The evolving world of commercial door technology
Commercial door technology is always evolving with new solutions providing innovative ways for companies to enhance aesthetics, convenience, fire safety and security.
Manufacturer of revolving doors, Boon Edam has noticed an increase in the need for security when it comes to commercial doors due to “a worldwide increase in protests, civil unrest and Covid restrictions”. They observe that the need for increased door security is particularly prevalent when it comes to major government centres such as legislatures and embassies and the headquarters of major private commercial companies.
“It is a sad fact – but a fact nevertheless – that our company globally has seen a rising wave of dissent, activism, vandalism and forced entry incidents globally across the 27 countries in which we are a leading global provider of architectural revolving doors and layered security systems,” Boon Edam Australia Managing Director Michael Fisher says.
“We don’t want it to be this way, and we don’t want to exaggerate the risks, but we do make it our responsibility to provide solutions where they are needed,” he says.
A key product that responds to increasing risk is Boon Edam’s Tourniket revolving Door. The Tourniket was the first revolving door manufactured by Boon Edam, with its origins stretching back to 1903. Since then, its construction, and the technology within, have evolved into a sophisticated and intelligent revolving door.
The Tourniket can be fully customised to reflect a building’s design and functionality. It is available with three or four door wings, with manual or automatic operation and in virtually any colour or finish you can think of.
The Tourniket complies with the strictest safety regulations. Safety Sensors in the door wings and in the frame ensure that the door responds to users and objects, minimising impact with the user. The door behaviour can be customised to suit your building’s requirements. Such requirements could be based on your priority for safety or taking into account various user groups ranging from professionally trained users to locations where people with special needs form a large part of the user profile such as children and elderly people.
Boon Edam can also offer extra safety measures with the Tourniket such as automated or manual locking options, external or internal night-locking doors, security lockdown, remote locking, access control options and a burglar protection package.
“These doors have been approved for use in the entrance to government buildings in Australia, where the European certifications have been deemed acceptable for this application,” says Fisher
“Most break-ins, vandalism and burglaries are opportunist events. Perpetrators will look for the weakest point to gain access and determine what they can take in the shortest space of time,” he says.
“That’s why our Burglar-Resistant packages focus on more than just the glass, to include areas like the locks and the frames, to make sure all weak points are accounted for and suitably reinforced against attacks”.
The option for Manual Attack and Burglar-Resistant package to be added to the Tourniket door increases resilience to attacks and vandalism. To ensure there are no weak points in the total construction of the door, this package goes through an extensive testing process, including hand-held tools, static force, and falling weight. During the hand-held tools test, the doors are subjected to multiple attacks using hand-held tools, such as a crowbar, for a set time.
The Static Force test is also used to determine the locking capability. This test simulates the effects of force being applied to certain points of the door. Lastly, the falling weight test is applied to simulate the impact of a brutal attempt to kick-in or tamper with the door. The glass is also subject to extensive testing, with Drop and Axe tests applied to ensure heavy blows do not penetrate the glass.
Boon Edam’s Burglar-Resistant Tourniket doors have been used across Australia, in applications that cannot be identified to protect the security of their clients. Under the right circumstances, with client permission, Boon Edam can, however, arrange a site visit to see these installations.
“Revolving doors are an integral part of the solution, especially where they are combined with a flexible comprehensive suite of security entrances that take the pressure off expensive manned security and staff monitoring – it makes sense economically and in terms of Duty of Care to provide a healthy, safe environment, Fisher says.
He also notes how much HVAC and energy saving the installation of a revolving door can provide, compared with a sliding door. Boon Edam has developed energy savings calculation software that can tell you exactly that.
“You can enter building specific information such as dimensions, orientation and air permeability and combine them with local weather information to create an accurate comparison between energy use with a revolving door versus a sliding door,” he explains.
“Designers increasingly appreciate that revolving doors function naturally as airlocks, which allow smooth pedestrian flow while saving money on heating, ventilation and air-conditioning”.
When it comes to fire resistant doors for commercial spaces, Managing Director at Smoke Control Brendan Kennedy says design does not have to be compromised.
He recommends their fully glazed fire doors as opposed to traditional fire doors which block all the natural light into lobby areas, creating a dark enclosed and uninviting area. Smoke Control’s fully glazed fire doors are made using galvanised steel frames and Clear Grade A Safety Glass to provide maximum light transmission and an inviting, secure entry.
“Fully glazed fire doors allow natural light further into the building while providing an open, safe and inviting feel for all occupants to areas of buildings previously underutilised,” he says.
“Fully glazed fire doors on fire stairs for example invite occupants to use the stairs to move between levels of buildings within the same tenancy, rather than use the lifts servicing all floors of a multi-tenant building”.
