The automatic doors market is climbing at a rate of 7% year upon year, representing over a billion US dollars in annual sales. These are not the statistics of a stagnant industry. The growing construction market and the increased fragmentation thereof are delivering an impressive degree of innovation. The digital world might dominate that evolution, but it’s far from the only innovation in the niche. The market continues to grow, adding innovation through biometrics, kinetics, and fabrication.
The Power of Kinetics
The average commercial property spends US$30, 000 a year on utility bills. When you’re operating at a commercial level, every electronic accessory counts, so industrial designers have turned the humble revolving door into a kinetic energy generator. Everyone who pushes the door contributes to its continuous movement. The gears capture the energy behind the push, which can be harnessed to bring extra power to the building. Not that’s elegance.
Revolving doors are eco-warriors that contribute to the fight against global warming. They keep buildings both open and closed simultaneously, separating the bustling exterior and its climate from the quiet, air-conditioned interior. An MIT study discovered that the humble revolving door can save 1.5% of the total energy required for temperature control every year. The famous university considers revolving door systems as one of its most impactful methods for enacting change.
Inventors created the first revolving door in 1888, calling it a “storm door structure” for its capacity to protect against the weather. The invention generated no noise and prevented collision when crowds gained entry. Inventors have introduced several innovative advances to that original design based on one important question: Can forcing people to change just one meagre habit have an impact on the ecosystem? Revolving doors attack the problem of global warming from three angles: by reducing air leakage, pressure differential, and energy consumption. The average business spends $13 a day on overcoming air leakage alone, so even a manual revolving door can improve eco-friendliness significantly. Every time you use this unassuming piece of technology, you save 36 watt-hours of energy. Much like recycling, it gives everyday people one simple way to make a difference.
Three and four fin designs save energy by letting only small pockets of air escape at a time, permitting less airflow and therefore less temperature loss. Still, even the finest of innovations can be improved upon, and the revolving door is no different.
The 21st Century’s Revolving Door
The modern revolving door can extract smoke, generate electricity, function automatically, and allow for rapid exits in an emergency. It can offer ID control and perfect noise blocking. It’s easy to leverage these innovations because they require little variation in your hardware. In most cases, you can connect digital solutions to any door that has a power assist motor. Add a shaft locking feature, and you can stop the door from moving any further. That simple difference is all you need to add a credentials-controlled access control system. Only a decade ago, the only way to control access was by using a physical lock that required a staff complement. Automation is significantly cheaper.
Shaft locking technology adds another important feature: a panic lock that can prevent intrusion. Your average automated door does have a limitation, though. It’s not particularly good at preventing tailgating. If you need to tighten your building’s security, your door will need to give access to only one person at a time, but as long as you have an automatic lock, you have the potential to add biometric reading units or contactless card access. Biometric access relies on a series of stored reference templates to check fingerprints or other features. Fingerprints can’t be lost or left at home, so they’re a preferred badge-free access method. Rod locking systems and electrical locks are two excellent alternatives.
Adding to Your Hardware
Automatic revolving door systems are one of the most elegant solutions available in this niche, purely based on their architectural beauty. Their basic design has a more important role, though. They can keep the weather outside if their façade and insulation are well-fabricated. The size of your door’s fins determines the amount of traffic they can tolerate. A fully automatic door with a 3, 600 diameter, for example, can push people through your entrance rapidly without risking overcrowding. Quieter buildings can afford slower, wider fins, but power assist features can also aide rotation.
In the past, you needed bigger, heavier wings to spin a large manual door, but now a low energy motor can add speed to a manually-pushed door. That means there are fewer limitations on the size of your door, so spacious designs can add much-needed comfort. This gentle solution helps users to feel in control of the door, which nullifies a common fear. If someone exits the door mid-rotation, the same motor can return it to the correct position. When the door is stationary, its wings are in the right place, forming a weather-proof seal for extra budget-friendliness.
The Protection of Glass
Glass systems are another important feature for automatic doors, keeping warmth in while supporting hardware systems. All-glass systems are beautiful to behold, and when they’re made from high-performance R-5 or 0.35 k insulation, it’ll take a serious blizzard to affect your interior climate. Today’s stainless-steel hardware relies on supporters that can cope with as much as 12 kilograms of glass and glazing, so there are few limits to your possibilities.
The roof, finish, and bottom ring is as important as your glass. These are the places that smoggy air and draughts rely on to gain access, so you’ll need airtight solutions if you’re to gain all the benefits of revolving technology.
Automatic revolving doors have come a long way since their manual days. They’ve become gifted insulators, so they can save you as much as 71% in electricity. Thanks to digital innovation, they can also bring you a level of access control few alternatives can manage.