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Maximizing Commercial Space: Vestibules or Mars Air Curtains

Unlocking Potential for Enhanced Profitability

Introduction: The Modern Commercial Space Challenge

Across the United States, as real estate prices soar and businesses battle to optimize every inch of commercial space, a new debate emerges at the intersection of design and functionality: Vestibules versus Mars Air Curtains.

The Historical Precedence of Vestibules

Vestibules have long been the standard for commercial entrances. Their design, creating an intermediary space or airlock, has been lauded for conserving energy and maintaining indoor comfort levels (Jones, A. “The Architectural Advantages of Vestibules”, Building Design Journal, 2018).

A Paradigm Shift: ASHRAE Endorses Air Curtains

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) introduced a game-changer with its Standard 90.1-2019, legitimizing air curtains as an energy-efficient alternative for commercial spaces, spanning industries from hospitality to healthcare (ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2019).

Delving into the Economics:

With commercial lease rates at an all-time high, businesses must ask two crucial questions: How much space can we afford to lose? And at what cost?

  • Vestibules: Their energy conservation merits are undisputed. However, they demand physical space, which, especially in high-rent districts, could be costly (Mitchell, L. “Space Utilization in Modern Commercial Areas”, Property Economics Review, 2020).
  • Mars Air Curtains: These promise the dual advantage of energy efficiency and space conservation. They could redefine the commercial space profitability paradigm (Mars, Product Overview & Economic Analysis, 2021).

Empirical Insights: Scientific Studies Tilt the Balance

Pioneering studies, most notably Dr. Liangzhu Wang’s investigation into air curtains’ impact on energy use, reveal:

  • In colder climate zones, energy consumption could reduce by 0.3% to 2.2% with air curtains.
  • Factors like entrance orientation, usage frequency, and HVAC system stability significantly influence air curtains’ performance (Wang, L. “Impact of Building Entrance Air Curtain on Whole Building Energy Use”, Journal of Environmental Design and Construction, 2022).

AMCA International’s research further underscores the effectiveness of air curtains over vestibules in energy savings (AMCA Air Curtain Study, 2021).

The Global Context: IECC’s Stand:

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), a revered benchmark in global energy standards, acknowledges the benefits of air curtains, elevating their relevance in global construction and design (International Energy Conservation Code, Guidelines & Recommendations, 2019).

Conclusion: The Future of Commercial Entrances

The choice between vestibules and Mars Air Curtains isn’t binary. It’s a matter of aligning with evolving research, sustainability goals, financial considerations, and space constraints.

With a clear nod from giants like ASHRAE and the IECC, and empirical evidence from researchers, the momentum favors Mars Air Curtains. However, as businesses across the nation rethink their commercial design strategy, close collaboration with HVAC experts, architects, and sustainability consultants will be pivotal.


Jones, A. (2018). “The Architectural Advantages of Vestibules”. Building Design Journal.
ASHRAE. (2019). Standard 90.1-2019, Energy Standard for Buildings.
Mitchell, L. (2020). “Space Utilization in Modern Commercial Areas”. Property Economics Review.
Mars. (2021). Product Overview & Economic Analysis.
Wang, L. (2022). “Impact of Building Entrance Air Curtain on Whole Building Energy Use”. Journal of Environmental Design and Construction.
AMCA. (2021). Comparative study on vestibules and air curtains.
International Energy Conservation Code. (2019). Guidelines & Recommendations