Shopping centres require huge amounts of energy to maintain their daily activity, mainly due to the functioning of HVAC systems, because they earmark a large part of their revenue for the maintenance of temperature in optimal conditions, both for clients and employees.

The concept of climate comfort in large stores is different from that of other types of buildings (residential buildings, offices, etc.), due particularly to the large daily influx of people. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in shopping centres are located in the upper part thereof, thus avoiding streams of air and affecting as little as possible the clients’ comfort. On the other hand, due to their location, it is intended that HVAC systems do not obstruct people’s free movement, while at the same time square metres of usable space are gained.

However, keeping such comfort stable is not an easy task, being as how in such places, great temperature exchanges occur between the interior and the exterior, considering the overall entry and exit of people in the facilities.

How to minimise these energy exchanges?

The insulation of the shopping centre is one of the key aspects when it comes to achieve proper air conditioning. To fulfil such conditions of insulation, we need to repair cracks and fissures in walls and roofs. In the event that there were cavity walls in the building, the level of insulation could be increased by injecting insulation materials into them such as polyurethane or mineral wool.

But with no doubt whatsoever, one of the points where most energy loss is processed is through the accesses to shopping centres. Access doors in those large stores open and close an endless number of times throughout the day, so it is essential to rely on a system that minimises the energy impact derived from their use.

For this purpose, the best choice is the one regarding the installation of automatic doors. By means of using this type of doors, temperature exchanges will be highly prevented, as well as the energy overrun derived from such exchanges, since automatic doors improve insulation in the facilities thanks to their high-speed opening and closing systems.

Automatic doors are highly worthwhile, mainly regarding accessibility, since they enable free movement of clients whatever their mental or physical condition is. Thanks to this type of doors, it is not required for people with reduced mobility, for instance, that they carry out any extra-effort. Besides, automatic doors with integral panic break-out system are perfect for places such as shopping centres since, should the need arise, they can be fully folded up to assure a proper evacuation, without having to renounce to its functionality or aesthetics.

Maintaining a balance between comfort and energy cost is possible, although aiming to achieve such goals, those elements that need to be changed or repaired have to be looked upon.