We each travel through many doors in a day. Most of the time we pass through the doorway without even considering it. However using some doors becomes effortful, such as where we have to put all our weight against the door to open it. Consider a frail elderly person, this situation could mean they can’t open the door at all.
Have you ever gone to pull the door open and then realised, no, you need to push the door open. Or have approached the entrance to a building all beautifully glazed and seamless and then wondered, where is the door. For someone with a vision impairment glazed doors can be easily missed resulting in embarrassment or worse a broken nose.
These everyday annoyances could easily be designed out and make our lives easier and safer. Consider the operational force of doors. Current standards require 20N, this is very hard to achieve with the range of closers on the market, especially when the door is a large door, solid timber or fully glazed.
Signage on doors to indicate push/pull or the direction of the sliding door can aid us all in operating the door allowing us to feel more comfortable and at ease especially in unfamiliar environments.
Visual contrasting strips are required on all doors that are fully glazed. The strip must be solid (not transparent and not broken), have a luminance contrast to the background surface when viewed from both sides and be 75mm high. These aid us all in identifying that there is a door in the path of travel.
All of us have varying abilities over our life span and consequently will experience the built environment differently and as designers, engineers, consultants and developers of the built environment we should aim to make everyone’s experience low effort and comfortable.