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  Product Reviews - Power-Assisted Doors

*The National Center on Accessibility does not sell, promote or endorse any of the following products. For your convenience we have compiled this information to be used as a resource. Products listed may or may not meet accessibility standards or recommendations. It is important to check design specifications of products. This review is not comprehensive. It is additional information relative to our product presentation. We change and update our presentations on a regular basis. For more detailed information please contact the NCA at (812) 856-4422 Voice, (812) 856-4421 TTY or nca@indiana.edu.


Product Review

New Power-Assisted Doors easily operable for all users

Power-assisted doors are often added in high traffic areas of facilities to provide ease of access through entry doors that often exceed the force requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. One of the long standing criticisms to the power-assisted door models has been that because of the tension on the door opener, they are difficult to manually open. New power-assisted door models by Stanley Doors, AmeriLite and others address the issue.

In addition to the common door activating buttons, pressure pads and sensors, the low-energy power-assist operating system offers a low force requirement making the door much easier to operate manually. The user activates the system with a slight push or pull of the door handle, after which the operating system takes over and opens the door to a full 90 degrees with no further exertion from the user. The opening of the door can be extended past 90 degrees if desired, simply by changing settings on the operating mechanism. The low-energy operating units open and close doors slowly, stop when an obstruction is encountered and are-designed with adjustable time delays. These units also work in conjunction with other operating units such as activation buttons and push pads.

Tim Ball, former Facilities Manager for the City of Bloomington, states "I was really interested in the new doors because they had wireless remotes, where you could open the door just about wherever you wanted to. So it gave me a lot of flexibility as far as to where to put the remote buttons to open the door; I have one on the outside, one on the inside and I have one at the greeter's stand inside the lobby of the city's municipal building. It takes no wiring, they are operated by a 9-volt battery with a little antenna on the door itself. They've actually worked quite well." Jim Lang, the current Facilities Manager for the City of Bloomington concurs, " They work quite well. People do like them."

Bob Tegart, Department Head for Facilities Management at the Von Maur Department Store in Indianapolis says the doors also have a lower occurrence of replacement, having only replaced one unit in the last three years. Tegart believes that most problems occur when people to try to assist the door during its closing cycle, however the operating units themselves are quite durable.


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