Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Allegion
Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


2M – Automatic Doors

Automatic door operators are not required by the 2010 ADA standards or ICC A117.1, however, each of these standards includes a section that addresses automatic doors.  The mandates of these sections are different from those of the manual door section, so it’s important to reference the correct paragraphs depending on whether the door in question is manual or automatic.

Most of the detailed information about automatic doors is found in the referenced standards.  Low-energy operators and power-assisted doors are required to comply with BHMA A156.19 – Standard for Power Assist And Low Energy Power Operated Doors.  Full-powered automatic doors must comply with BHMA A156.10 – Standard for Power Operated Pedestrian Doors.  These standards include requirements pertaining to the opening force, closing speed, hold-open time, actuators, and safety sensors, control mats, and guide rails – where required.

In addition, the accessibility standards specify the required clear opening width for automatic doors – 32 inches minimum in power-on and power-off mode.  This clear width is based on the opening provided by all leaves in the open position.  The maneuvering clearance required for manual doors is not required for most automatic doors, although it is required for power-assisted doors and also for two doors in a series.  When an automatic operator serves an accessible means of egress, the ADA standards require the operator to have standby power, or the required maneuvering clearance must be provided on the egress side of the door, except where automatic doors remain open in the power-off condition.

Thresholds for automatic doors must comply with the same requirements that apply to manual doors – typically 1/2-inch high, maximum, or a ramp must be provided.  Manually-operated controls for automatic doors must comply with the requirements for operable parts, including the mounting height, operation without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist, and operable-force limitations.

One important concept with regard to low-energy operators is that they must be operated by a “knowing act.”  If they are operated by a sensor instead of by a knowing act, they must comply with BHMA A156.10 instead of BHMA A156.19.

Read this Decoded article to learn more about the requirements for actuators for low-energy operators.  The bulleted articles below are optional, but will provide additional insight into various aspects of the requirements for automatic operators.  After reviewing these resources, proceed to the review questions below.

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Review Questions

1. In addition to the accessibility standards, low-energy automatic operators initiated by a knowing act must comply with which standard?

  1. A156.3
  2. A156.10
  3. A156.19
  4. A156.22

2. Which of the following is NOT considered a “knowing act” when used to initiate the opening cycle of an automatic operator?

  1. Presenting a credential to an access-control reader
  2. Pushing a wall-plate switch
  3. Waving at a touchless actuator with a range of less than 12 inches
  4. Pushing or pulling the door
  5. Stepping into the detection area of a presence sensor

3. When a low-energy operator is not initiated by a knowing act, it must comply with which standard?

  1. A156.3
  2. A156.10
  3. A156.19
  4. A156.22

Answers: 1 – C, 2 – E, 3 – B

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