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Automatic Doors - "Knowing Act"

LGreene

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There is a standard for automatic doors - BHMA A156.19 - that is referenced by the IBC, IFC, and NFPA 101, as well as ICC A117.1 and the ADA standards. The standard covers low-energy automatic doors - the type of doors that are usually actuated by a push button and open slowly (not the type at the entrance to a grocery store).

This standard requires low-energy operators to be actuated by a "knowing act," such as a push plate actuator or non-contact switch mounted on the wall or jamb, the act of manually pushing or pulling a door, or an access control device like a card reader, keypad, or keyswitch (https://idighardware.com/2013/08/decoded-actuators-for-low-energy-operators/). The doors are also required to open slowly and with limited force, to ensure safety without the safety sensors or guide rails that are required for full-powered pedestrian doors (like at the grocery store).

This standard will be revised soon, in part to address new technology and methods for operating these doors. For those of you involved in accessibility, should the following applications be allowed for operation of these doors? Should any additional safety features be required?

1) An app that can be installed on the phone of someone using a wheelchair, who is physically unable to push a wall-mounted actuator. This would be used by a very limited number of people in a building or on a campus, for example, at a university where a student or faculty member needs to open specific doors.

2) An access control system where someone outside communicates with someone in an office via intercom, and the person in the office not only unlocks the door but opens it automatically. An example would be a school entrance where the receptionist grants access and opens the door from within the main office.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

ICE

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This standard requires low-energy operators to be actuated by a "knowing act," such as a push plate actuator or non-contact switch mounted on the wall or jamb, the act of manually pushing or pulling a door, or an access control device like a card reader, keypad, or keyswitch

I assume that the participant of the "knowing act" is the person that's about to pass through the doorway. I have encountered doors that will open by a security guard at a desk. The entrance to the ~~~~~~ art museum is curved glass doors that open by means of an occupancy sensor......somewhat unnerving. Are those not legal?

The art museum was plenty fancy. If you make the trip, check out the bathrooms. I said to the curator, "This place is so fancy that I'm surprised that I was allowed inside". Without a pause to consider he said, "We want to reach out to people like you so that you might gain an appreciation for fine art". He didn't know that I appreciate a fine artist.
 
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Francis Vineyard

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Clarify the app is an accessory or in addition to the required "push plate actuator" and the code requirements are not otherwise changed.

So I supposed the app will have a standard and be available for free.

I don't for see any security or safety issues with this feature.
 
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LGreene

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I have no problem with #2. I have concerns with #1 with the phone app.

Is there something that would make you more comfortable with #1? Safety sensors, signage, an audible alert that the door will be opening? The main problem is that it's difficult or impossible to add guide rails to some existing applications. These rails are required with the grocery-store type operators that move faster and with more force. If we could compromise by adding some safety features but not requiring guide rails, that would be more feasible. These doors open slowly and with no more than 15 pounds of force, and the knowing-act requirement was only introduced about 10 years ago. Prior to that it was acceptable to have low-energy operators initiated by a motion sensor (not a knowing act), with no safety sensors or guide rails.
 

LGreene

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This standard requires low-energy operators to be actuated by a "knowing act," such as a push plate actuator or non-contact switch mounted on the wall or jamb, the act of manually pushing or pulling a door, or an access control device like a card reader, keypad, or keyswitch

I assume that the participant of the "knowing act" is the person that's about to pass through the doorway. I have encountered doors that will open by a security guard at a desk. The entrance to the ~~~~~~ art museum is curved glass doors that open by means of an occupancy sensor......somewhat unnerving. Are those not legal?

The art museum was plenty fancy. If you make the trip, check out the bathrooms. I said to the curator, "This place is so fancy that I'm surprised that I was allowed inside". Without a pause to consider he said, "We want to reach out to people like you so that you might gain an appreciation for fine art". He didn't know that I appreciate a fine artist.

Yikes! "People like you?!" What a response!

The requirement for operation by a knowing act wasn't added to A156.19 until the 2007 edition, which was referenced by the 2009 edition of the model codes. So buildings built / low-energy operators installed before then could be actuated by am motion sensor.

And wait! I specified some operators initiated by motion sensors in a fancy art museum not too far from you. Was the museum you visited in Texas, or Arkansas?
 

LGreene

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Clarify the app is an accessory or in addition to the required "push plate actuator" and the code requirements are not otherwise changed.

So I supposed the app will have a standard and be available for free.

I don't for see any security or safety issues with this feature.

Good question! The app is in addition to the knowing act switch that can be used by other people who are able to push it. The app would only be used by specific individuals who can not use the wall-mounted switch. There is a video of someone using the app here: https://idighardware.com/2018/07/wwyd-auto-operator-app/
 

ICE

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Well I am in So. California and so is the museum. It’s not much as far as the art on display. I have to go and it’s a long drive. At least there’s never a crowd and they validate parking.
 

LGreene

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Well I am in So. California and so is the museum. It’s not much as far as the art on display. I have to go and it’s a long drive. At least there’s never a crowd and they validate parking.

If you go to a fancy museum in Arkansas with doors on motion sensors, that's probably my project. :)
 

Francis Vineyard

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Good question! The app is in addition to the knowing act switch that can be used by other people who are able to push it. The app would only be used by specific individuals who can not use the wall-mounted switch. There is a video of someone using the app here: https://idighardware.com/2018/07/wwyd-auto-operator-app/
Why restrict the availability of the app? What of visitors and those that may temporarily require assistance?
 

LGreene

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Why restrict the availability of the app? What of visitors and those that may temporarily require assistance?

That would be totally up to the facility - my point was that the doors would be opening automatically for very few people. This is not our product and I'm not involved with the design or the procedure for facilities to distribute the app. I'm just trying to gather information from the field so the standard can be modified in a way that would be acceptable to most AHJs.
 

steveray

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Not really understanding the functionality of this...Access can't be denied because you don't have a cellphone.....The accessible feature needs to be a permanent part of the building....
 

LGreene

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Not really understanding the functionality of this...Access can't be denied because you don't have a cellphone.....The accessible feature needs to be a permanent part of the building....

There is a push-button actuator on a wall or a bollard in addition to the app. The actuator can be used by anyone who is able to use it, but there are some individuals who can not. For them, the app on their phone gives them access to the building just by approaching in their wheelchair. https://idighardware.com/2018/07/wwyd-auto-operator-app/
 

mtlogcabin

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Is it specific to a specific door like a garage door opener or will it open every door equipped with one as the persons rolls past. I am thinking of some one going down a city sidewalk business/retail area and the doors opening since they would be less than 10 ft from the sidewalk.
 

LGreene

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Is it specific to a specific door like a garage door opener or will it open every door equipped with one as the persons rolls past. I am thinking of some one going down a city sidewalk business/retail area and the doors opening since they would be less than 10 ft from the sidewalk.

The app on someone's phone will open specific doors, not every door that has a receiver. It would be very limited to a particular building or campus. For example, if a company has an employee who needs the app, the app would be tied to doors with automatic operators that the person uses frequently. There would also be push-button actuators to be used by the employee with the broken leg or the visitor with the baby stroller. I don't see this being used on retail stores unless there is a store employee or VERY loyal customer who needs it.
 
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I would say any triggering mechanism should be allowed. And that would include the smart phone app. Just like any other power actuated door, this may be disabled at the end of the day when the doors are locked and secured. In terms of marketing, a manufacturer will sell more things if the thing can be controlled by your smart phone.
 

AlisonWilson

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I am very happy that you want to help people with disabilities and make their daily routine easier.
 
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