Automatic Swing Doors

Automatic swing doors are arguably the most common automatic door in the UK.

This is partly because of their flexibility; you can have a complete install or you can have your existing swing doors automated (In most cases, individual doors require assessment)

Automatic Swing doors come in two main formats; Fully Automatic or Low energy.


Low energy

A low energy swing door requires no safety sensors to be installed as it moves so slowly that if it ever had an impact on a person or object, the force would be so low it would not hurt them (less than 67 newton meters of force). This often equates into hundreds of pounds worth of savings not fitting safety sensors.

Low energy doors are really only suitable for low traffic door systems that only get used a few times a day and not by any vulnerable people. For example the minimum opening time is 4.5 second and the min hold open time is 5 seconds. This makes for a very slow door. This is fine for a front door on a residential dwelling or an internal office door designed to be used by trained traffic occasionally. Any door with higher traffic requirements should be fully automatic so it can open faster, so not to inhibit the users passing through the doors.

Low energy doors are usually activated with Press pads.

Fully Automatic

Fully automatic doors work at a faster speed, hence they have a larger pushing force (up to 150n). The reason they can be ran much faster is they have safety sensors mounted to the top of each door leaf, which effectively scan the area in front of the door looking for oncoming obstructions. These sensors will be mounted across the width of the length at the top or mid height.

These in turn will stop the door before the leaf has a chance to impact. Most fully automatic swing door operators are also rated for constant usage, suitable for high volume traffic sites like shopping centres, hospitals and supermarkets.

Automatic swing doors are available as a single door or a pair that work in harmony. These are in inward and outward opening making any door potentially possible to automate.

Please note: If you have an inward opening door that is on an escape route, the door must have “ breakout facility” which allows the door to be manually pushed in the outward direction for emergency escape.

Every swing door must have barrier rails protecting the side approach if the doors do not open against walls or screens that stop side approach.

A swing door must be serviced at least every 6 month and periodically tested to BS EN16005 to check that it is conformant.

Activations for swing doors are most commonly Microwave sensing devices but can also be mechanical press pads and remote fobs. Integration with access control systems and building management solutions is very common.

For access controller doors, Swing systems can be installed alongside Electric locks and will control their functions. Typically Magnetic Locks, Solenoid bolts and Strike releases are used.

The two main types of Operators are Electro-mechanical and hydraulic

As with any machinery, Automatic door safety is important – Insist on an ADIA member to test and certify your door to BS EN 16005

If your automation is to aid a few people or a low usage door set, a low energy door installation is fine, otherwise always insist on an automatic door with full safety to the BS EN 16005.