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ASIS announces Accolades Award winners


ALEXANDRIA, Va. —ASIS International has announced its 2014 Accolades Award winners to recognize the security industry’s most innovative new products, services and solutions.

What security directors need to know about green access control

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
By Aaron Smith
Director, Sustainable Building Solutions, ASSA ABLOY

When people think about green building, it’s a safe bet that energy-efficient access control isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, in the effort to make facilities as green as possible, every single area where energy can be conserved must be addressed— and that includes a building’s access control system.

As a security director you’re aware that every other aspect of building construction is becoming greener—lighting, HVAC systems, insulation and windows to name a few examples. Now it’s time for security systems to catch up. This is especially true in light of the fact that environmentally friendly building is becoming a mandated necessity.

Whether you’re upgrading an existing system or installing a new one, what factors are involved and what questions should you be asking?

Power Consumption and EPDs

Regardless of device, whether it’s an electronic lock, request-to-exit (REX) sensor, electric strike or other hardware, a fundamental consideration is the amount of power the device uses. When evaluating different products, be sure to ask the integrator or manufacturer to explain the differences in power consumption between different products or technologies.

Keep in mind that although one product might cost more than another out of the box, the initial difference in cost between the two might become insignificant when comparing the overall difference in life cycle cost over a 30-year period and how much energy each product consumes. On the other hand, long-term product costs or savings can differ dramatically. For example, one mortise lock on the market is up to 96 percent more energy-efficient than other types and uses about 0.24 watts of power compared to about 6 watts for older solenoid types. It also requires fewer power supplies in a given installation and generates less heat, further reducing energy consumption. At 10 cents per kilowatt-hour in a facility with 1,000 doors that adds up to more than $5,000 in annual savings.

Another indicator of an electronic access control product’s environmental impact is its Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD. An EPD is a verified document that provides information about the environmental impact of a product or system, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and other relevant information such as manufacturing processes, materials content, energy use and efficiency, and product end of life policies. Information about EPDs including a downloadable product database is available at For security directors and anyone involved in green building, the site is an invaluable resource for comparing products.

Standards and Regulatory Requirements

Meeting green building requirements means meeting federal, state and local regulations, which are becoming more prevalent every year. Many U.S. federal agencies and state and local governments already require or reward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for projects, and no detail, including more efficient EAC implementation, is too small in working towards LEED and GBI (Green Building Initiative) certification.

Looking at the big picture, the ultimate green goal is to achieve a “net zero” building, where the total amount of energy a building uses is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. To name one particularly urgent example: Executive Order 13514 mandates that at least 15 percent of existing federal buildings and leases meet Energy Efficiency Guiding Principles by 2015 with a goal of all new federal buildings achieving net zero status by 2030.

The more you are on top of these standards and requirements, the better prepared you’ll be to meet current and future mandates.

Make The Most of What You Have—But Look For Improvement

When was the last time you updated or even looked at your current system’s access control specifications? Now is the time to review your existing installation from top to bottom. There’s a strong possibility that you can get greater efficiency out of every element of your security system, from reducing thermal and air leakage by implementing better control of door openings to making better use of Power over Ethernet (PoE) connectivity, which uses less energy than conventional wired connections.

Even if you’ve updated your specification within the last year, you should still reevaluate it now, since developments in green access control are changing rapidly. If you don’t look at what’s going on in the industry right now, you could be missing out on opportunities for significant energy—and cost—savings.

While the need for more energy-efficient access control is more compelling than ever, never compromise the integrity of your security system in the quest to go green. In truth, today’s green security products and top performance go hand in hand, and you can have both. To accomplish this goal, it’s essential to team with an integrator who is on top of the latest developments in green access control, understands how access control interfaces with other aspects of a building’s IT, HVAC and other systems – and above all, is there to help security directors like yourself achieve greater overall energy efficiency in your facility.

Aaron Smith, LEED AP BD+C, is director of Sustainable Building Solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions

Online wireless locks moving forward, but not locked into the market

End users fear reliability issues and hacking opportunities

YARMOUTH, Maine—Online wireless locks are making inroads in the security industry, particularly on the perimeters of large buildings with hundreds of doors inside.

Forum to provide latest info on cameras, access control, storage and more


BOSTON—This year’s Security Surveillance and Information Technology Forum is scheduled for April 17 at Boston Common Hotel.

Rural N.C. K-5 could be secure school of the future

Pilot program, supported by top industry players, under way

WALLACE, N.C.—A now highly secure rural elementary school here is piloting a program that it hopes will become a model for other schools not only within its district but across the country.

