Burke and Wills discover the doorway to energy conservation in Australia

Australia is a land of climatic extremes and businesses are becoming acutely aware of the costs and environmental impacts of using large amounts of energy to heat or cool their buildings.

Energy-efficient revolving doors

The Burke and Wills Hotel has discovered that one solution to reduce the strain on HVAC systems is the use of a revolving door at the front entrance.

Based in Toowoomba in South Queensland – which can plunge below 5 degrees and experience frost and wind chill in winter – the Burke and Wills Hotel has installed a Boon Edam Tourniket revolving door, installed by their distribution partner, Auto Ingress.

“The doors just make it a more elegant entry to the building. And in extreme cold weather, it’s a much better climate control situation. It stops the pollutants, as it’s a manual revolving door. It gets pretty cold outside in Toowoomba, and the doors only let out one quadrant of air rotation, so the warm air stays inside,” says Auto Ingress Director Rob Jessen, whose company has more than 20,000 installations nationally and 20 years’ experience in automatic door operations to suit major busy publicly accessible facilities such as shopping centres, hospitals, retail outlets and office buildings.

“And it works just as well in reverse, too, keeping cool air inside in summer when it’s uncomfortably hot outside,” he said.

The original Burke and Wills expedition in 1861 – after which the hotel is named – was conducted in horrendous climatic conditions that resulted in the deaths of both expedition leaders, as their tortuous route from South to North took them from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpenteria, a distance of some 2000 miles (3250km).

Global leadership

As a global leader in architectural revolving doors and security entrance systems with 140 years of global experience, Boon Edam has installed and maintained entry technologies for some of the world’s largest firms, including several global Fortune 500 companies.

Mr Jessen said it was the price, quality and global leadership of Boon Edam that gained the confidence of the Hotel to select Boon Edam’s revolving doors.

“Both manual and automatic revolving doors generate energy savings, improve operations, enhance the user experience and attract occupants and tenants,” he said.

Forward-thinking energy conservation

Boon Edam Managing Director Michael Fisher says the Burke and Wills Hotel has shown a forward-thinking attitude with he installation of the new revolving door. “I still remember the days walking past shopping centres or retail outlets and you’d get a wave of cold air on a hot day. As refreshing as that felt, it’s certainly not energy efficient!”

“Businesses have a responsibility to minimise their carbon footprint and look to the future by installing technologies that are simultaneously cost-efficient and energy-efficient,” he said.

According to a 2006 MIT study*, revolving doors save on average about 1.5 percent of the total energy needed to cool and heat a building annually. These savings, they calculated, would lead to a 14.6 ton reduction in carbon dioxide emitted annually. (*Modifying habits towards sustainability: A study of revolving door usage on the MIT campus. B.A. Cullum, Olivia Lee, Sittha Sukkasi, Dan Wesolowski. Full study: http://web.mit.edu/~slanou/www/shared_documents/366_06_REVOLVING_DOOR.pdf)

“The Burke and Wills Hotel is one of the first Queensland businesses to make preparations for the new energy market in the State by working to offset expected increases in energy costs of the newly deregulated market,” says Mr Fisher.

“The significant annual reduction in carbon emissions is not only great for the environment, but it presents an attractive return on investment to companies looking to invest in a more energy-efficient entrance,” he said.

Functionality and energy-efficiency

Mr Jessen says, “We had to prove the advantages to Burke and Wills, who were looking around for the best solution. They assessed Boon Edam as a long-standing company, with extensive experience all over the world. The door ensured not only energy conservation, but vitally important functionality and accessibility to the building.”

“The project ran smoothly from start to finish. From ordering, arrival of goods and installation right through to the finished product there were no dramas. The customer is very happy with the doors.”


Boon Edam’s Tourniket has a long history and has been manufactured since 1903. It is a high-quality Dutch-manufactured revolving door with an extensive range of options and finishes available. Tourniket is a highly versatile entrance solution, with current installations in a huge range of applications globally.

For higher security applications, a burglar resistant version is available. This version is compatible with SCEC Standards in Australia.

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