Royal Boon Edam, a world-leading manufacturer of energy-saving revolving doors, has introduced air curtain technology to its Australasian entrance ranges to further extend their sustainability and health benefits in building environments.

When integrated into a revolving door, the air curtains create a barrier of air flowing from the entrance system’s canopy or sides to further extend the door’s built-in capability to keep out summer heat or winter cold, thereby saving heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) costs through its unique ‘Always-Open, Always-Closed’ configuration.

Additionally, the air technology extends the revolving door’s ability to exclude pollutants and airborne health hazards such as dust, noise, smoke, odours, exhaust gases, particulates and other health and hygiene hazards that can compromise a healthy interior environment.

“These environmental health advantages of using air curtain technology complement the revolving doors’ built-in ability to regulate traffic flow into commercial, high rise, health, hospitality and hygiene focused facilities such food and beverage, logistics and pharmaceutical processing facilities,” says Boon Edam Australia managing director Michael Fisher.

Air curtain

Both air curtain technology and complementary touchless access security can be built into broad ranges of Boon Edam’s Tourniket, Tournex, Tourlock, Duotour and Circle doors, which are used by Fortune 500 companies in 27 countries. Boon Edam’s entrance systems find application in high security data and financial centres through to hospitals, healthcare and aged care facilities as well as hotels, hospitality and restaurant venues, in addition to food and beverage processing plants where hygiene is imperative, particularly in a post-COVID world.

Revolving doors

High-volume revolving doors, left, can be used in combination with integrated air curtain technology and Boon Edam touchless security entrances, right

According to Boon Edam business development manager Darren Assey, while the energy conservation benefits of architectural revolving doors have long been understood, their inherent health benefits across a wide range of high and low-rise buildings are increasingly being acknowledged as a solution to tackle the rising urban and airborne pollution levels.

By functioning as effective airlocks, revolving doors reduce HVAC costs while allowing smooth access for workplace and visitor pedestrians. On warmer days, they keep expensive cool air in, reducing air conditioning costs. In cooler times, they keep cold air out, thereby reducing heating costs.

Logistics & meat processing

Logistics, meat processing and food, beverage and pharmaceuticals handling facilities are applications where hygiene is a priority

The earliest adopters of revolving doors were high-rise buildings that were experiencing strong pressure caused by air rushing through their conventional doors, causing stack-effect pressure. This disrupted the smooth functioning of their HVAC systems, resulting in loss of the expensively cooled or warmed air. 

“In today’s hygiene-aware environment, the ‘Always Open, Always Closed’ principle also works beautifully in helping to exclude a whole host of airborne pollutants, allergens and irritants, both natural and manmade, ranging from traffic particulates, dust, smoke and fumes through to allergens that can aggravate respiratory issues arising seasonally and during different weather conditions,” says Assey.

“Pollution and energy efficiency have profound sustainability implications of which architects, engineers, builders and building managers and owners are already well aware. Whether it is an office building, shop, hotel, educational or health facility, specifiers and building operators appreciate there is a Duty of Care to keep their buildings healthy.

“We don’t pretend for a moment that one solution can be a silver bullet for interior sustainability issues – this is a multi-tiered issue – but we do say that revolving doors have inherent and expanding advantages that increasingly suit our built environments,” he added.

For a green building to be sustainable and energy-efficient, it’s important to prevent HVAC losses through inefficient doors – especially since HVAC is the single biggest contributor to the total cost of operating a large building. The Australian Department of Environment and Energy has estimated that HVAC accounts for 39 per cent of the typical energy consumption of an office building, well ahead of the 25 per cent for lighting and 22 per cent for equipment and 4 per cent for lifts.

“And these figures don’t begin to take into account the human and financial cost of illness or the risk of illness for people working in environments that are less than ideally healthy or where there are known risks to the workplace or production facility where workspace ratios must be closely regulated. This is a very real issue with COVID risks and for the large numbers of people with upper respiratory tract issues and allergies, which account for several million visits a year to doctors in Australasia,” says Assey.

In a post-COVID world where hygiene will continue to be a priority especially in commercial, healthcare, hospitality, industrial and workplace environments as well as enclosed public spaces, Boon Edam’s air curtain technology integrated with revolving doors could indeed improve indoor air quality, leading to better health and building performance outcomes.