The Sustainable Route: How Choosing Motorized over Solenoid Hardware Can ‘LEED’ to a More Sustainable Hospital

Tip #24

By Tim Weller, AHC/CDC, FDAI, Manager of Codes, Standards and Sustainability, Allegion

Door closers here, door frames there. All of the products you put into your health care facility accumulate points toward LEED-certification. But not all products are created equal. As you select healthy, environmentally friendly solutions for your next project, take a closer look at solenoid-driven hardware. 

Why motorized over solenoid?

Motor-driven solutions consume less power and require fewer power supplies when compared to their solenoid counterparts, which can make them more efficient, cost effective and flexible. Ultimately, specifying motorized over solenoid can earn you more LEED points and result in a more sustainable building if the motorized products have the correct optimization documentation.

Solenoid hardware requires high in-rush amperage, whereas motorized hardware lowers the power draw. For example, in exit device latch retraction applications, motorized solutions use as little as 1/16 the amperage as solenoid. Additionally, motorized solutions are quieter than the solenoid-driven alternatives. As you likely know, less noise has been proven to advance healing in medical facilities. 

Another incentive making these solutions more efficient is power supply requirements. With older technology like solenoids, you typically need one power supply to run each door. With a low-power, efficient motorized solution, you can have one smaller, less costly power supply. Or if you have multiple doors with that same solution, you can choose a bigger power supply and gang together multiple doors. Now it’s one power supply per four doors, or even six doors, depending on the application. You can purchase and use less products in the building. 

There’s more flexibility at installation when you eliminate the need for a power supply at each door. You can design a single access control room for everything, making it simple for installers and the end users. There’s the opportunity for longer wire runs and thinner gauge options since the current required to power motorized solutions is lower.

Less power consumption translates to lower costs. Because you’re choosing a smaller, less expensive power supply, acquisition costs are lower. And, as mentioned above, if there are multiple doors with the same solution, you can group them together as opposed to having individual power supplies for each.

Moving away from high-amperage electrified options to less power-hungry motorized solutions saves long-term costs as well. Total cost of ownership declines because there is less ongoing power draw. With solenoid-driven solutions, there’s a need for continuous charge in certain applications, increasing power usage. 

Acquisition costs are lowered, ongoing costs are lowered and the power consumption is lowered. Not only are you saving money but you’re saving power. And of course, using less materials in the project, like electronics, is better for the overall health of the buildings. Ultimately, opting for motor-driven products can positively impact LEED scores so you can hand over a more sustainable building. Allegion solutions can help get you there.

Allegion commits to conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner, and we help you do the same. To learn more about our sustainability efforts, visit Information on Allegion’s EPDs, HPDs, Declare labels and LEED efforts are easy to find. For questions or other sustainability information contact


About the Author

Tim WellerTim Weller, AHC/CDC, FDAI, Manager of Codes, Standards and Sustainability, Allegion
With over forty years of industry experience, Tim has held a wide variety of roles ranging from distribution to sales management to sustainability and industry relations. Tim is currently responsible for the development of the product sustainability strategy and meeting market demands. Tim holds a B.A. in Business from Regis University and has attained his AHC, CDC and FDAI credentials from the Door and Hardware Institute.

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