What Are The ADA Door Opener Guidelines?
ADA stands for Americans With Disabilities Act, and is a national law that must be followed. The reach of the ADA is vast and it even includes the construction industry and ADA door openers. Specifically, there are ADA requirements that must be followed for all ADA door openers.
What Does ADA Classify As A Door Opener
First let us define an ADA door opener
. This is most commonly known as a handicap door opener or automatic door operator. It is a type of electromechanical swing door operator that uses an electric motor to automatically open the door, then a mechanical spring to gently close the door. In this article we will be specifically talking about ADA door opener requirements. If you are interested in automatic sliding door requirements, that is covered in our Automatic Sliding Door
Automatic and Power Assisted Doors
Per section 404.3 of the ADA requirements, it states "doors are not required to be automated, but must comply when provided. The Standards apply industry Standards developed under protocols of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and published by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA). The ANSI/BHMA Standards address operating characteristics, including opening speed, safety features, sensors and activation devices, and labeling, among others. Doors are classified by their type or level of automation
." Meaning that all function and operation guidelines such as opening/closing/latch speed, safety signage, handicap push plate placement, etc is outlined by ANSI and should be followed.
ADA Activation Devices
Also per section 404.3 of the ADA requirements, it states "Low energy doors and gates usually require activation by the user through a push plate or control and are often used in moderate traffic locations as an alternative to manual operation. Most function like a manual type but with a powered opener and closer option." This simply means that an ADA compliant automatic door opener will have some sort of activation device to communicate with the automatic door motor to open the door or close it. Industry standard activation devices include handicap push buttons
or touchless activation switches
Also per section 404.3.5 of the ADA requirements, it states, "Door and gate controls must be compliant as operable parts (operable with one hand and without tight grasping, pinching, twisting of the wrist, or more than 5 lbf). This just indicates that the activation device for the ADA door opener must be operable with one hand. Handicap push to open activation buttons are flat and require no grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist, and no more than 5lb of force to use, therefore they qualify as a compliant activation device.
Clear Floor Space
Also per section 404.3.5 of the ADA requirements, it states that "Clear floor space at controls must be located outside the door swing to prevent users from getting hit by the door." This means that the activation device to automatically open the door, must be placed away from the door swing, as illustrated below. This will prevent pedestrians from getting hit by the swing of the door as it opens or closes.
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