Purpose of Revolving Doors: Save Time and Energy With Every Entrance and Exit

Revolving doors have been around for over a century, and they are still used in many commercial buildings today. But what is the purpose of revolving doors?

When you walk into a building, the last thing you probably think about is the door. But believe it or not, there is a lot of thought that goes into choosing the right door for a building.

Doors come in all shapes and sizes, from sliding and swing to automatic and revolving doors. But they all serve the same basic purpose: to provide a barrier between two spaces.

And while revolving doors may be seen as a luxury, they are actually a functional and cost-effective solution for many businesses.

In commercial buildings, revolving doors play a vital role in regulating traffic flow and managing climate control. However, revolving doors offer many other benefits that can be advantageous for businesses.

Here’s why you should consider installing a revolving door for your commercial building.

The purpose of revolving doors

An ornate revolving door set within a decorative entryway, exemplifying the timeless design of revolving doors.

The first rotating door was invented in 1888 by Theophilus Van Kannel, who was seeking to stop slamming doors and prevent cold air from entering the building he worked in.

Rotating doors were quickly adopted by commercial buildings, proving popular as a barrier against inclement weather and a more efficient way for people to move in and out of buildings.

Today, modern revolving doors are an essential part of many public spaces.

Not only do they help to manage traffic flow, but they also improve building energy efficiency.

Ultimately Van Kannel hoped the invention would be beneficial for both commercial and residential buildings.

How do revolving doors work?

In commercial buildings, revolving doors play a key role in traffic flow, safety, and security.

Unlike swing doors, which open outward or inward, they consist of three or four sets of doors or leaves, which rotate around a central axis.

When someone enters the door, they cause it to rotate, carrying the person through the door and into the building. Which in turn allows the next person to enter.

As the doors rotate, this action creates a seal that stops air from escaping, preventing drafts and keeping the building at a comfortable temperature.

In addition to preventing drafts, the purpose of revolving doors is to keep the air pressure inside the building consistent, which can save energy costs associated with heating and air conditioning.

Revolving door installation and construction

A modern revolving door at a building entrance.

A revolving door is a type of door that consists of three or four door panels (or leaves) that are centred on a central pivoting shaft. The doors hang within a cylindrical enclosure with openings on the inside and outside to allow passage as the door rotates. Typically, a mechanical braking device is used to control the speed of rotation, and an electric motor powers the door.

Revolving doors also have a number of safety features, for both users and buildings.

  • mechanical braking system that prevents the door from rotating too quickly and injuring someone.
  • sensors that trigger the door to open when someone approaches.
    sensors that prevent the doors from closing if someone is in the way.
  • an emergency exit button that can be used to bypass the revolving door if necessary.

The design and purpose of revolving doors helps to manage traffic flow and reduce air drafts and cold air from entering the building. When used in combination with traditional hinged doors, revolving doors can help to keep a building energy efficient.

Types of revolving doors

There are generally three types of revolving doors; manual, semi-automatic, and fully automatic.

  • Manual revolving doors have the slowest rotation speed, and require users to push the door to enter or exit the building.
  • Semi-automatic doors have a faster rotation speed and have sensors that will stop the door from closing if someone is in the way.
  • Fully automatic revolving doors are the fastest, with an electric motor that helps to keep the door panels moving. They are usually equipped with sensors so will open automatically when someone approaches.

Automatic doors make access easy for your customers and employees. Regardless of which type of door you choose, make sure that it is the right size for your business and that it is installed by a professional.

Applications of revolving doors

Overhead view of a set of energy-efficient revolving doors in use, highlighting their purpose in facilitating smooth and quick entry and exit, a prime application of revolving doors in modern architecture.

The architecture of skyscrapers and other high-rise buildings means they face different challenges to ensure the comfort of occupants. For commercial buildings, revolving doors have many benefits over hinged doors, including that they cannot be slammed, reduce street noise, and allow access in high-density areas. They are also more energy efficient, as they prevent air from escaping through the door.

Due to these advantages, they are also used in hospitals, hotels, schools, and other public buildings.

Revolving doors are also used on buildings that require elevated levels of security. In commercial applications, security revolving doors can be used to restrict entry, exit points, and direct traffic through security checkpoints.

Further security devices can be integrated into the design of revolving doors, such as metal detectors, sensor detection, panic locks and access control systems. This makes revolving doors an ideal choice for airports, banks, financial institutions, and government buildings.

What are the benefits of using a revolving door?

A blurred motion image of pedestrians passing through a revolving door, illustrating the benefits of using a revolving door.

Beyond a means of entry to a building, there are numerous functional and commercial advantages to the use of revolving doors.

