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A156.19 - 2019 Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors

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American National Standard for Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors

Standard ANSI/BHMA A156.19-2019 applies only to swing door operators. The operator types are power assist, and low energy power operators, for pedestrian use, and some small vehicular use. It does not address doors, finish or hardware. The activation of all doors described in this standard requires a knowing act. Included are provisions intended to reduce the chance of user injury or entrapment. For further information, consult the full standard, ANSI/BHMA A156.19 for Power Assist and Low Energy Power Operated Doors.

BHMA has created this series of Hardware Highlights to provide useful, accessible information about builders hardware for anyone with an interest in devices that hang, control, secure, and trim the doors. BHMA is the trade association which represents almost all of the North American manufacturers of builders hardware. One of its main activities since 1983 has been the development and maintenance of ANSI-approved standards for 35 separate product categories.

Product Performance: Purchasers of power operated doors certified to A156.19 ( can be assured products will perform to their expectations.

Below are an explanation and some examples of the evaluations conducted for certification:


Building products are expected to last a long time, and builders hardware is no exception. The standard requires 300,000 cycles with the actual opening and closing time to be within -10% to +20% of the values at the commencement of the test.


Provisions intended to reduce the chance of user injury are included, such as: the force required to prevent a stopped door from opening or closing shall not exceed 15 lbf (67 N), measured 1 inch (25 mm) from the latch edge of the door at any point during opening or closing.


An additional duty of builders hardware is to be aesthetically attractive and stay that way. Resistance to corrosion, chemicals, abrasion, and sunlight are all considered in an array of finish tests, providing confidence in the architectural metals and coatings.

Building Codes

Builders hardware provides several attributes that are essential to building safety and performance, including egress and fire protection. BHMA locksets are designed to comply with all applicable requirements


There are various types of trim which meet the ADA and A117.1 requirements for operable parts to be “operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.” Lever or paddle type trim meets these stipulations, while knob trim should be avoided for accessible routes. In addition, BHMA certified hardware must comply with the operational forces in their respective standards, which have been shown to be suitable for accessible applications.


BHMA products contribute to building sustainability through their verified durability, as well as material characteristics such as recycled content and recyclability. The reliable closing and sealing of openings can also contribute to energy conservation. BHMA has developed Product Category Rules, which will further define sustainability requirements and guide life cycle assessments and environmental performance declarations.

Signage: All low energy doors shall be marked with signage visable from both sides of the door, with the words, “AUTOMATIC CAUTION DOOR” (See Figure 1).

The sign shall be a minimum of 6 inches (152mm) in diameter, with black lettering on a yellow background. Additional information may be included.

This document is not a substitute for the full standard. Refer to the entire standard for full information.

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Participate in the BHMA® Certification Program by voluntarily submitting a hardware product to independent laboratory testing to confirm that it fully meets the criteria of the appropriate ANSI/BHMA® standard.  This industry-wide certification program does not call for a manufacturer to be a BHMA® member in order to certify its products.

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