Automatic doors have a notable effect on energy impact in buildings, particularly those newly built, known as green or sustainable buildings.

The EDSF (European Door and Shutter Federation) highlights how important automatic doors are in the field of energy efficiency. The Federation also points out that: “the impact on the potential energy conservation of automatic doors is not well-known enough by the Green Building certification organisations, neither by buildings and automatic doors owners themselves”. However, the truth of the matter, according to information gathered by the EDSF itself, is that automatic doors entail some minimum investment outlay compared to other materials comprising a building, which is to say that the impact of the installation and maintenance of an automatic door may involve up to 2% or 3% of the total investment on a building, a low figure if compared to the energy conservation rate that may imply the installation of the most adequate automatic door, as the case may be.

In order to reach such savings level, it is necessary that automatic doors meet a set of requirements. For instance, opening and closing cycles have to be minimal, so that the building indoor temperature does not dispel and the outdoor temperature does not infiltrate into the facilities. Besides, they need to have a high level of tightness avoiding the origination of air leaks. If automatic doors meet such set requirements, high levels of energy and money savings can be achieved, besides reducing polluting emissions into the atmosphere, which are the main causes of climate change.

Aiming to help understanding the energy conservation that may imply the installation of automatic doors, the EDSF has created, by means of its web, an online energy calculator. This calculator offers real data on the energy impact automatic doors entail, regarding sustainability in buildings. Such metrics are of great interest, and have to be highly considered if we wish to reach the goals fixed by a sustainable construction, goals especially focused on the maximum reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as the economic expense resulting from the activity carried out within buildings, industrial units or shopping centres, amongst others.

How does the EDSF energy calculator work?

This calculator offers real data about possible losses resulting from the opening and closing of automatic doors in a building during a given space of time. Thanks to them, it is possible to calculate the level of tightness or the air permeability offered by doors, which is highly related to the energy consumption of the building in which they are installed.

On the other hand, the EDFS calculator offers the possibility of selecting the European zone in which we would like to perform the study; carrying out a comparison with up to three different scenarios, and evaluating the results obtained in order to best know how to enhance the current energy balance.

The main purpose of this energy calculator is that the user understands and observes through real figures the positive impact automatic doors have upon the energy efficiency of a building. An automatic door properly optimised at the thermal level and the appropriate insulation, as well as with an intelligent automation, can fulfil important levels of economic and energy savings. Such savings, for their part, will elevate the building category with the “green or sustainable building” seal all along its life cycle, which will also have an effect on users’ quality of life.

Besides this fact, when the time comes to build, the BIM (Building Information Modelling) standards are being followed. It is a process through which the building information is generated and managed all along its life cycle thanks to a 3D building modeling software. This software provides information in real time which, linked to the information distilled from the EDSF calculator, will provide reliable information about the steps to follow in future projects. We will also be able to gather real figures about the energy cost and impact that the installation of automatic doors entails in a specific building.

Automatic doors that comply with the established standards regarding tightness, automation and correct opening and closing cycles will ensure the achievement of the energy and sustainability standards being required. In this sense, we must not forget that it becomes absolutely necessary that doors strictly undergo maintenance controls indicated by manufacturers.

Manusa Automatic Doors