Blocks noise pollution

As the door rotates a seal is created which blocks out the street noise heard inside. Their design is also virtually noiseless, as opposed to swing doors or automatic sliding doors.

Prevent doors slamming

With this design, the door moves slowly and isn’t affected by high winds or internal air pressure which reduces the chance of it being slammed shut.

Hence, this purpose of revolving doors makes them safer for people passing through.

The flow of foot traffic

The purpose of revolving doors is to allow a high volume of foot traffic in and out of the building without compromising security.

High-density areas

Unlike regular doors, revolving doors permit free-flowing traffic as more than one person can enter and exit at the same time, they are perfect for high footfall areas such as shopping centres.


As these doors are larger than conventional doors, they allow for easy wheelchair access. As they don’t require the use of door knobs or handles to operate, they are also ideal for those with impaired dexterity.

Security features

As well as being difficult to break into, revolving doors can be fitted with security features such as turnstiles and locks to control the flow of people in and out of the building. Some revolving doors have security features such as metal detectors and other access control systems.

Emergency exits

Most revolving doors have a stop button which can be used to open the door in case of emergencies or an evacuation.

Energy efficiency

As the door creates a seal, it also prevents heat from escaping the building, making it more energy efficient. While it may vary between buildings, climate and country, studies show that using revolving doors reduces energy consumption, and heating and cooling costs, saving businesses money overall.


With their overall height and large diameter revolving doors can admit oversize objects, such as luggage and furniture. This makes them ideal entrances for hotels and office buildings, allowing people and oversize objects to enter and exit safely.


The seal created by a revolving door also helps to prevent draughts, dust and pests from entering the building. Today many revolving doors are automatic meaning they utilise hygienic and touch-free technology, helping to prevent the spread of germs and pathogens.

While the revolving door was invented over a century ago, it remains a popular choice for commercial buildings today thanks to its many benefits.

Disadvantages of revolving doors

While they offer a number of advantages, such as energy efficiency and security, there are also some potential disadvantages associated with revolving doors.

  • As they require more space than a standard door, they may not be suitable for buildings with limited floor space.
  • Although extremely safe, revolving doors can be dangerous if they are not used properly, as they can trap fingers or clothing.
  • Revolving doors are often much heavier than standard doors, making them difficult to open for those with limited mobility.
  • In the event of an emergency evacuation, they can pose a potential risk if they are the only exit point. Therefore, adjacent outward swinging exit doors are required alongside revolving doors to ensure safe egress.

Emergency and fire safety plans must be at the forefront of any construction and building assessment plan. Before Installing doors in any building, you should understand the Australian standards and consult with a professional.

Despite these potential drawbacks, the advantages of revolving doors make them a safe and efficient choice for commercial buildings.

If you are considering installing a revolving door in your business, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully to ensure it is the right decision for your needs.

How to use a revolving door safely

Despite their visual appeal, revolving doors are not as widely used as you would expect. In fact, many people don’t know how to use them correctly and often shy away from them altogether.

If you are installing one at your business, make sure you consider what type of revolving door will work best. It’s also vital to communicate safe use of the door to visitors and staff.

It’s also important to understand accessibility at your business when installing a revolving door. Display clear signage, including Braille, to encourage safe passage and assist those with disabilities.

If you are unsure about how to use a revolving door safely, here are some tips:

  • Enter the door one person at a time
  • Do not run or push through the door
  • Keep your hands and arms inside the door
  • Use the handrail
  • Do not try to force the door
  • Keep clothing and bags clear of the gap between doors
  • When exiting a revolving door, it is important to be aware of the direction of rotation and to use caution so as not to injure yourself or others.

By following these tips, you can safely use a revolving door without incident.

Maintenance of revolving doors

A maintenance worker on a scaffold is performing upkeep on a revolving door, showcasing the importance of regular maintenance to ensure the doors serve their purpose efficiently.

To keep your revolving door in good condition, it is important to perform regular maintenance.

  • Ensure that installation is conducted by an accredited supplier.
  • Ask questions about the suitability of the doors, regular maintenance and repairs.
  • Inspect the door monthly for any damage or wear and tear.
    Clean the door regularly with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Lubricate the door hinges every six months to keep them operating smoothly.

By following these simple tips, you can maintain your revolving door and ensure it continues to operate safely and efficiently.

Experts in security revolving doors for your business

Revolving doors offer many benefits for commercial buildings, including energy efficiency, security, and disabled access.

Go Doors is Western Australia’s leading supplier of Record AGP Automatic Revolving Doors.

If you are considering installing a revolving door in your building, contact us to find out more about Record AGP security revolving doors and how they can benefit your business.

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