PDA

View Full Version : Why do some public buildings have two layers of doors?



Lunatique
03-09-2013, 10:04 AM
Does anyone know why some public buildings such as shopping malls, Target stores, airports, or hospitals have double layers of doors? You open one door and there's another door just a few steps away, forming this small room between the two layers of doors.

Is it for the sake of security? If so, why?

Maybe it's to create an air cushion so the air conditioning doesn't escape as easily?

Anyone know? I tried searching the web and found nothing. I also tried calling the local Target but the store manager won't tell me. I told him I was writing a novel and he said it's not the kind of information he could give out.

alleycat
03-09-2013, 10:13 AM
Primarily for energy efficiency.

It's also called an air lock.

In industrial buildings it will often be a curtain of plastic strips. Tow motors and personnel could easily go in an out but it keeps the building from losing so much of the heat or cooling.

Literateparakeet
03-09-2013, 10:17 AM
I believe it is for air conditioning and heating purposes. Remember when you were a kid and you mom was always yellling at you to close the door so you don't let the heat out, or in? (surely that wasn't just at my house).

In Alaska most of the homes have this too...two doors, with a small space inbetween. They call it an "arctic entry". The purpose to protect those inside from a blast of cold air every time the door opens.

Imagine a mall where there are people coming and going all day long...it does make an arctic entry seem like a good idea to keep down heating and air conditioning expenses.


I also tried calling the local Target but the store manager won't tell me. I told him I was writing a novel and he said it's not the kind of information he could give out.

LOL, he couldn't give out that information because he has no idea and won't admit it! That's my guess. :)

Lunatique
03-09-2013, 10:36 AM
Heh, so my guess was right. The security aspect didn't make sense, that's why I guessed it probably had to do with the air conditioning.

Thanks!

Chris P
03-09-2013, 10:51 AM
I worked at a Walgreen's back in high school, and we only had one layer of doors. I hated working Register 4 in the winter, getting blasted with cold air every 90 seconds when people came in.

WriteKnight
03-09-2013, 03:22 PM
In malls, its primarily an air conditioning issue. In Banks, and jewelry stores, it's called a 'man trap'. Yes, you can lock someone between the doors as they exit, if the silent alarm has been tripped.

LJD
03-09-2013, 08:02 PM
When I go to restaurants in the winter, which usually only have one door, I try to sit as far from the entrance as I can to avoid the cold air that accompanies everyone who enters.

So I always assumed it was for heating/cooling.

I believe this is also one of the advantages of revolving doors.

patskywriter
03-09-2013, 08:37 PM
My local K&W Restaurant has the same set-up and it's fun to watch the people pulling with all their might to open the outside door as the inside door is closing. They don't realize that if you wait a couple of seconds for the first door to close behind you, you can open the outside door quite easily.

Alessandra Kelley
03-09-2013, 09:22 PM
It's not just air conditioning, it's also heat.

The double doors are practically a necessity anywhere except those places where the temperature is temperate year-round.

Literateparakeet
03-10-2013, 04:48 AM
In malls, its primarily an air conditioning issue. In Banks, and jewelry stores, it's called a 'man trap'. Yes, you can lock someone between the doors as they exit, if the silent alarm has been tripped.

Cool, I didn't know that.

In prison they have something like that, but it's called a "sally port" spelling???. Only with the sally port everyone knows that as you enter one door it locks behind you and you are trapped in that space unless the person in the control booth lets you out. It's easy to understand the purpose for that. They have it for vehicles too...at least where I worked we did.

Sarpedon
03-10-2013, 07:31 PM
It is called a sally port. It is so called because Old castles had the same thing: A controlled exit where the outer doors could be opened while the inner doors remained closed, with a space big enough for a number of knights in between. When the castle was under siege, the people inside would sometimes send a bunch of knights out to raid the besiegers. This was called 'Sallying Forth."

In modern buildings, the double sets of doors are called 'vestibules,' and limit the amount of air that goes out or comes in when people leave or enter. Revolving doors are basically just tiny vestibules. Modern energy codes require them in all but single family residential buildings.

Literateparakeet
03-10-2013, 11:55 PM
Sarpedon, that is fascinating thanks! I love castles, knights etc. :)

shaldna
03-12-2013, 12:23 AM
Does anyone know why some public buildings such as shopping malls, Target stores, airports, or hospitals have double layers of doors? You open one door and there's another door just a few steps away, forming this small room between the two layers of doors.

To stop drafts etc. Many air condition systems are designed to stop working if windows or doors are left open.