ASSA ABLOY buys Alarm Controls

Alarm Controls valued for customization, price point of products

STOCKHOLM, Sweden and DEER PARK, N.Y.—In acquiring Alarm Controls Corp., ASSA ABLOY is gaining a company that has the “ability and willingness to do custom work,” said Scott Baker, president of ASSA ABLOY Electro-Mechanical Specialties and OEM Group.

There's a solution for that: Medium-security door options

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Martin Huddart

Recent developments in door opening technology have empowered today’s security directors to play a neat trick. Walk into a building, any building—a corporate office, a hospital, a school. Now select a door, any door. Look at the assets behind that door. Voila: an opening technology is available to match the exact security risks and needs for that specific door.

This is pretty mind blowing if you think back just a few short years ago when the only options for securing a door—regardless of the assets under protection—were either a relatively expensive hardwired, online access control system or a simple mechanical lock and key. Medium security openings that fell in the middle of this spectrum left security directors with the difficult choice of under-securing or sometimes over-securing and over-paying for a door.

Today, you’ve got options in this world of ‘medium security’. And best of all, especially in our tepid global economic climate, they don’t have to cost you a fortune. It’s now possible to implement varying degrees of access control at each opening that mesh together and operate seamlessly with the enterprise access control system to create a fully secure facility. All of this is possible thanks to innovation in a place you may not have been expecting it: the humble lock.

To understand the capabilities of this new class of locks, it’s helpful to look to the past. For years, traditional access control systems consisted of a host computer connected to controllers that connected to electrified locking hardware. The host computer, usually located in a security office, serves as the brains of the system and links to the controllers through long runs of wiring often dedicated to the security system. Additional runs of proprietary wiring then connect a controller with hardware components on multiple doorways.

Lock manufacturers originally offered an alternative in the form of a PDA programmed lock. Sure, these locks were relatively inexpensive, but generally required proprietary lock software and lots of ‘sneaker power’, as guards had to run from door to door to get transactions or change access rights.

Technology marched on and wireless technologies enabled locks to communicate with panels wirelessly, which brought many of the features of online access control to a lower cost than a wired opening. Not only were these ‘wire free’ openings less expensive to deploy, they can work with the same enterprise access control software that manages the online wired openings. Some of the savings come from fewer wire runs to the door, and other savings come from the integrated designs of locks where readers, REX, DPS and locking devices were integrated into a single device with about an hour of installation.

The next evolution was to tie locks into the existing IP network infrastructure to lower cost even further by avoiding the need for proprietary hubs and access control panels. Using smarter locks (essentially the panel is in the lock) and standard Wi-Fi access points, access control can be added for roughly 50% of the cost of wired access control per opening. Other variations use the same IP-based technology as your VOIP phone. Power Over Ethernet locks give end users full, real-time access control with all the same features you get with traditional access control for about 75% of the cost and you still get to control the lock from your favorite enterprise access control system.

Of course, not every opening requires the level of security delivered by online connectivity. But there may still be a desire to frequently change access rights, control the hour each person can access the door and/or track the door access history.

The least disruptive way to achieve this level of offline access control is with an electronic cylinder that fits directly into the existing lock. The cylinder can be programmed to allow access only to specific key holders and can be interrogated to determine who opened a door and at what time. If key control is compromised by a lost or stolen key, the cylinder can be reprogrammed to shut out that missing key. This eliminates the need for replacing cylinders or reissuing keys to a large-scale building population. Electronic cylinders can be used in a very wide variety of applications including cylinders, cam locks, cabinet locks and padlocks.

Keypad locks also fit into the category of offline access control. Like electronic cylinders, keypad locks can be re-keyed electronically. Codes can be changed on the fly if there are any concerns about who has access to different areas of a building. Keypads also have a convenience benefit; not all applications require a key. If the primary concern is controlling traffic to a particular area—say a bathroom door in a commercial building—it may be inconvenient to keep issuing keys to people coming in and out of that building. However, a code can be issued that provides a low-level, but more convenient type of security.

The available options for controlling access to medium security doors is at an all time high. By combining components, leveraging existing network infrastructure, and emphasizing convenience features, modern technology has created a much broader set of products than $300 mechanical locks or $3,000 online access-controlled openings. This allows for the selection of the right product to provide the right level of security within a given budget.

Martin Huddart is Vice President of Electronic Access Control at ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions