At Pressford’s Shutters and Shopfronts, we specialise in fitting and crafting automatic doors in Ireland, a feature that has become indispensable in our daily lives. It’s hard to imagine a time when entering a grocery store or any public building required manually pushing open a door. Over the decades, the development of automatic doors has dramatically transformed our approach to building entrances and exits, providing a convenient, hands-free experience.
For those in the business of developing, owning, or managing commercial or multifamily buildings, automatic doors are an invaluable asset. They not only enhance the safety of a property but also add a level of convenience and sophistication. Automatic doors in Ireland offer a seamless entry and exit experience for tenants, visitors, and staff, making them an essential feature for modern buildings.
Join us as we delve into the workings of automatic doors in Ireland and uncover why they are such a crucial component of contemporary building design.
How Automatic Doors Work
Automatic doors function through a sophisticated system that relies on sensors to detect when to open. When someone approaches, these sensors pick up specific cues and subsequently send a signal to the door’s operating mechanism. Once this signal is received, the mechanism activates, causing the door to open smoothly and efficiently.
There are primarily three types of sensors used in automatic doors:
These sensors are often placed on a mat in front of the door. When pressure is applied, such as when someone steps on the mat, the sensor triggers the door to open.
Pressure sensors, first introduced in the 1960s, operate based on changes in weight or pressure to signal when a door should open. These sensors are typically installed as mats or pads on the ground near the door. When an individual approaches and steps on this mat, the change in pressure – caused by the person’s weight – is detected by the sensor. This detection triggers the door to open, allowing for a seamless entry. This technology exemplifies how automatic doors use simple yet effective mechanisms to enhance accessibility and convenience in buildings.
Motion Detection and Optical Sensors
These are among the most common types of sensors. They use infrared or microwave technology to detect motion near the door, prompting it to open when someone or something approaches.
In the modern era, the majority of automatic doors are equipped with motion-detecting sensors. These sensors typically employ either microwave pulses or passive infrared (PIR) technology to sense movement.
Microwave beam motion detectors work by emitting microwave pulses and then measuring the reflections off moving objects. This method allows them to detect when someone is approaching the door. On the other hand, passive infrared sensors operate by detecting changes in temperature, specifically the body heat of individuals as they approach the door.
Sensors that utilise microwave technology tend to be more costly compared to infrared sensors, mainly because they can cover a larger detection area. However, one downside of microwave sensors is their susceptibility to electrical interference, which can sometimes affect their performance. Despite this, both types of motion-detecting sensors are highly effective for automating doors, each offering unique advantages depending on the specific requirements of the installation environment.
Access Control or Video Intercom Systems
These sensors are more sophisticated and are often used in secure areas. They may require a badge swipe, a code entry, or a video confirmation to signal the door to open.
Each of these sensor types plays a crucial role in the functionality of automatic doors, ensuring they open and close appropriately for users while maintaining security and efficiency.
In this setup, the door opens in response to a signal from an access control system. This signal could be triggered by various devices, such as a keycard, a fob, or a smartphone, all of which can be programmed to interact with the system. Unlike motion or pressure sensors, these systems require specific authorization for the door to operate, making them ideal for environments where restricted access is necessary.
This method is particularly suitable for multifamily buildings and commercial properties, where entry needs to be limited to authorised individuals. Such systems not only adhere to fire and safety regulations but also enhance the resident experience by providing a secure and controlled access method.
Furthermore, when these access control systems or smart video intercoms are cloud-based, they offer additional convenience for building staff. They can manage property access permissions remotely via a web browser, eliminating the need for physical presence to update or modify the system. This feature is a significant advantage for efficient building management, providing a seamless and secure method for controlling access to the property.
How Does a Sensor Make the Door Open?
When a sensor in an automatic door system detects someone approaching, as is often the case with automatic doors in Ireland, it activates the door’s opening mechanism. This mechanism, typically powered by an electric motor, opens the door according to its design.
There are many types of automatic doors in Ireland, each suited to different building needs:
- Sliding Doors: Ideal for two-way traffic areas, automatic sliding doors may use overhead tracks or tracks with rollers for smooth operation.
- Swinging Doors: Suited for one-way traffic, automatic swinging doors can open either inward or outward, based on the design and flow of traffic.
- Folding Doors: Perfect for smaller entrances where space is a concern, automatic folding doors fold into themselves to create a passageway.
- Revolving Doors: Best for high-traffic locations, automatic revolving doors enable simultaneous entry and exit, managing a continuous flow of people.
Choosing the right type of automatic door for your building in Ireland depends on the type of pedestrian traffic and the space available. Each style offers unique advantages and can be customised to fit the specific needs of your property, ensuring both functionality and convenience.
Benefits of Automatic Doors for Buildings
Understanding the benefits of automatic doors is key to realising their value and why they’re a worthwhile investment for buildings.
Here are some of the advantages that automatic doors offer:
- Energy Savings: One of the primary benefits of automatic doors is their ability to conserve energy. They play a significant role in maintaining the internal climate of a building by minimising the loss of conditioned air. This can lead to reduced heating and cooling costs, making them an energy-efficient choice for any building.
- Touchless Entry: In an era where hygiene is paramount, automatic doors offer the advantage of touchless entry. By eliminating the need to touch shared surfaces like door handles, they help in reducing the spread of germs and viruses, making them a safer option for public and private spaces alike.
- Convenience: The convenience of hands-free entry cannot be overstated. Automatic doors make it easier for people carrying groceries, handling children, or moving heavy furniture to enter buildings without the hassle of manually opening a door. This ease of access is not just a matter of comfort but also enhances accessibility for all, including those with mobility challenges.
These benefits demonstrate why automatic doors are not just a modern convenience but also a practical and health-conscious choice for buildings.
Discover the benefits of installing energy-efficient automatic doors in Ireland for your building. Get in touch with the team today here at Pressford Shutters and Shopfronts.