Planning your new office space? What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Desks, chairs, computer servers? How about sliding glass door dividers? What about door handles and locks?
Latches, locks, and levers may not be the first pieces of technology you think of when organizing new office space, but they are some of the most important. The right locks and handles can mean the difference between a secured office and a vulnerable office, between an employee-friendly workplace and a stressful work environment, between a federally compliant business and a citation waiting to happen.
Choosing the right door hardware can also be one of the most complicated decisions that businesses make as they arrange their new office or facility. How do you make sure your building is accessible to everyone? How do you comply with ADA regulations and still maintain a uniform locking system? How do you improve employee and visitor access and still maintain robust security with keyless entries?
Select the right doors, and you’ll get convenience, keyless entry, and accessibility all wrapped into one. Select the wrong technology, and you could make life tough on employees. Here are three challenges facing modern offices, and three innovative door solutions that improve the quality of life and boost productivity.
Bright Idea #1: Improve Accessibility with ADA Compliant Doors and Locks
- The Challenge: Installing ADA-compliant doors with ADA compliant accessories.
- The Solution: The Sliding Door Company’s ADA-compliant sliding glass doors, lever-lock systems, and handles.
An estimated 13 percent1 to 19 percent2 of the American population suffers from some form of disability. Over half are of working age.1 Employees with disabilities constitute an essential part of the modern workforce, and businesses should do everything they can to ensure their offices and other facilities remain accessible to this population.
Fortunately, they don’t have to start from scratch. The Americans with Disabilities Act lays out clear rules and provides helpful recommendations for improving accessibility. In order to accommodate everyone, many employers strive to maintain ADA Compliance in public areas.
What Are ADA-Compliant Doors?
Doors that aren’t built with disabilities in mind can present a challenge to people with limited mobility, particularly to individuals in wheelchairs. The Sliding Door Company’s ADA-compliant doors, on the other hand, allow all employees, customers, and visitors to move freely throughout an office or business facility. Such carefully manufactured doors meet the following criteria:
- Clear Width: There should be at least 32 inches of open space between the face of the door and the opposite stop.3 In the case of sliding doors, the ADA door clearance push side, or clear width, must be 32 inches from the end of the door to the doorstop.4
- Thresholds: Accessible doors must feature a threshold that’s no higher ½ inch. This requirement also applies to sliding doors. Greater latitude is permitted for beveled doors (see the ADA factsheet on doors for more detailed information).
- Maneuvering Space: ADA door width and maneuverability requirements ensure that people who rely on wheelchairs or other mobility devices are able to:
- Approach the doors
- Reach and operate the handles or other hardware
- Open the door without entering the swing zone (not applicable to sliding doors)
- Enter through the doorway
- Close the door
- Force: In order to make interior doors accessible, The Sliding Door Company ensures that ADA-compliant doors require no more than 5 lbs. of force to open.
ADA Door Handle Requirements
Door handles also present problems. Roughly 20 million individuals within the U.S. have difficulty lifting and grasping objects,2 which can affect their ability to operate certain types of door equipment.
Fortunately, Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company offers a wide selection of doors and handles that are specifically designed to help all workers go about their daily routine.
The Space Plus’ ADA-compliant handles:
- Allow users to open or close doors using only one hand
- Do not require people to tightly grasp or pinch the handle
- Never force someone to twist their wrist (often required with round knobs)
- Require no more than 5 lbf to operate
- Are located 34” to 48” above the ground to meet ADA door handle height requirements
The state also recommends that bar and pull handles provide at least 1 ½ inches of clearance, which makes gripping easier.
When and Where to Install ADA-Compliant Doors and Accessories
The government does not demand that businesses outfit their entire building with accessible doors. That being said, each facility should provide enough facilitated access to ease the burden on disabled individuals. That means paying attention to interior doors as well as exterior doors. How many ADA-compliant doors does a business need, and where should they go?
In order to abide by federal standards, employers must:
- Equip at least one public entrance with accessible doors (or at least 60 percent of public entrances to newly constructed buildings).
- Place an accessible door at the opening to each accessible room and space within the building.
- Use an accessible door at the entrance to each tenant space (applies to structures that house multiple businesses, such as a mall).
- Use an accessible door for every access escape or evacuation route.3
Accessible doors ensure that every employee, every customer, and every visitor can navigate the building with ease. That boosts productivity and improves the quality of life for everyone involved.
Bright Idea #2: Open Doors with Your Smartphone
- The Challenge: Providing easy access to employees and guests while maintaining robust security and tracking
- The Solution: The Lockitron Bolt system
Want your doors to be as secure as they are convenient? The Sliding Door Company’s Lockitron Bolt system, the latest innovation in office door security, offers both. Instead of using a key that can easily be lost, forgotten, or stolen, simply use an app on your smartphone to open any interior door.
Lockitron Bolt Features & Advantages
- Works with both sliding doors and swing doors
- Wireless lock powered by four AA batteries
- Old-fashioned locking and unlocking for when you forget your phone
- Automatic low battery notification
- App includes an activity log that monitors when entered and exited (even manual locking and unlocking)
The Lockitron Bolt manages to marry safety with expedience. No more fear of misplaced or stolen keys. No need to carry a cumbersome card around. No need to remember one extra item every time you go to and from your office.
Bright Idea #3: All-in-One Master Keys
- The Challenge: Create a master key for the interior office fronts to the store front by minimizing the amount of keys for the maintenance, IT personnel and managers. This is revolutionary!
- The Solution: Universal GL Latch
Modern businesses are re-purposing their cubicles and opting for free-flowing arrangements. Mixed-use spaces—a combination of open floor plans and private offices—are particularly popular. They do, however, create a dilemma. With so many different types of latches and locks, how can businesses produce and distribute master keys to their employees?
In the past, the only solution was to provide separate keys for separate doors. It was simply too difficult to master key every office to the store front. More keys meant more bulk, more items to remember, and a greater potential for security breaches.
The universal GL Latch, The Sliding Door Company’s revolutionary master key system, solves all those problems, allowing businesses to create one master key that opens the storefront as well as every individualized keyed office front inside the building.
Installing the GL Latch is simple and straightforward. The internal mechanism already comes with the door frame or aluminum extrusion. The only pieces that require on-site installation are the cylinder and receiver plate, which come in one tidy package, accompanied by easy, straightforward installation instructions.
GL Latch Advantages
- Each piece fabricated with painstaking detail
- Each component rigorously tested in our own factory
- Pre-installed internal latching mechanism, compatible with so many other 1” mortise cylinders already installed in millions of buildings across the nation.
Never worry about juggling a bag full of keys again. The GL Latch gives everyone from top to bottom—executives, IT personnel, maintenance crews—the same hassle-free access.
Your Source for Bright Ideas
Looking for more clever and innovative solutions for the modern workplace? Visit Spaceplus.com to see our full range of bright ideas and cutting-edge solutions. While you’re there, browse through our product gallery to see a sample of the best interior sliding glass doors on the market.