American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM)

Updates to the International Building Code


The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) is a trade association of manufacturers of automatic pedestrian door systems. AAADM was founded in 1994 with the following mission: to increase awareness of automatic doors and accessibility needs; to increase education, training and professionalism among installers and service providers; and to generally promote the safe use of automatic doors.

The Challenge


The International Building Code (IBC), which governs the construction industry, contained no rules mandating the inclusion of automatic doors in construction of public-use buildings. Without this provision, there were no assurances that public buildings would be accessible to all.

The Solution


Changes to the IBC only happen via a lengthy process involving the International Code Committee (ICC) in Washington, D.C. Thomas Associates provided critical support throughout the process, from preparing drafts of the proposal, helping to present it to the ICC, incorporating the committee’s feedback, and presenting new drafts. In the end, AAADM landed on a proposal that mandated automatic doors for buildings that met certain occupancy thresholds. The thresholds exempted smaller businesses and organizations with less foot traffic, but struck a balance that helped as many people as possible while keeping the proposal economically feasible.

The Result


Code bodies often move at a glacial pace, and this was no different. It took 10 years. But the commitment of Thomas and AAADM never wavered, and the 2021 version of the IBC included an update to IBC 1105.1.1, governing the required usage of automatic doors in construction.

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