The Role of Automatic Doors in Smart Buildings: A Journey from Past to Present

As we navigate the complexities of the 21st century, our buildings are becoming increasingly intelligent. They’re not just static structures anymore but dynamic environments that adapt to our needs. One crucial component driving this shift towards smarter buildings is the automatic door. To fully appreciate their role, we must first look back at the evolution of door technologies. This is a journey that we at City Automatics, a division of the family-owned and operated business City Window & Glass, have been a part of since 1962.

The Evolution of Door Technologies

Doors, in one form or another, have been around since the dawn of human civilization. The earliest doors were simple barriers – think stone slabs or wooden planks. Over time, doors became more sophisticated, with developments like locks, hinges, and handles coming into play.

The 20th century brought about a revolution in door technology with the invention of the automatic door. The first automatic doors, introduced in the 1950s, were a sensation, bringing a new level of convenience and accessibility to public buildings. However, these early models were quite basic, opening and closing based on simple sensor technology.

Fast forward to today, and automatic doors have become far more advanced. They’re no longer standalone entities but integral parts of complex building systems.

The Role of Automatic Doors in Smart Buildings

Automatic doors are now a fundamental part of any smart building, delivering a range of benefits:

Energy Efficiency

Automatic doors help maintain the building’s internal temperature by opening only when necessary, reducing the amount of heated or cooled air that escapes. This contributes to significant energy savings over time, aligning with the smart building’s objective of energy efficiency.

Accessibility and AODA Compliance

Automatic doors in smart buildings are key to promoting accessibility for all. They provide an easy entry and exit for everyone, helping buildings comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). City Automatics is dedicated to helping your building meet these standards. Learn more about AODA.


In a smart building, security is paramount. Automatic doors can be integrated with other security systems to control access, preventing unauthorized entry. Doors can be programmed to open only when a valid ID card is scanned or when facial recognition software identifies an authorized individual.

User Experience

Automatic doors contribute to a positive user experience in smart buildings. They can be programmed to respond to traffic flow, opening wider and longer during peak times, and less so during quieter periods. This level of adaptability enhances comfort and convenience for building occupants.

AAADM Certification and Its Importance

At City Automatics, our technicians are AAADM (American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers) certified. This means they have undergone rigorous training and are qualified to install, inspect, and service automatic door equipment to the highest standards of safety and performance.

As technology continues to evolve, so will the role of automatic doors in smart buildings. We can expect to see more sophisticated sensors, increased integration with other building systems, and even the use of artificial intelligence to predict and respond to occupant behavior.

From simple stone barriers to sophisticated automatic systems, doors have come a long way. In the context of smart buildings, automatic doors play a critical role in enhancing energy efficiency, accessibility, security, and user experience. As we move further into the era of smart technology, their importance is only set to grow. At City Automatics, we’re proud to be at the forefront of this evolution, providing AAADM-certified technicians and automatic door solutions that help create smarter, more efficient, and more accessible buildings for all. Contact us to discuss your automatic entry solution needs.