Revolving doors? Surely I could find something more romantic for a first post! Besides, where do you even find revolving doors anymore? They seem to have disappeared, to be replaced by two sets of doors, or given up to high utility bills as a cost of doing business.
But when you see them, use them – unless you’re carrying huge packages, pushing a stroller, are in a wheelchair, or are scared to death of them. The sign says “please use revolving doors.” Why? When they were invented more than 100 years ago they were seen as a way to prevent the “entrance of wind, snow, rain or dust.” [quoted from the original patent in this Slate article.]
Today, we use revolving doors as a low cost way to manage the air transfer between spaces. So when outside air is hotter or colder than that in the building, the revolving door helps reduce the amount of energy needed to keep air at the inside building temperature.
In the example in the Slate article, using the side doors causes eight times the amount of air transfer through the building, i.e., more air to heat or cool. more energy used. The implications of this is a hefty savings for those managing the building. They could use these funds for better salaries, a more inviting environment, essential maintenance, resources for students if in a school, or a Caribbean cruise for the owner.
But even if the the money saved pays for the building owner’s new boat, revolving doors still save a huge amount of energy, which is important to those of us who realize that saving energy is one small part of our saving the world. And in the best butterfly effect theory, one bit of saved energy can lead to yet another.
There’s even more. Using revolving doors slows us down just a bit. Not enough to make us late. Just enough to change our patterns, which may make us think a little differently or see things from another angle. It also gives us another way to share with others. There’s the polite push that makes it easier for another to get through. Or the acknowledgement to a stranger that we’re getting it right. And then there’s our quick smile as we watch children giggling at going round and round until an impatient parent calls. Any of these things connect to something else.