Open doors may be a necessary part of your operation; however, they can notably reduce the energy efficiency of your facility through temperature losses. What happens when your business policy clashes with the ever-demanding importance of saving energy?
Retail or commercial facilities would perhaps consider installing revolving doors. Although they can influence temperature losses, they can be expensive to buy and maintain, not to mention the effect they can have on high footfall entrances.
Manufacturing facilities are most likely to consider a fast-acting door or airlock (double doors). High levels of traffic can mean high speed doors are left open frequently and airlocks require a higher capital, they take up expensive floor space and can slow the vehicular traffic and in turn affect business productivity. So, how can organisations choose the right entrance solution that does not compromise a building’s energy performance?
Dean Gooch, Sales Manager CPA Engineered Solutions explains what to think about when trying to achieve savings through open doorways or similar.
The challenge can be airflow in buildings as stack pressure usually occurs during the heating season. Warm air rising can create a pressure differential at the door which subsequently accelerates heat loss. This negative pressure can also be attributed to an imbalance of an HVAC system, lift shafts or multiple doors being left open. These can cause cold drafts, discomfort or poor indoor air quality.
Traditional methods of solving this problem tend to be ‘airlocks’, overdoor heaters, fast acting doors and strip curtains, however, even these methods have their limitations as to what they can achieve when it comes to saving energy, with a Cambridge University study saying “overdoor heaters can use a lot more energy than they save”.
If our considerations are saving energy and achieving building energy performance, air barrier technology could be the answer. This technology isn’t new and has been around for a few years in the UK and around the world.
The Enershield air barrier creates a ‘virtual door’ by re-circulating internal facility air and forcing it across an opening thus creating a significant seal (up to 90%). This seal separates the atmospheres on either side and reduces the transfer of temperature, humidity, dust, odour and insects. It is auto activated on door movement and allows access for pedestrian or vehicular traffic to move freely through the airflow without obstruction. It can be easily retro fitted to any size of entrance.
The Enershield air barrier will only deliver the correct volume of air at the correct speed, which ensures the seal and means a reduced demand on your heating and air-conditioning systems, which could reduce servicing costs and increase their life expectancy. With reduced energy consumption a typical installation could provide a return on the investment in under 2 years.