Great question as during our extensive audits of 110 of the LCBO’s stores for Ontario this came up as an issue time and time again. the answer depends on if the door is a high powered electric swing door or a low power door. It also depends on the nature of the sensors installed which may or may not sense if a wheelchair or person is still passing thru the door.
First a bit of background about AUTOMATIC or Power Assisted Doors before everyone panics thinking you have to replace all of your doors in your workplace, retail and public buildings.
Remember first and foremost AODA & ADA accessibility should not only be looked at as simply a design for disability, but also a function to serve everyone that uses the facility. In addition to meeting the needs of the 5.4 million Canadians with disabilities, an accessible building is more convenient for the elderly, children, and people carrying heavy loads, pulling laptop bags, or pushing strollers. It is a business advantage to create an environment that accommodates all ages and people.
The main source of technical design criteria for accessibility is ANSI A117.1 (1986) Standard, Making Buildings and Facilities Accessible to and Usable by People with Disabilities.
Of the 12 Canadian provinces and territories reviewed for this Blog, all have either adopted or adapted the Canadian National Building Code. This Code requires at least one automated door for certain types of buildings.
Both standards for manual doors state explicitly that the end users should not have to exert more than 30 pounds of pressure (50 pounds if it’s a breakaway) to start the door moving, more than 15 pounds of pressure to continue its movement, nor more than 15 pounds to operate any latching mechanism. Also there are many provisions for closing forces, sensor provisions, signage, guide rails, sensor pads and manoeuvring clearances.
The ANSI standard outlines the slower speed in which the door travels and the hold open time delay before the door is allowed to close. (Three key elements in what is called a low energy power operated door is evaluated for compliance to the standard are speed, force and time.) Proper signage is also mandatory for instructing the end user how to proceed safely and efficiently.
In contrast, what we typically encounter at the grocery store is a fast moving automatic door that has guide rails to keep us out of the swing path, motion sensors or mats to activate the door without needing to know how to open it, and presence sensors to prevent the door from closing on the end user. These are covered in ANSI/BHMA standard (A156.10) and require a greater number of features and functions to perform safely
For more detailed information about Automatic Doors see www.buildings.com which is a great resource for this & Facility related questions.
JE Sleeth Olga Dosis OPC Inc