Automatic doors - simple, helpful and safe
It’s an expectation in many buildings: doors open automatically and then close again. In supermarkets, hotels and car dealerships, and also in public offices and hospitals, these doors serve as inviting and accessible entrances. They can also be retrofitted for a reasonable cost.
Automatic doors enable convenient access for all
Automatic door systems are very popular in hotels. © Stefan Dauth / GEZE GmbH
Pressing on door handles or rotating door knobs, pulling or pushing doors and closing doors again after passing through: It can all be annoying at times. People often forget to close doors after themselves, in particular. And for some people, opening a door and then closing it again is impossible, wheelchair users, children, older people or the disabled, for example. Automatic doors grant everyone convenient access to buildings, something that is increasingly appreciated, and even expected.
Automatic doors are preferred in some sectors
Automatic doors already permit modern barrier-free access, exit and passage in many buildings. They are particularly suitable for buildings with a high volume of footfall. They are now considered virtually standard in the following sectors:
- Health/Hygiene: In the health sector, automatic door systems are the hygienic solution for visitors, patients, doctors and carers to pass through doorways. They no longer need to open doors manually, and at the same time avoid spreading any germs on their hands.
- Hotels and gastronomy: A prestigious and convenient entrance is the first welcome greeting for guests in many hotels. Automatic accesses to the kitchen and other areas enables hospitality staff to safely perform their tasks, and ensures smooth service. Accessibility, safety and hygiene are important benefits in this sector too.
- Retail industry: Automatic door systems guide clients into businesses, and serve as a prestigious and comfortable access point. They create a light and inviting environment for purchases. They also help to save energy, since they open only when necessary, minimising the effects on the inside temperature of cold and heat from outside.
- Public buildings: Barrier-free access is now required in law for public buildings. Automatic door systems are an efficient and safe solution in this sector, particularly for high volumes of public footfall.
Types of automatic doors
Automatic door systems are available for all sorts of doors, whether large or small, heavy or light. What's more, almost any conceivable design is possible: full glass, framed, wooden, aluminium or steel construction are all options.
Automatic sliding doors
Automatic sliding doors can be installed in numerous designs: in addition to linear sliding doors, options include curved sliding door systems, corner sliding doors and inclined sliding doors. © Martin Jakob / GEZE GmbH
Automatic swing doors
Automatic swing doors are a simple solution for barrier-free access. Existing swing doors can be retrofitted with a drive and the necessary safety devices. © Dirk Wilhelmy / GEZE GmbH
Automatic revolving doors
Revolving doors are an effective way to separate inside and outside areas when energy efficiency is key. They manage heavy public footfall and offer creative freedom. © Lothar Wels / GEZE GmbH
Space-saving door systems, for example automatic folding leaf doors or telescopic sliding doors, can be used in locations where installing standard automatic door systems is not possible. © Sigrid Rauchdobler / GEZE GmbH
Door automation elements
Special sliding fitting systems create doors which move automatically. These types of automatic sliding fitting systems consist of several components:
- Activation device: This is a detector which registers an open command and transfers it to the drive control/control unit. There are manual detectors, such as touch pads, remote controls, buttons and switches, and automatic detectors, such as movement detectors, sensors, photoelectric barriers and digital barriers. For reasons of convenience, several different types of detectors are often fitted to an automatic door.
- Control unit: This is the brain of the system, which usually includes timer switches, settings for opening speeds, angles and hold-open time, and if applicable additional safety technology such as access controls, video monitoring, etc.
- Drive: The door drive uses motor force to open the door. The drive pulls the door open and then closes it again.
- Sensor strips: Sensor strips (presence detectors) monitor the path of the door leaves and the closing edges. They promptly stop the door if there is a threat of collision or entrapment involving a person or object.
The highest standards for automatic doors
An automatic door in a residential building © Aleksandrs Kendenkovs / GEZE GmbH
The safety standard for automatic door systems in Germany is the highest in the world. Since these components have electric drives, they are considered to e machines as defined by the Machinery Directive. They are therefore subject to special safety demands. The European standard EN 16005 is implemented by DIN EN 16005 in Germany and sets out the design requirements and test methods applied to ensure the safe use of automatic doors. Another legally applicable standard in Germany is DIN 18650, which remains compulsory as an older and more stringent standard.
The operator is legally obliged to secure the opening and closing movements of automatic doors, and the associated sources of risk. In some cases, monitoring of the main closing edges is sufficient. In specific circumstances (for example buildings used predominantly by older people, individuals with restricted mobility, or small children), the whole door area must be secured. Many older door systems can be retrofitted with a range of safety devices.
The key elements of DIN EN 16005 and DIN 18650 require hazardous areas to be protected by way of:
- Using sensors to avoid crushing, shearing and impact during opening and closing
- Safe distances to prevent crushing and being drawn in
- Limitation of the leaf forces
- Requirement for a high level of security in door control and "Performance Level c" sensors for standard doors or "performance level d" for escape and rescue routes (in accordance with EN ISO 13849-1)
Maintenance and inspection
In accordance with DIN EN 16005, DIN 18650 and the Technical Rules for Workplaces - Door and Gates (ASR A1.7), automatic doors are subject to a mandatory technical safety inspection by an expert. This applies to initial commissioning, and then a minimum of once per annum, but also as needed, for example if the building function changes.
