The ins and outs of revolving doors

Building Connections Illustrations
Revolving doors can be connected to the building at mid-post, throat opening, or by keyhole configuration.

With rising energy costs and clients’ growing demand for comfortable, safe, and environmentally sustainable buildings, revolving doors can be a true asset. Revolving doors are among the most energy-efficient entrance solutions. The ‘always open, always closed’ principle of a revolving door ensures the conditioned inside air and the unconditioned outside air remain separated, preventing drafts, dust and noise coming into the building. As less energy is required to maintain the conditioned climate inside the building, revolving doors help reduce the carbon footprint of a building and save both energy and cost—key assets in today’s building environment.

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A: Motion sensors in front of the throat opening are used to begin rotation of the door when a user approaches. B: Infrared safety sensors placed on the top rail and right side of the throat opening prevent contact with users or objects. C: Rubber contact switches are redundant methods of stopping the door.

Glen grew up in the revolving door business with his father, Richard Tracy, who manufactured revolving door systems in Chicago for more than 30 years. After nearly 13 years working for his dad, Glen branched out briefly in the automatic door business, prior to joining Boon Edam in 2000. He has been employed at Boon Edam for over 14 years and has held various leadership roles within the outside sales group, including Regional Sales Manager positions in the Midwest and Southeast, National Distribution Manager, and he currently serves as National Sales Manager. Glen has a long history of working closely with architects, glazing contractors, consultants and key customers across several verticals since 1986. Mr. Tracy resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. He can be reached by e-mail at

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3 comments on “The ins and outs of revolving doors”

  1. That is a terrific article summarizing the key points one need to consider in selecting and specifying the revolving door.
    Perhaps you might wish to add that there are other methods of door operation other than microwave motion sensor or infrared sensors. There are electrostatic mat switch and pressure switch available if you would like to keep a clean slim canopy appearance not marred by sensor detectors.
    Light beam sensors are commonly used on slim elevator glass door edge as safety features to prevent bi-parting glass doors from closing onto users. Is there any particular reasons why such safety features are not being used in revolving doors?
    A note about what happen in the event of an emergency like earthquake, fire alarm, burglar alarm or power outage would be helpful- whether fail safe or fail secure option are available and how it can be deployed in each of these situations eg. interlock with one or more of these signals.under various regulatory jurisdictions would be extremely helpful.

  2. I didn’t know that revolving doors were invented in Philadelphia
in 1888 by Theophilus Van Kannelcould. He must have been pretty smart as they do help reduce air infiltration and keep a business or building more energy efficient. I’ve noticed that many public buildings in areas where it get’s really cold in the winter use revolving doors. The only question I have is what kind of maintenance and repairs are needed for revolving doors? Is it more or less frequent than standard doors?

  3. I like that you mentioned considering the safety restrictions on rotation speed. You want to be sure and avoid any legal issues or injuries. I would also find a maintenance company at the same time.

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