Double Acting Traffic Doors Provide an Entreé to Efficiency

Facilitating accessibility and screening for aesthetic and environmental effect
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Sponsored by Eliason Corporation
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Production Time

Time is always a critical factor in any building product. Architects should look for double acting traffic doors with a normal production time of not more than two to three weeks, unless a special laminate, custom graphic, or other unique feature is required.

Finish Material

Is durability a factor? How will the doors be cleaned—is a full wash down necessary? Most manufacturers provide a wide variety of metal clad, stainless steel, plastic or decorative laminates to meet these requirements. Are aesthetics important?

Custom finishes can reflect the personality of the facility.

Image courtesy of Eliason Corporation

Optional Accessories

After the proper type of door panel and hinge type have been established, any optional accessories can be considered. The following is a list of common accessories and their applicability:

Lower hinge guards. Recommended for pallet jack and forklift applications to protect the lower hinge area from errant loads.

Bumpers. Heavy-duty plastic spring bumpers in various heights protect the door surface from impact from forklifts, motorized pallet jacks, and carts.

Impact plates. Heavy-duty plastic, stainless steel, or galvanized steel plates are available in various heights to protect the door surface.

Bumper strips. Extruded aluminum bumper strips can protect the door surface from repetitive cart traffic.

Windows. Windows are available in various sizes and shapes. A 9-inch by 30-inch ADA-compliant window should be specified if necessary. Manufacturers are now offering a flush window option in which a double-glazed clear acrylic window is set into a pre-formed PVC inner frame. A variety of graphics are available, including logos and designs. High-impact window frames are available usually by custom order.

Perimeter edge gasketing. This option provides a seal between door panels and between door panels and frame.

Locks. Hasps, surface mounted deadbolts, and chain sleeves are available, with internally mounted deadbolt locks often a preference on door panels with a minimum thickness of 1-½ inches.

Limiting posts. Steel or heavy-duty plastic posts are required on doors subjected to forklift traffic to limit the travel of the door panels beyond 90 degrees.

Frames. Predrilled structural tube steel frames, “C” channel steel frames, and flush hollow metal frames and stainless steel frames are among the available options.


Architects in alignment with green building goals should determine whether candidate products can potentially contribute to the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points. In many cases, double acting traffic doors can earn points in the following LEED-NC (New Construction) categories.

Energy and Atmosphere
EA Prerequisite 2: Minimum Energy Performance
EA 1: Optimize Energy Performance. Double acting doors can have energy savings characteristics, such as insulating foam core assemblies with an R-factor of 25.

Materials and Resources
MR 4.1: Recycled Content. Doors with ABS material that has an allowable regrind of 20 percent can prove helpful in this category, as can hardwood or plywood core panels and LLDPE door skins that are renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable.
MR 5.1: Regional Materials. Credits are earned for materials sourced within 500 miles of the project site.
MR 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials. Hardwood and plywood panels produced from logs and veneers that are harvested from sustainable, secondary growth forests can contribute to points in this category.
MR 7: Certified Wood. Manufacturers whose hardwood and plywood supplier practices have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification can be considered here.

Indoor Environmental Quality
EQ 4.1: Low-Emitting Materials. Potential qualifying materials include foam core doors filled with reactive foam that chemically formulates with a non ozone depletion potential, non global warming potential, and volatile organic compound-exempt blowing agent; green adhesives for flush windows, and zero emitting adhesives in the manufacturing process.
EQ 4.4: Low Emitting Materials Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products. Eligible materials include hardwood / plywood containing less than 0.01 ppm formaldehyde from manufacturing; and hardwood and plywood that are below CARB limits.

A product's manufacturing process itself should also be considered when evaluating its sustainability. Among the factors pointing to a green process: whether scrap metal is either recycled or used for manufacturing and fabricating small parts such as hardware covers; scrap wood products used in packaging; recycled paper and cardboard; programmable furnaces equipped with automatic off/on timers.

BIM Files for Traffic Doors

In today’s world of design-build, building information modeling (BIM) files are key to specification decisions and to improving productivity and project management. BIM allows users to simulate the different components of a building before it is built in terms of cost, schedule, performance, and other factors. Because the data is in one place and easily accessible, BIM enables building simulation, data management, and project coordination, while reducing operational costs.

Increasingly, manufacturers are offering BIM files for their products. Such a file is a prepackaged 3D model that comes with substantial information for the architect, eliminating the need to sift through paper documentation, drawings, and online files. Products that are available in BIM format enable the customer to download product specifications, dimensional information, and links to the manufacturers’ website for information that may need more explanation than what is in the BIM file, this is where traditional CAD falls short. This level of information enables the architect to manage and specify characteristics that are not shown on a drawing or 3D model, and to communicate instantly with other people working on the project when a change is made.


Doors That Make Sense for Business

Restaurants, hotels, retail and grocery stores, industrial and pharmaceutical plants, food processing facilities and hospitals all need doors between utility and public sections of their facilities. Because they open and close with minimum effort, double acting traffic doors promote efficiency, save energy and cost, and meet various regulatory requirements. Double acting doors expedite travel between areas and provide the visual, thermal or environment separation desired between two sections of a building. With the appropriate hinge system, panel construction and hardware options, double acting traffic doors are a green, low-maintenance solution that can meet green building goals, enhance aesthetics and add to a building's operational integrity.


Eliason Corporation is a leading manufacturer of high-quality, custom traffic doors used in many applications, including restaurants, retail stores, supermarkets, and industrial facilities. Well-known for double acting traffic doors, Eliason also offers sliding, strip, FRP, and fire-rated doors, all made to exacting specifications. Committed to green manufacturing, their products can contribute to points in many LEED-NC categories.



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Originally published in Architectural Record
Originally published in May 2013