Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Automatic Operators

Door Opening Force

Door opening force is the measurement of how many pounds of force are required to open a door.  The requirements for door opening force are found in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), ICC/ANSI A117.1 Standard on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, and the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board requirements (521 CMR). In […]

Automatic Operator Actuators

The 2007 edition of ANSI/BHMA A156.19 – American National Standard for Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors requires low energy operators to be initiated by a “knowing act”, which is described as “consciously initiating the powered opening of a low-energy door using acceptable methods, including: wall- or jamb-mounted contact switches such as push […]

Falcon 8200 Series Auto Operator

It seems like I should know all about myself now that I’m in my (early!) 40’s, but I recently learned that the way I learn best is from a live demonstration or a video.  As soon as I start trying to read about something, my mind is off in a hundred directions, but put the […]

Middle School Entrance

Last night I went to a presentation at one of our 3 local middle schools, which I’m guessing was built in the 70’s.  What struck me right away was that the exterior doors are all about 10′ tall, and the interiors are about 9′ with a transom panel above.  What a strange application for a […]

Force = Mass x Acceleration

Since it’s one hour until Friday and I’ve had a very long week trying to catch up from being on vacation, here’s some door-humor (yes, really).  It’s an automatic door on the Columbia University Physics building.  The auto operator was being replaced with an LCN Senior Swing, but the installers were struggling through the installation […]

Actuator Protector

Here’s another interesting application that I saw at Foxwoods.  These plastic covers were on all of the automatic operator actuators in the conference center. These are being used for one of two purposes, I’m not sure which:  1) the cover prevents people from pushing the button when the door is latched, which causes undue strain […]

Reader Photos

Here’s the latest batch of reader photos…don’t forget to send me any interesting doors you see on your summer vacations! From Mary Hinton of Mulhaupt’s Inc., a McDonald’s bathroom door that would provide a convenient peephole for the kiddies.  Amazingly, this is not the first time we’ve seen this creative resolution to the problem. This […]

Decoded: Auto Operators – Stand-By Power (August 2011)

This post was printed in the August 2011 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download a reprint of this article.] I was recently asked about battery back-up for an automatic operator, after an architect noted that it was required by the 2010 ADA guidelines.  The doors in question were existing bathroom doors that […]

WWYD: A Little Help Here?

Today is the 3rd anniversary of iDigHardware (aka iHateHardware)!  WOOHOOOO!!! If you were wondering what to send as an anniversary gift, all I want is your experience and expertise.  I have had several questions lately that I could use your help with.  I am always amazed by your willingness to add your two cents to […]

WW: Don’t Push It

This photo, taken at an Ontario Hospital, was sent by Kelly Chimilar of Allmar.  I’m confused. Seen something that left you “wordless”?  Send it along!! You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Decoded: Actuators for Low Energy Operators (September 2013)

This post was printed in the September 2013 issue of Doors & Hardware [Click here to download the reprint of this article.] From a code and standard perspective, there are 3 basic types of automatic operators for swinging doors – Power Assist, Low Energy Power Operated, and Power Operated – also known as Full Power […]

Changes to A156.19 – 2013

A couple of months ago I wrote an article for Doors & Hardware, which appears in the September issue.  As always, I triple-checked my sources, and confirmed that 2007 was the most current edition of A156.19 – American National Standard For Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors.  Well, today a notification regarding the […]

Music City Center – Nashville, Tennessee

I know what you’re thinking…”When is she going to stop talking about Nashville and get on to something interesting like gasketing or clear opening width?”  😀 I just processed my last group of photos from Nashville and all but a few were from the Music City Center, so I added the other ones to my […]

FF: Smart Birds Open Doors

This video is pretty amazing. Swallows nesting in a university parking garage could have been locked in when doors were added to convert the garage to the campus bike center. Is this an example of the swallows’ intelligence, or dumb luck?…

Understanding New Accessibility Requirements for Doors

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design went into effect in March 2012, but there are several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers…

FF: My Door Won’t Close

Thank you to Tim Meegan of Doors Incorporated for today’s Fixed-it Friday photo! It’s a classic! In case anyone is wondering, this article talks about the mounting guidelines for auto operator actuators!

6 Accessibility Changes to Watch Out For (November 2014)

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design went into effect in March of 2012, but there are several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers as well as door and hardware suppliers. These issues can be costly to resolve if they’re discovered after the doors and hardware are on-site, so it’s important to stay current on the requirements…

WWYD? Stairwell Pressure

When you have a pressurized stairwell that is required for smoke control, the increased pressure in the stairwell makes doors swinging into the stair more difficult to open, and doors swinging out of the stair may not close and latch. WWYD?

FF: Lego Automatic Door Operator

I was a Lego Robotics coach last year, and we barely got our robot to knock down the cups in the maze. This Fixed-it Friday video of a Lego Mindstorm automatic door operator is impressive…

Reader Photos

It’s been a really long time since I posted a collection of reader photos because I’ve been using a lot of these submissions for Wordless Wednesday and Fixed-it Friday. Here are some of the reader photos that have been patiently waiting in my inbox…

FF: Which Came First?

