Building & Door Code Compliance
ANSI 156.19 NFPA 101
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Overview of ANSI 156.19 Compliance
General Information - A156.19*
Compliance with American National Standard A156.10 and A156.19 is intended to
reduce the chance of injury to pedestrians and wheeled traffic. Many local
codes, such as BOCA, require compliance with A156.19 if low energy or power
assist door operators are used for an accessible entrance. ANSI states that
these are suggested standards, but compliance is required when local building
codes include A156.19. This is only a general overview of A156.19. You can
obtain an actual copy of A156.19 - 1990 from the American National Standard
Institute, 1430 Broadway, New York, NY 10018.
Low Energy Operators vs Power Assist
A156.19 provides minimal standard for two types of swinging door operating
equipment. Low energy door operators are a fully automatic door system, which
will open the door completely, without additional manual force required by the
door user. Power assist door operators only reduce the amount of force required
to open a door. The user must manually operate a door equipped with a power
assist operator. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 exempts automatic
and power assist doors from maneuvering clearances required by manually operated
Minimal Requirements for Low Energy Operators
Swinging doors equipped with a low energy door operator must comply with the
following minimal standards to comply with A156.19 - 1990.
* The door must not open to the backcheck position (80 degrees) in less than 3
* The door must not fully open (90 degrees) in less than 4 seconds.
* The door must not close from the full open position to the latchcheck position
(10 degrees) in less than 3 seconds.
* The door must not close from latchcheck position to the full closed position
in less than 1.5 seconds.
* If a presence sensing device is not used to hold the door in the full open
position, a minimal time delay of 5 seconds is required, before the door begins
* The force required to stall an opening or closing door shall not exceed 15 lbf
(67 N), when applied 1" from the latch edge of the door.
* The kinetic energy of a door in motion shall not exceed 1.25 lbf-ft (1.69 Nm).
* Manual opening forces, in the event of a power failure, shall not exceed 15
lbf (67 N) to release a latch mechanism if present, 30 lbf (133 N) to set a door
in motion, and 15 lbf (67 N) to open the door completely.
Special Concerns Not Covered by ANSI A156.19
Some entrances have very high wind or stack pressure conditions. Because they
are what they imply (low energy door operators), we recommend you consider door
operators with more operating power and spring closing forces, at entrances with
these type of conditions. These types of automatic pedestrian door operators are
covered by ANSI A156.10.
A156.19 does not preclude any type of actuation device, however it is strongly
recommended that a knowing act, such as a wall switch, is used to actuate low
energy door operators. We do not recommend unknowing acts of actuation for low
energy door operators, such as motion detectors, unless a safety presence
detection device is used on the swing side of the door. We strongly recommend
compliance with ANSI A156.10, when an unknowing means of actuation is used.