Architects Take The Lead ON LEED With Automatic Doors

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Specifying automatic doors in designs can help buildings achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating points. Established by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is the most widely accepted standard used to establish a sustainability rating for buildings. The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) provides the following information for architects about how automatic doors can help facilities gain LEED points in three of six categories: Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.

1) Energy and Atmosphere: Automatic sliding doors and revolving doors can contribute to energy savings for LEED ratings. Air flows in and out of a building because of differences in air pressure. Regular pedestrian traffic at a typical large office building allows up 30,000 cubic feet of air to escape per minute. An automatic revolving door creates an “always open, always closed” barrier, minimizing wasteful airflow. When the door rotates some air will be exchanged, but overall, much less flows in and out of the building.

Automatic sliding doors with appropriate seals (such as a molding or strip that blocks the gap between doorjambs and edges) can create a positive weather-tight seal that helps prevent airflow and save energy. In addition, automatic door panels can be glazed with insulated glass to further promote energy savings.

2) Materials and Resources: Selecting automatic doors which contain recycled content also contributes to the opportunity to earn LEED points. Framing and cladding on automatic doors can be made with recycled steel and aluminum. The value of recycled content for LEED certification is determined by weight. While aesthetic requirements often require a combination of primary materials and recycled materials, the higher the percentage of recycled content in the automatic doors, the more they will contribute to LEED points. Work with your manufacturer to maximize LEED points earned in the materials and resources category. A facility can earn an additional “Exemplary Performance” credit if 30% or more of the total value of materials used in the project incorporate recycled material.

3) Indoor Environmental Quality: The goal of Indoor Environmental Quality LEED credit is to reduce the exposure of building occupants and construction workers to irritating or harmful air contaminants. Automatic doors may be able to contribute to a facility’s LEED points when door framing is coated with low-emitting materials. Automatic doors that use paints and coatings on interior metal that do not exceed the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) content limit help earn LEED credits. Check with the automatic door manufacturer about LEED-friendly coatings such as a powder coat paint finish with an anodized aluminum finish.

To find the right automatic door manufacturer for your LEED rated project, visit the AAADM website for architects at

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