Automatic Doors - A selection guide

Automatic DoorGeneral: The members of AAADM manufacture an assortment of automatic pedestrian doors. This
selection guide is intended to acquaint architects, specification writers and owners with the various products available and the process involved in selecting an appropriate [yet cost efficient] automatic door

Automatic Swinging Doors Low Energy:

Automatic door low-energy swinging door operators are designed for applications requiring ADA compliance or user convenience. They are available in single, pair or double egress configurations. This type of operator is usually activated with push plates. The unit includes the header, operator and drive arm.

Automatic Swinging Doors:

Automatic door full-power swinging door operators can either be supplied as complete packages, or simply as the operator with header and drive arm. They can be mounted as overheadconcealed operators for direct drive applications or surface mounted for push and pull applications. Swing door products are designed for single, pair or double egress applications.

When supplied as a complete package, this will generally include: an operator, header, door panel(s), jambs, finger protection [if applicable], lock, guide rails and activation / safety system. When existing door panels are used, then an operator with header and drive arm are supplied – along with an appropriate activation and safety system.

In all instances, guide rails may be required to protect the swing area of the door panel. If the doors swing against a natural protective barrier such as a wall, then perhaps the guide rails can be eliminated.

Automatic Sliding Doors:Automatic Door

Automatic door – sliding doors are available in single slide, bi-part slide and telescopic slide configurations. As a rule, these are furnished as complete packages and can be surface mounted or concealed overhead (in-transom mounted). Slide doors typically include: an operator, header, track, carrier wheels, sliding door panel(s), sidelite panel(s), jambs, lock and activation / safety system. Other options are also available

Automatic Folding Doors:

Automatic door – folding doors are furnished as complete packages. This includes: the operator, header, pivot hardware, door panels, guide rails, lock and activation / safety system. They are offered in either single fold or bi-fold configurations.


In general terms, the various types of automatic doors are used in the following ways:

Automatic DoorLow-Energy:

Low-energy automatic door – swinging doors are a low cost solution that provide accessibility for physically challenged people – while allowing ordinary pedestrian traffic to use the door as a normal manual swinging door. It is common for low-energy operators to be applied to existing doors in order to meet AODA requirements.

Swinging Doors:

The automatic door – swinging door is normally used for directional, or one-way pedestrian traffic. Typically, one door is used for ingress and another for egress. The industry does not endorse the use of automatic swinging doors for two-way traffic applications. Exceptions are made; however, the application must be well planned in consultation with experienced designers with perhaps a remote switch / push plate to activate the door well in advance of an approach.

It is recommended that the automatic door manufacturer supply the aluminum swing door panel when an automatic operator is used. This ensures the door is constructed to accommodate the demand of an automatic application. Supplying an operator for use on existing doors is generally limited to applications where there is a preference to have the doors closely match adjacent entrances in the area, or for use on fire labeled doors.

Sliding Doors:

The automatic door – sliding door is a very efficient way to accommodate simultaneous two-way traffic flow. It can also be used very effectively in controlling directional traffic situations such as one door for entry-traffic and another door for exit-traffic.

Intended Uses for Automatic Doors:

High Traffic: Applications where more than two (2) persons per minute are moving through an opening, cart traffic such as grocery stores, or doors weighing up to approximately 150 pounds per moving panel.

Medium Traffic: Applications that have one (1) person per minute moving through the opening and lighter weight doors usually weighing less than 125 pounds per moving panel.

Low traffic: Applications where one (1) person every five minutes moves through the opening and for doors weighing less than 125 pounds per moving pane