The newly released International Building Code (IBC) for 2021 includes a provision that mandates automatic doors for entrances to public buildings.
IBC 1105.1.1 stipulates that in facilities meeting building occupant load thresholds for a number of common occupancies, accessible public entrances must have one door be either a full power-operated door or a low-energy power-operated door. The code applies to a wide range of public places, including retail stores, restaurants, clubs and casinos, movie theaters and concert halls, libraries, banks, and college dormitories.
“The new code requirement accommodates a wide variety of accessibility needs that manual doors being installed today cannot encompass,” said Joe Hetzel, technical advisor to the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers in a news release. In the COVID-19 era, occupants of all buildings could benefit from the touch-free, germ-free accessibility provided by automatic doors, according to the release.
As a result, more building owners may opt for automatic doors in retrofits as well as in new construction.