The promotion of accessibility is fundamental to people’s quality of life, making it essential for the exercise of the rights conferred on any citizen, especially those with an impeding disability, be it intellectual, physical, emotional, sensory or communicational.
Since 2006, there has been a law in Portugal that protects the right to accessibility for all these people and involves a series of technical standards for the construction of public spaces, collective facilities, public buildings or housing.
Among the standards are adaptations for staircases, ramps, sidewalks, corridors, access doors, among other points that make a total difference for those who have their mobility reduced in some way.
Imagine that when you leave the supermarket with your shopping cart, you find a manual swing door closed? Even with the motor conditions intact, you would have some difficulty opening the door and passing with your shopping cart without the door closing against you.
Now put yourself in the shoes of a person in a wheelchair who is faced with the same situation. Did he have any other way out than asking someone for help?
This exercise in empathy helps us to better understand the urgency of adaptations in establishments.
The law provides that entrance/exit doors to buildings must not be less than 0.87 m wide, which must be measured between the face of the door leaf when open and the jamb or trim on the opposite side; if the door is swing or pivoting, consider the door in the 90º open position.
To ensure people’s access, some establishments choose to keep the door always open, which may not be advantageous for environments with air conditioning, for example, in addition to not being the safest.
That’s why automatic doors are the most effective solution in these situations.
Different ways to automate
There are several options for automating access doors. The most common is the use of presence sensors that make the door open only when we approach.
Other microwave sensors can trigger the opening of the door with the approach of the hands, avoiding the use of knobs and handles. And in more advanced solutions, access control can be done by biometrics or face reader.
In addition to accessibility
Accessibility alone justifies the use of automatic doors in establishments with public access, but in addition, other benefits are worth mentioning:
- Design: An asset in architecture that gives a modern, elegant and inviting look
- Health: Hygienic solution that prevents the proliferation of viruses and bacteria on contact surfaces
- Temperature: Because they are kept closed most of the time, they minimize the effects of cold and heat.