Steel framed glazed fire and smoke doors provide a durability unmatched by traditional aluminium-framed doors. Kennedy notes that while the upfront cost can be higher, the total life cycle cost is significantly lower, particularly for high traffic applications such as hospitals, shopping centres and theatres. With smaller sections now available, steel is becoming recognised as the preferred aesthetic solution over aluminium. Smoke Control can also offer steel frame glazed doors (non-fire rated) when durability is the preferred option.
Smoke Control’s specialty fire doors come in a range of sliding and hinged doors fire tested for hydrocarbon and cellulose fires. They are suitable for tunnels, petrochemical facilities, substations and high-risk processing facilities.
The range includes hinged and sliding fire doors and blast resistant door systems. Constructed of composite panels and Smoke Controls’ “unique fire core construction” their range of specialty fire doors provide both fire integrity and insulation ratings.
Smoke Control is currently installing fire rated glazed doors for The Civic Accommodation Project, Geelong, a purpose-built commercial hub with state-of-the-art environmental features, with the facility supporting community wellbeing, growth and sustainable development.
According to Alspec, accessibility is becoming an increasingly important consideration for commercial building entrance doors. Alspec notes that level entry and zero threshold sills are an ideal way to give greater access to the building for all levels of mobility. Entrance doors with no trip hazards mean easier access for people with a disability, senior Australians, people with temporary injuries, and families with young children.
Some of Alspec’s key accessibility-friendly doors include The ProGlide UltraFlat Sliding Door which gives architects and designers the freedom to achieve large expansive openings whilst also offering a weather resistant wheelchair compliant sill. There is also the Hawkesbury Top Hung Sliding Door which is ideal for commercial applications. The solid, durable, and high-performance product offers a continuous accessible path of seamless transition between internal and external floor finishes that is capable of large panel sizes up to 3000mm in height and 2500mm in width.
The Hawkesbury Commercial Multi-Fold Door, on the other hand, gives a functional alternative to traditional door units in commercial applications. Powered by hardware from Centor Architectural the door features top-rolling operation for smooth, trouble-free operation whether configured for inward or outward stacking or with an odd or even number of door stiles.
Another top pick for commercial builds is the Swan Evo 45mm/70mm Commercial door, a versatile shop front door that is easy to fabricate and install and can be used in hinged, pivoted or sliding configurations.
An example of the Hawkesbury Commercial Multi-Fold Doors and Swan Evo 45mm Double Glazed Commercial Doors in action can be seen at the Rydges Hotel at the Gold Coast Airport. The doors were selected to provide easy access to the ground floor outdoor amenities. The multi-fold doors operate smoothly using tyred floor guides along concealed channels. This enables a wide opening to connect the poolside area to the adjacent restaurant and bar, creating an indoor-outdoor relaxing leisure space. The Swan Evo doors used where hinged or pivoted doors were required. Their centre pocket glazing and hardwearing componentry, makes them ideal for the hotel and hospitality environments from both security and durability perspectives.
Alspec’s ProGlide Sliding Doors and Hawkesbury Commercial Multi-Fold doors were also selected for premium retirement complex Anglicare Woolooware Shores in Taren Point, NSW. The ProGlide Sliding Doors with a flush sill option allow a smooth transition from indoor to outdoor areas to assist residents of all mobility levels. Across the project Alspec doors were chosen not just for their versatility, but because of the site’s proximity to the ocean and impacts from the elements. Being located on the coast, the first requirement is for key building components to have good weathering and corrosion resistant properties. Alspec’s aluminium frames are made from architectural grade aluminium which is highly corrosion resistant and exceptionally strong.
Altro agrees that “doors have it tough” and that the resulting wear and tear can be unsightly, cause costly maintenance and be hard to clean.
Altro notes that internal commercial doors can be particularly hard to clean and keep hygienic. This is where Altro’s doorset systems come in. Altro Whiterock Hygienic Doorsets are faced with PVCu cladding which means they’re not only tough and impact-deflective, but also hygienic and low maintenance. Hygienic doors are especially important in industries such as health and care, food and pharmaceuticals. Designers can choose from 44 different colours in the range.
Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery in Bolton in the UK, for example, chose Altro Whiterock Hygienic Doorsets to ensure a hygienic workspace.
Greenhalgh’s chief engineer, John Hurst, specified the Altro products: “To meet these standards we needed materials to be durable, high quality, easy to clean, and with proven hygiene credentials. It’s also very important to present the right image, so products that look stylish, modern and professional are essential. Altro ticked all these boxes for us.”
“Altro delivered the doorsets ready clad and we just had to hang them. The back-up and service from Altro was also excellent. They went the extra mile to ensure we had everything we needed”.
Choosing the best doors for your commercial build takes much consideration: from durability and security attributes to fire safety rating and aesthetic fit. With many innovative options on the market, there truly is a perfect door to suit every commercial build.
Image: Altro Whiterock Hygienic Doorsets / Supplied.
Boon Edam: www.architectureanddesign.com.au/suppliers/boon-edam
Smoke Control: www.architectureanddesign.com.au/suppliers/smoke-control