Do you ever look at a door opening or a particular hardware installation and ask yourself, “Why’d they do that??” I know you have! I’ve decided to create a new category of posts, where we can puzzle these out together.
This pair is in the hotel which is my home-away-from-home this week. I noticed the mag-lock on the unequal leaf right away. As you can see, there is no motion sensor or push button to release the mag-lock. What you can not see is that the panic hardware on the active leaf doesn’t release the mag-lock either. The panic is an electric latch retraction device, and there are no flush bolts on the inactive leaf. I’ve included a photo of the door loop / door cord because architects always ask me what they look like.
So…why’d they do that? Why a mag-lock?
UPDATE: For those of you who asked for more information (you’re asking all the right questions, by the way), here are some answers. Sorry I didn’t take the exterior picture last night, but it was dark.
These doors are one of several pairs serving the guest room wing of the 2-story hotel. They do not serve the Assembly spaces (restaurant/bar/function rooms). On the exterior there is a pull handle on the active leaf, and nothing on the inactive. There is a card reader which reads the guest room cards and retracts the latch of the panic device. The mag-lock does not release when you insert your card.
I believe the fasteners at the top of the active leaf are for the concealed vertical rod panic hardware. It is not a fire-rated door – it goes to the exterior. The building is sprinklered. There at least 3 of these pairs serving a wing of about 60 rooms counting both floors. There is also a means of egress through the hotel lobby.
Here’s my take on it. The mag-lock is acting as the world’s most expensive flush bolt. There is nothing to release the mag-lock, except maybe the fire alarm. Using the mag-lock to provide full egress width upon fire alarm isn’t code-compliant, because if the full width of the opening is required for egress upon fire alarm, it is also required when there isn’t a fire alarm. The active leaf can accommodate 160 occupants, and the inactive leaf is not required for egress. I can’t think of any good reason to use a mag-lock in this application.