First impressions are everything, especially in hospitality spaces where entryways play an important role in shaping customer experiences. Leading hotel, restaurant and real estate group, Heart of America has turned to revolving doors from Boon Edam to create a premium design ambience for their guests while ensuring energy efficiency and comfortable protection from pollution, noise and weather.

Heart of America, which engineers, designs, builds and operates several hotels and restaurants for various global hospitality brands, uses Boon Edam TQA automatic and BoonAssist TQ manual revolving doors across all of their properties.

Part of Boon Edam Australia’s global range of architectural revolving doors and security entrances, these welcoming and energy efficient revolving doors are designed to create an impressive visual welcome while keeping out unwanted weather, noise and pollution from the moment guests step inside. Similar to Boon Edam revolving doors used in major Australian buildings, these doors operate on the always-open, always-closed principle that conserves HVAC energy by keeping cold air out and warm air in, and vice-versa.

“We are unique in that we have a lifecycle mentality, rather than a simple initial cost mentality, when it comes to our properties,” says Heart of America CEO Mike Whalen. “We have a design department and five architects on staff, in addition to our own construction division. We place high value on the customer’s perception of us and their comfort while they are on our properties.”

That mentality particularly applies to the entrances of its 35 hotels and restaurants in seven states, including Hilton, Marriott and Holiday Inn & Suites locations, as well as brands such as Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The Republic on Grand, Hotel Renovo, Wildwood Lodge, Thunder Bay Grille and The J Bar.

In addition to providing a secure entryway for customers, the revolving door entrance also represents excellence in design, elegance and quality – elevating the customer’s overall perception of the property.

“The old cliché that you get only one chance to make a first impression is painstakingly true of a hotel,” Whalen explains. “When our customers see a Boon Edam revolving door on our property, we think they view us as a higher-class structure. And from an energy management standpoint, the doors keep the cold air out, especially in the winter.”

Whalen and his team explored the possibility of implementing revolving doors after their national chain partners imposed licensing agreements that required automatic doors for entrances.

“I was sitting in our brand new beautiful lobby that had an automatic sliding door, and every time someone walked into the hotel, cold air rushed in,” Whalen explains. Moving forward, Whalen and his team will choose Boon Edam’s TQA automatic revolving doors for hotel properties and the American BoonAssist TQ manual revolving doors for restaurants. Both types of revolving doors fit the company’s design profile while minimising unwanted weather intrusion.

Boon Edam Australia managing director Michael Fisher says many major buildings in Australia face very similar sustainability and comfort issues – but sometimes in reverse.

“Here, it is more often a matter of keeping expensive cooler air inside and excluding the heat, smoke, pollution and allergens it can bring. You only have to walk past an open shop on a hot day with the cold air rushing out to see what kind of cost is involved in keeping the doors wide open all the time. Increasingly, architects and builders are seeing the benefits of revolving doors, with their always open, always closed operation, particularly when they can now be integrated with security systems and pedestrian movement systems including lifts and escalators. And revolving doors are a very fine statement of architectural excellence,” Fisher said.

Boon Edam Australia provided the 5-metre tall revolving doors for the Rialto redevelopment in Melbourne. They are the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere, part of a comprehensive range extending from intimate and exclusive to large and welcoming.

“Given that there is better choice now for architects and builders – as well as a dedicated service division we have set up here in Australia – specifiers no longer have to tramp from supplier to supplier to get what they need for a project. Range and service are very important to specifiers and customers,” Fisher added.

Whalen agrees: “[Boon Edam] have been very responsive to any issues. There was nothing that we were unhappy with in regard to the basic engineering or the quality of the finishes of the product. They operate great, and the perception [of them] is great.”

Both the TQA automatic and the BoonAssist TQ manual revolving doors used by Heart of America are metal-framed doors with glass sidewalls and door wings.

TQA is a completely ‘hands-free’ automatic door that starts rotating when it senses that a user is approaching. The BoonAssist TQ manual door is unique in the industry because it combines three features: power assist, speed control and positioning. All three features combine to relieve users of extra effort, keep users safe, and make entry more intuitive. Its modern design employs electricity and can, therefore, be fitted with additional security options that can be customised to an application, such as adding an access control system to allow managers entry after closing hours.

Fisher added that revolving doors also free up – for profitable use – floor space that was previously unusable because it was too close to an entrance that let in weather, noise and pollution.

“This can be an important part of the cost-benefit calculation when CBD space in Australia can be way over $10,000 a metre. You don’t have to save many metres to get the benefits of revolving doors paid for – and you have an upfront space you can use for a restaurant or reception business where people can be comfortably and privately ensconced without being turned by the sights and sounds of the passing parade outside.”