Sort of like the chicken and the egg, this Fixed-it Friday photo from Steve Turner and Ray Valentine of Precision Doors & Hardware made me wonder…was the closer added because the automatic operator wasn’t closing the door properly, or was the automatic operator added because the closer required too much opening force? Or one or the other stopped working completely but was not removed?

Intro to Low-Energy Automatic Operators (video)

Do you have questions about low-energy automatic operators or the standards that apply to them? Maybe this will help…

Fixed Non-Contact Switches

If a low-energy operator is actuated by a motion sensor, it has to meet the requirements of A156.10 instead of A156.19, which usually means the door must have guide rails and safety sensors. What about the “wave-to-open” switches…are these considered motion sensors?

Signage for Low Energy Automatic Doors

Deputy Jeff Tock of Allegion sent me this photo, showing some confusing signage on an automatic door (push to operate an outswinging door?) – which reminded me that it’s been years since I’ve written about the signage requirements for low-energy automatic doors…

FF: Auto Operator Coordination

If an automatic operator is properly coordinated so the latch is released when the actuator is pressed, only the signage required by the BHMA standard should be needed. This is an accident waiting to happen.

WWYD? Arched Door – Auto Operator

The proposed solution for an auto operator on an arched door is shown below the photo, but I’m wondering if there are more aesthetically-pleasing options. WWYD?

WW: Good Luck

I received today’s Wordless Wednesday photo along with the following explanation…”On a service call to find out why doors will not lock and had to follow the wires to the inspirational message left by the last technician in header.”

WWYD? Health Care Pair

The doors have some obvious damage caused by carts contacting the push side face, and carts hitting the door edge when it’s open. So…WWYD?

QQ: Do the accessibility standards require automatic operators?

Are automatic operators required by the ADA Standards and ICC A117.1 – the predominate accessibility standards used in the US?

LCN Automatic Operators (video)

Even though automatic operators have been available from LCN for longer than I can remember, I still get questions about which one to use where, why to choose one over the other, and pneumatic vs. electric operation…

FF: Public Restroom

I’m in Guatemala! I’m on the hunt for some beautiful and/or interesting Guatemalan doors to share with you, but until then, here are some doors from a recent trip to Phoenix…

QQ: What is a power-assist operator?

This is Part 1 of a 2-part question, so check tomorrow’s post for Part 2. First, I’d like to clarify what defines a power-assist operator…

QQ: Push ‘N Go For Automatic Operators

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about power-assist operators to clarify that these are not the same as low-energy automatic operators. This 2-part question arose from a misconception that “power-assist” is the same thing as “Push ‘N Go.”

QQ: Opening force for automatic doors

The codes and standards limit the opening force for interior, non-fire-rated, manually-operated doors to 5 pounds, hence the question…

Decoded: New Requirements For Pedestrian Automatic Door Operators and Sensors (December 2017)

This article addresses an important change to the BHMA standards for automatic doors operated by a motion sensor or control mat…

Restroom Kits for Automatic Operators

Questions continue to arise regarding how to properly specify/supply hardware for a single restroom door with an automatic operator.  The challenge is that the outside actuator (push button) for the automatic operator has to be interfaced with the locking system; otherwise, the actuator could open the door even when the restroom is occupied. I wrote […]

FF: Don’t let the door hit ya…

While this may seem like a great idea at first glance – a wireless actuator mounted on the door to open the door automatically – this does not meet the recommended guidelines for actuator location.

WWYD? Auto Operator App

I recently came across an app that literally “opens doors” for people who have disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to initiate an automatic door by pushing an actuator.

Decoded: Potential Automatic Operator Changes (January 2019)

We could soon see a code change that would require automatic operators for public entrances. Here’s the current status.

WW: Moose & Squirrel

Animals + automatic doors…what could be better on a Wordless Wednesday? Ok – I can think of a few things that might be better, but check these out anyway…

Decoded: Signage for Automatic Doors (April 2019)

My next article for Door Security + Safety Magazine addresses the signage required for automatic doors. It will appear in the April edition.

QQ: Vision Lights in Automatic Doors

Does the vision light height requirement apply to automatic doors as well as manually-operated doors?

See the index for another category:

  • Accessibility
  • Adon Brownell
  • Articles
  • Automatic Operators
  • Back-2-Basics
  • Beautiful Doors
  • Close the Door
  • Code Development
  • Construction Specifier
  • Digging Into Codes
  • Door Closers
  • Doors & Frames
  • Doors Gone Wrong
  • Egress
  • Electrified Hardware
  • Everywhere I Go
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  • Fire Doors
  • Fixed-it Friday
  • Flush Bolts and Coordinators
  • Funky Applications
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  • General Info
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  • Push/Pull
  • Q&A
  • Quick Question
  • Quick-Tips
  • Reader Photos
  • Road Trips
  • School Security
  • Signage
  • Sliding and Folding Doors
  • Smoke
  • Stops
  • Uncategorized
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  • WHY?
  • Windstorm
  • Wordless Wednesday
  • WWYD?

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