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Understanding the demands for electronic access control

 

Electronic access control is no longer a solution reserved for high security perimeter openings. Wireless devices have transformed the industry, extending the benefits of security, convenience and efficiency to more doors than ever before. As the demand for electronic access control increases, it’s helpful for architects and building designers to understand the driving forces behind these products. Keeping up with expectations will help design spaces that enhance customer experiences. 

Understanding the demand, architects can increase the reach of electronic access control by specifying wireless beyond the perimeter. This should be incorporated into the design process and planned for early. Let’s explore the benefits driving the market demand.

Control. Budget probably doesn’t allow for electronic access control on every opening, so think about usage and users. Would customers benefit from greater control over an opening? Does the facility need the ability to respond quickly in emergency situations? Users can configure locks, manage access rights and assign schedules from virtually anywhere. Facilities that need more advanced capabilities, like lockdown options, can integrate with a leading software provider. 

Visibility. Electronic access control provides insights into what’s going on inside the building through audit trails and alerts. Real-time data and technology help users manage their facility as well as the staff or occupants within it. In addition to awareness of what’s going on at each opening, the data generated by each device can then show broader trends like occupancy and space utilization. When integrated with various systems like HVAC and lighting sensors, the data can be used to expand the understanding of the space, which can lead to increased productivity and automation.

Convenience. In today’s market, security is expected—it’s a given. End users are looking for products that go beyond security to offer convenience. For example, using an electronic credential at the main door or common areas in a multifamily property then switching to keys to access resident units isn’t ideal. Deliver a better experience by specifying products that allow for a single credential to move from one space to the next with ease. 

Key management. Planning facilities with more electronic access control means end users can say goodbye to key management headaches. Electronic credentials provide an additional level of control by mitigating the risks associated with lost or stolen keys. With mechanical locks, once a key is lost, there’s no control over who can gain access. To overcome security threats, rekeying must take place. But with electronic credentials, rights can be deactivated immediately and new credentials issued in seconds. 

Easy adoption. Wireless locks simplify installation by combining the lock, credential reader, door position sensor, request-to-exit switch and power all in one unit. And they take only an average of one to two hours to install and significantly reduce labor costs. Beyond installation, these locks can be tailored to fit varying security needs. Different architectures are available depending on the application, which allows for greater adoption of locks on interior doors as they can be mixed and matched to meet the needs of each opening. Working with an integrator, customers can determine the best solution for their wireless locks. 

Future growth. Flexibility is an important feature to consider when specifying electronic devices. Access control will always be needed, but how it’s monitored and the solutions available evolve year after year. An open architecture allows end users’ security solutions to evolve along with advancing technology and the changing needs of their facilities. 

Further connectivity. It doesn’t matter if a customer is striving for a complete smart-building system or experimenting with how to add value for its users, connectivity presents new potential. If customer needs and budget allow for more connectivity, sensors can be included to create a fully connected facility. Read more about designing for connectivity.  

The demand for electronic access control in the interior is there. The better architects understand the market demand, the better they will be able to design projects that meet customer expectations. Allegion’s experts are here to help. Contact an Allegion™ hardware consultant. And check out the July edition of Door Security & Safety magazine for more on this topic.

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