ADA Compliant Entrances: Automatic Doors Reduce Costs, Increase Beauty

CLEVELAND, OHIO – May, 2013 – Since the Americans’ with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), architects have been challenged with creating attractive building entrances that are welcoming to people of all shapes, sizes and abilities while maximizing valuable floor space, and keeping an eye on the bottom line. Automatic doors can provide a solution.

In new construction and remodeling alike, it is often more convenient and cost effective to install automatic doors than it is to use other ADA compliant entryways. While an entrance does not need to be automated for accessibility, an automatic door often costs less, requires less space, and is more aesthetically appealing than a manual door.

Manual entrances that meet ADA standards require a maneuvering clearance for wheelchairs, which demands an extra large entrance area. Automatic entrances are exempt from these maneuvering clearances and are convenient for all.

When remodeling, automatic doors can greatly reduce the overall cost of a project due to tax breaks. This is because the IRS allows a facility owner to deduct up to $15,000 per year for expenses associated with ADA accessibility.

Automatic doors are also exempt from the low opening forces (i.e. 5-8 lbf) that manual entrance doors must comply with to meet ADA requirements.  This is particularly challenging in areas known for high wind gusts, which can easily increase the force required to open and close the doors.  The spring closing force of an automatic door can be up to 15 pounds, enabling it to remain closed during changes in weather.

Power failures are not a concern with automatic doors because automatic doors can be operated manually during power outages. A loss of electricity is not a normal condition so it is not a consideration in complying with the law.

ADA-compliant automatic doors can be offered in either a swing or slide configuration. Revolving doors in almost all cases require an alternate form of access such as a swing entrance.

Specifying automatic doors provides an attractive solution that not only solves ADA requirements, but also saves space, costs less and provides convenience for all.

For more information about automatic doors and advice in choosing the right door for your building design, visit the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers at

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