Business Architecture: Climate Change Solutions

Automatic doors can play a key role in reducing your business’s carbon footprint – something everyone needs to consider in the light of climate change.

As with every area of architectural design, automatic door specifications require extra consideration due to the planet’s changing climate, including global warming.

Designers need to incorporate sustainable principles to ensure automatic door systems deliver a temperate indoor climate. This has become more critical in recent years due to the growing climate crisis.

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Why is a sustainable business important?

The carbon footprint is a means of measuring the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by a person or organisation. According to recent data, emissions from the operation of commercial buildings are at their highest level ever, accounting for 38% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Building a sustainable business is crucial because climate change has accelerated in recent years.

One of the key discussions at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, COP26, held in the UK, was how to stop rising temperatures across the planet. The key takeaway was to secure net-zero by 2050. This means completely negating the amount of greenhouse gas produced by human activities, not only to stop global temperatures from rising, but also to prevent the extreme weather conditions we’ve been experiencing recently.

High temperatures are contributing to drought, rising sea levels and forest fires. In addition, the increased water vapour in the earth’s atmosphere is leading to flooding, more frequent heavy rainfall and intense hurricanes.

Everyone is being urged to play their part in tackling the climate crisis by reducing their own carbon footprint. This includes asking businesses to reduce the impact they’re having on the environment.


How to build a sustainable business

Today, designers must incorporate as many sustainable design principles as possible into the architecture of new buildings. This includes selecting automatic door systems to help keep the indoor environment comfortable without wasting energy.

The main aims of the design are to prevent the loss of conditioned air during the doors’ operation. To help achieve this, glazing and other elements are being incorporated into the design to give it the lowest U-value possible.

The U-value is a measurement of the rate of transfer of heat through the structure. The doors must provide insulation against solar gain and make efficient use of the energy in the mechanised components and actuators.

Businesses should always consider our changing climate when having a new building designed, or when planning to retrofit new eco-friendly automatic doors on existing premises.


Importance of well-designed doors

Well-designed automatic door opening systems are crucial to your business, as well as the future of the planet. If your doors are poorly designed, this can lead to less sustainability and increased running costs.

An inadequate door system is constantly at risk of malfunctions. As well as spending more on central heating or air conditioning, due to the doors failing to prevent heat transfer, there will also be extra costs associated with maintaining the door system and rectifying any faults.

Automatic doors that function reasonably in low traffic scenarios are likelier to be at a greater risk of breakdown if they are in a high traffic environment, for example.

Any set of doors that isn’t well designed can cause sustainability problems such as air leaks, or unsatisfactory mechanical components. These factors can reduce your building’s sustainability and impact its rating in various green certification schemes.

A loss of airflow if the doors remain open for too long can also negatively impact a building’s carbon footprint. The air leakage and extra mechanical heating and cooling needed to compensate for energy loss will reduce the efficiency of your climate control systems. This poses a sustainability issue and raises the building’s operating costs.

When the automatic door opening systems are inefficient, this can lead to temperature fluctuation and a poor-quality indoor environment, which impairs thermal comfort levels and negatively impacts employee health and well-being. If your premises aren’t sustainable, this could also have an impact on how customers perceive your brand.

A new study by Smartest Energy reveals customers are increasingly favouring brands that commit to environmental sustainability. The poll found that 80% of consumers preferred to spend their money with a brand that demonstrated a positive approach to sustainability. People’s attitudes are changing, with 90% of respondents saying society must become more energy conscious.


Automatic doors for business

When working out what type of door would work best for your business, various factors should be considered. Determine your budget and what style of automatic doors would best fit your premises before going ahead. It’s best to discuss your needs with a professional automatic doors company to ensure your vision is feasible and affordable.

For businesses in the UK, climate change dictates it’s time to start actively making positive changes to reduce your carbon footprint. Installing automatic sliding door systems is a good place to start. This will not only help you to operate in a more sustainable fashion, but it will also make the exterior of your premises look more aesthetically pleasing and inviting to customers.

If you’re based in a building that doesn’t have automatic doors, it’s never too late to have them fitted. Existing sliding doors can also be upgraded if you’ve had them in place for some years.

Become part of the solution to global warming, rather than the problem!