When the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design were released, they introduced a requirement for doors with automatic operators to have the required maneuvering clearance for manual doors on the egress side of the door. An exception to this requirement is when standby power is provided (or when the door stays open when power is cut).
To rephrase, if an automatic door has the required amount of maneuvering clearance on the egress side, standby power for the operator is not mandated by the standards. But if the door does not have the required amount of maneuvering clearance on the egress side, adding standby power would be a way to overcome the problem by allowing the door to function as an accessible means of egress – even during a power failure. There’s a good example on this blog post.
Here’s where this is found in the 2010 ADA standards:
404.3.2 Maneuvering Clearance. Clearances at power-assisted doors and gates shall comply with 404.2.4. Clearances at automatic doors and gates without standby power and serving an accessible means of egress shall comply with 404.2.4.
EXCEPTION: Where automatic doors and gates remain open in the power-off condition, compliance with 404.2.4 shall not be required.
A similar section was added to the 2017 edition of ICC A117.1 – Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities:
404.3.4 Maneuvering clearances. Maneuvering clearances at power-assisted doors and gates shall comply with Section 404.2.3. Maneuvering clearances complying with Section 404.2.3 shall be provided on the egress side of low-energy automatic and full power automatic doors and gates that serve as part of an accessible means of egress.
1. Low-energy automatic and full power automatic doors and gates that have standby power or battery back-up shall not be required to comply with this section.
Remember, the standby power is only required if the door does not have the proper maneuvering clearance on the egress side (and if the door doesn’t stay open when power is cut).
Here are my questions for you:
- How do you provide the required standby power if there isn’t building-wide backup power?
- Which standby power units work well with automatic operators?
- Are there any pitfalls to watch out for?
- How do you handle fire doors, where the automatic operator must be deactivated upon fire alarm?