also presents a traffic hiccup and safety concern. The vestibule configuration of automatic doors and the chamber style of revolving doors also make for a cleaner, quieter lobby because they aren’t directly open to wind and street noise.

Because of stack pressure and the chimney effect, swing doors can also be difficult to open, Thomas adds. “When a building is heated, the hot air rises, and pressure sucks the door in,” she explains.

“Powered door entrances do away with the aggravation and struggle of dealing with a heavy, manual door,” Moerbe adds. “They also demonstrate to users that the establishment they’re entering cares about their convenience.”

Enhancing Image and Aesthetics

“Automatic doors can help position a company as a leader,” Moerbe says, noting that for businesses serving older demographics, powered doors can provide a significant competitive advantage.

Businesses that welcome customers – especially the elderly and disabled – with an auto open and close enhances user experience, says Moerbe.

Both automatic and revolving doors are also more modern than traditional entrances and can jazz up your exterior.

“Consider whether the door design adds character to your facade,” Thomas says, adding that offerings can be customized with bronze, chrome, paint, or different glass. Both options are popular in downtown and high real estate markets, attracting high-paying tenants and occupants.

“Powered entrances can be very stylish,” Thomas says. “The door is the first thing people see, so it’s also the first feeling they have for the whole building.”

Chris Curtland is the former assistant editor of BUILDINGS.


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