“You only make one first impression.”

This age-old saying is true for people, but what about for buildings? Do we judge their quality based on overall exterior appearance? If so, what is a building’s first impression — the first thing approaching users interact with? It’s the entrance. A well-put-together entrance located at the right spot on a building can do wonders for business, assist pedestrians navigating busy streets, and serve as the highlight to a structure’s overall aesthetic and perceived worth.

Doors and entrances can have a greater impact on a building’s performance and success than we often consider. Below are some key factors for architects and designers to take into account when designing entrances for commercial buildings.

Doors and Material Choice
Outside of the overall design of an entrance system, designers will need to choose a door type and material. Some may specify revolving doors, others may choose traditional hinge doors or pivot doors. Each style has its pros and cons in terms of cost, performance, longevity, and aesthetics. Often times, architects need to find a balance between meeting the project’s overall budget while still fulfilling the design requirements.

A more innovative option for architects designing commercial entrances are balanced doors. Available in materials like stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, tempered glass, and wood, balanced doors can be constructed with heavy, durable materials and still move with ease. This can be attributed to the inset pivot point located at two-thirds width of the door leaf, which creates a more balanced fulcrum point to more evenly distribute the door’s weight. This leads to a near effortless push/pull for end users compared to hinge doors. For nearly a century, companies like Ellison Bronze have been manufacturing custom balanced doors for commercial facilities across the world using the highest quality materials and durable balanced hardware components built to last.

James Steinkamp

Glass, Transoms, and Sidelights
Integrating glass into an entrance system is a popular design characteristic in 2019 and an effective way to open up your building to views both in and out. Architects may also use glass to take advantage of natural daylight, creating more energy efficient buildings that are less reliant on artificial light sources. There are a variety of ways to achieve a daylit space, including tempered glass doors, sidelights and transoms, or even an all-glass facade. Glass entrances are an excellent way to show off an impressive interior design, or to display products, merchandise, and advertisements for retail environments.

ADA Compliance
For disabled individuals or those requiring special assistance, it’s important for architects to consider specifying a manufacturer that provides doors that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Companies like Ellison Bronze create entrances that meet this standard, combining reduced clearance requirements with on-demand power operators.

Ellison Bronze Inc. invented the balanced door in 1927. Today, Ellison leads the industry by providing custom marquee doors to the world’s most famous addresses. Made with the highest quality materials and unparalleled craftsmanship, Ellison doors are the standard to which all other commercial entry doors are compared worldwide.