The Architect’s Security Consultant for Electrified Door Hardware
Architectural firms encounter many challenges with electrified door hardware, particularly when an access control system is involved. There are usually multiple trades and suppliers involved, power requirements, and unique operational needs at controlled doors.
Architects often receive door hardware specifications written by one of the large hardware manufacturers. These are often produced with little guidance or consideration for the access control system’s needs. That’s why early engagement between the owner, architect, door hardware specifier, and a knowledgeable security consultant can be the key to a successful and well-coordinated door hardware implementation.
Experienced Consultants to Our Architectural Partners
SRMC has assisted several of our architectural partners through the labyrinth of coordinating electrified door hardware and access control systems.
By engaging SRMC early, we can ensure all the required lockset features and options are provided. These typically include the built-in signaling that provides access to control systems for proper operations, such as request to exit, door position, latch monitoring and so on.
Establishing the sequence of operation is also an important step, especially when auto-handicap openers are involved. This adds yet another layer of complexity, additional providers, and code issues, to name a few.
Door Security and Door Operation – Different Systems
Door security and door operation are not the same thing. Security is just one important aspect of the overall door operation. It’s important that the correct team members who understand the overall door operation are also responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of access-controlled portals and the associated hardware and operation.
All too often, the onus for making all the pieces work together falls on the access control vendor, who is usually among the last of the trades to be engaged on the jobsite, long after the door hardware provider has left the project and moved on.
Experience has shown us that while access control vendors know their own trade well, they often don’t fully understand 3rd party door hardware, proper mechanical adjustment, operational and maintenance pitfalls. We find a common tendency for access control vendors is to attempt to use the access control system to drive each of the individual door functions, even when they are not specifically security, or access control related.
While contemporary access control systems are very sophisticated and can easily provide the signals needed, this can also mean that anytime there is a malfunction at the door, the access control vendor must be involved. This is even more cumbersome when automatic door operators are involved.
A Better Approach to Sophisticated Systems
At SRMC, we believe it’s better to separate the more mundane door operation from security. This is typically done with a simple relay interface that make it easy for a door-systems repair technician to disconnect security to test door functions.
Ideally, the door would be 100% functional prior to the access control technician arriving and installing their equipment at the door, and making only the minimum connections required to secure and control access at the door.
The Architect’s Security Consultant
SRMC is ready to help with your next project. We often provide our architectural partners with a thorough review of electric door hardware equipment schedules (as they relate to security and access control only), detailed specifications and design documents for access control, ongoing coordination as changes are made during the duration of the project, and final testing and commission to assure all components are functioning properly.
Contact us early on in your project so we can help you avoid pitfalls and complications related to security systems and electrified door hardware.