In addition to this inspection, the maintenance requirement also includes mandatory regular maintenance of the automatic/power-operated doors. These intervals depend on the installation manufacturer’s specifications. Maintenance twice a year is recommended for automatic doors in escape and rescue routes.
Fire protection and clear escape routes
Automatic door systems within escape and rescue routes © Jürgen Pollak / GEZE GmbH
Automatic doors offer safety thanks to sophisticated systems and sensors - even in an emergency. Doors which are used as fire protection doors must close safely in the event of a fire, or if smoke develops. In an emergency, they automatically close via the impulse from a smoke detector and secure the fire section or prevent the spread of smoke. This can also be triggered by a building system, such as smoke detection central units.
If a passage is identified as an escape and rescue route, automatic doors must be equipped with a fail-safe opening impulse generator (detector). This ensures that the door opens within a few seconds of being triggered, or after a loss of power, so that the doors can be used as safe escape and rescue routes in an emergency.
Central control and monitoring through networking
Automatic door installations are often networked with building systems such as the rescue route system, access control system, building technology system and RWA control units. This enables central control and monitoring of all of these systems, so increasing efficiency of the facility management.
Accessible construction with automatic doors
The goal of accessible construction is to plan and construct buildings and housing such that they can be used by anyone without help and without limitation. Access for all is included in building regulations in Germany and is a criterion for public construction projects.
It must also be possible to open and close doors with a low amount of energy. Otherwise, automatic door systems are needed.DIN 18040-1 Publicly Accessible Buildings
Access for all is also becoming more popular in private homes. The number of older people in society is significantly increasing, and many people can and want to live an independent life into old age.
Access for all also offers numerous advantages in other stages of life. It helps people suffering the temporary consequences of accidents, people with prams, baggage or shopping bags, and families with small children. In these situations, i.e. when opening and closing doors manually is inconvenient, difficult or even impossible, automatic door solutions offer a high level of user convenience.
Telescopic sliding doors, folding doors, curved sliding doors, corner sliding doors, inclined sliding doors, smoke-proof sliding doors, break-out sliding doors, linear sliding doors - whatever the space and the needs, GEZE offers the right solution for every door.
Automatic sliding doors reliably and safely open in all situations. Automatic sliding doors are also used to create accessible buildings, and as escape route doors.
GEZE offers complete solutions designed to meet individual needs. For example, each revolving door is a solution tailored to the specific client. GEZE enables almost unlimited design freedom with various materials and colours. The high insulation effects to protect against draughts, weather and noise mean that revolving doors very effectively separate the indoor and outdoor climates and help to save energy. Revolving doors made by GEZE excite architects, planners and processors. From hotels, shopping centres and banks through to airports and museums, landmark buildings across the world are fitted with door solutions from GEZE.
Plus X Award
GEZE Powerturn – Product of the year 2015/2016
It is a perfect example of "made in Germany" Universal Design: the Powerturn automatic swing door drive also reliably and safely opens large, heavy doors with a leaf weight of up to 600 kg. This powerful GEZE product is also the safe and reliable solution for fire protection doors. At the same time, the low overall height of the swing door drive fits in perfectly with every design. Its unique smart swing function also facilitates effortless manual passage through the door – for anyone and at all times. As a true team player, this powerful GEZE model can be integrated flexibly in a wide range of different systems: it is a perfect fit across the product range.
GEZE offers swing door systems for inside and outside, and for a range of doors, whether small or large and light or heavy. They make going through a door easier wherever manual operation is too complex or difficult. Their outstanding features include reliability and safety, as well as a clear and modern design line. GEZE delivers project-specific solutions and gives planners maximum design freedom.
Increased protection against burglary with GEZE automatic doors
Door systems from GEZE make life difficult for burglar because GEZE also supplies sliding door systems and revolving door systems with burglar resistance certified to resistance class 2. These provide the burglar-resistant function RC2 in the NIGHT operating mode. In "NIGHT" operating mode, the door does not fulfil any escape route demands. It is therefore important to ensure that there is nobody in the building or that sufficient other escape routes are available.
On the safe side with automatic doors by GEZE
There are many variants of automatic sliding doors. © Erwin Kamphuis / GEZE GmbH
Would you like to welcome your visitors with a very special entrance solution? GEZE offers tailor-made entrance areas with revolving, sliding and automatic swing doors, along with all types of special solution, including machine safety doors. The range also includes activation devices which automatically manage and secure doors.
Door drives from GEZE automatically, safely and comfortably move automatic door systems. They can be flexibly adapted to various user needs. They also communicate with other devices, such as for example fire alarm systems, and take over control tasks in the building system.
GEZE has many years of experience with the stringent German safety standard in accordance with DIN 18650. All GEZE automatic door systems and sensor strips meet the EN 16005 standard.
For private homes: GEZE front door pack
The GEZE front door pack turns front doors on individual homes and apartment blocks into automatic, barrier-free access solutions. The flexible selection of components allows for a customised front door pack, e.g. unlocking the door using 'fingerprint' access control. If desired, this type of front door can also be integrated into an existing Smart Home system.
You can find informative material on the automatic door systems from GEZE as a PDF for download here.