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    Security Revolving Doors


    What is a security revolving door?


    A revolving door is a cylinder installed half on the outside of the building envelope and half inside it. There are typically 3-4 “wings” that create occupant compartments that revolve 360-degrees around a central axis– thus providing optimal bi-directional ingress and egress. While the exterior side of the revolving door has some exposure to the elements, there is actually very little loss of hot (or cold) air as each compartment only briefly allows exterior exposure. 


    What security does a revolving door provide?


    While many revolving doors can be freely accessed, some are equipped with security measures that allow for single use by requiring some type of entry permission/identification. They also can utilize anti-tailgating and anti-piggybacking technology to detect and even detain unauthorized occupants. Some manufacturers even incorporate metal and radiation detection capability in the carousel compartment that will automatically lock down the door until security can intervene.


    Are security revolving doors the same as full height turnstiles?


    No. In general, revolving doors tend to be used indoors – meaning on the exterior face of a building to allow interior access. Full height turnstiles also have interior applications but are frequently used outdoors. Another difference is the size of the occupant compartment. Revolving doors are generally bigger. While this can often provide accommodation for ADA access, it also makes unauthorized double occupancy – called piggybacking -- a lot easier.


    Why use a revolving door?


    Unlike traditional swing doors that can be held open for long periods of time, revolving doors restrict perimeter exposure by controlling precisely how long the access point is open. This also has a beneficial effect on heating and cooling expenses as much less air conditioned or heated air is lost when entering or exiting.


    Revolving doors also reduce outside street/traffic noise. Since revolving doors allow for bi-direction travel into and out of the building, they function well during peak traffic hours by allowing people to get in and out faster.


    Where are revolving doors used?


    High rise office buildings and hotels are among the most common locations, because they help relieve the “stack pressure” caused by large volumes of air rushing through the building. Other locations include:


    • Department stores
    • Airports
    • Train stations
    • Hospitals
    • Banks and financial institutions


    Are revolving doors only manually operated?


    No. Many are electrically powered to facilitate entry.


    How are revolving doors regulated?


    Modern safety codes for revolving doors are a direct result of the tragic 1942 fire at Boston’s Cocoanut Grove that claimed 492 lives, making it the deadliest nightclub fire in American history. The revolving doors trapped panicked patrons, forcing fire crews to destroy it to get inside the building. As a result, any single main entrance with a revolving door must be flanked by outward opening doors or have collapsible wings, called “bookfold”, to provide wider exits.  

    The national standard for Power and Manual Operated Revolving Pedestrian Doors is ANSI 156.27


    What is throughput?


    Throughput is actually a mathematical calculation measuring the number of people that enter and exit a building during a given period of time. This is important to know because it will determine how many and what type of security entrances are optimal for processing the incoming and outgoing occupants so there are no backups from long lines.


    How is throughput calculated?


    The simplest way to determine your throughput is to manually count the number of people exiting or entering during peak times like opening of business, lunch time and close of business day. These totals are then divided by the time.


    What is tailgating?


    Tailgating sounds like what it is – following closely behind. This happens frequently when out of courtesy or force of habit, people hold doors open for others who are not actually authorized to enter the building. For revolving doors, this means that an intruder follows an authorized person into a building by occupying the carousel compartment immediately behind them. Anti-tailgating technology detects this and triggers an alarm and/or locks down the unauthorized person’s compartment.


    Are revolving doors vulnerable to piggybacking?


    Yes. The larger carousel compartment means two people, one authorized and one unauthorized, can easily fit inside. This can be done voluntarily to sneak someone inside or it can be done forcibly. Many manufacturers offer an option for anti-piggybacking technology that alerts security personnel to the breach and can even lock down the door.  It is important to understand that tailgating and piggybacking are very similar but do have noticeable differences.


    Are revolving doors better than turnstiles?


    It’s impossible to answer this question fairly because the type of security entrance that is best is the entrance that completely addresses the needs of your building project. Both of these types of security entrances are excellent choices depending on your budget, aesthetic design and even throughput requirements. If you need help, you can directly message the manufacturer using our “CONTACT MANUFACTURER” button.  Protogetic always recommends talking to a security specialist or engineer to determine the optimal security entrance for your project.


    Where can you find security revolving doors?


    Protogetic has security revolving doors from top manufacturers as well as access control systems and high security windows to complete the protection of your building envelope. Each product's page has specifications and technical drawings. Save your valuable time and find the right revolving doors for your project faster than ever. Shop now!