How retrofit projects can modernize entrance security

Integrating security entrances with an electronic access control system can provide full insight of who accessed which areas, when, and for how long. The system can collect useful operational data, such as failed entry attempts, providing input for training programs. Any unused permissions or unusual usage patterns can be tracked. The system can also instantly and automatically update all revised or revoked access permissions; for instance, deprovisioning identity badges immediately upon an employee’s termination.

Physical constraints and support systems

The shifting security dynamic and evolving technology can be a challenge for the security consultant and the end-user in their common pursuit to design entrances on the forefront of safety, while balancing the need to welcome people and move them through efficiently. With more security entrance projects involving retrofits to existing buildings, the biggest challenge usually revolves around the flooring in the facility.

Security entrances require the floor to be super flat to work properly. In case of a security revolving door, a door rotating on an uneven floor will put undue stress on the door wings and operator. The wear and tear will be excessive, and the door would need to be replaced sooner than expected. Shimming is a popular method for trying to square a door on unlevelled floor. However, the shims will eventually force the door out of balance and plumb, resulting in a door that is hard to push, excessively loud when operating, and set to fail.

When designing for lobby turnstiles, all conduits and wiring for electrical, access control, and fire connections should run through the floor. Existing flooring configurations, especially when the floor is made of concrete with existing conduit inside, often require breaking and removing the floor to install the new wiring and conduit in the appropriate locations. This can add considerable expense to the retrofit project and may also be technically prohibitive, depending on the building.

Some buildings may also have flooring structures which do not allow for any excavation. One potential solution to these problems is to add special, above-grade platforms which are mounted to the floor surface under the turnstiles. These platforms include inclined ramps on each side, complying with accessibility requirements. Power, access control, fire alarm connections, proper flooring, and conduit requirements must be properly addressed to ensure a smooth and cost-effective installation. These items should be in place and functional before the installation begins.

Conclusion

Security entrances play an important role in organizational risk management, safety, and security. Covering a range of factors and considerations for specifications will help make security entrance upgrades or retrofit project a success; however, there are additional factors which can make or break a retrofit project. Choosing a manufacturer who will offer scalable and flexible options, as well as top-of-the-range standard products if ease and convenience are a need, is key to this process.

Every project and installation is different, and sometimes a customized product outweighs the importance of speed and standardized design specs. The security entrance manufacturer should be part of the integrated design team and viewed as a partner who is invested in the client’s long-term ROI and is equipped and knowledgeable enough to guide the client and themselves in this area.

Notes

1 Read the Ontic Center’s report, “The 2021 State of Protective Intelligence Report.” https://ontic.co/2021-state-of-protective-intelligence-report/.

Author

Greg Schreiber has been with Boon Edam for precisely 20 years and currently is senior vice-president of sales. His career spans for more than 25 years in the security entrance and door industry in a variety of sales management roles, including national sales manager from 2007 to 2012, vice-president of sales from 2013 to 2016, and most recently his current role. Since 2013, Schreiber has successfully steered the North American and global accounts sales teams to produce double-digit sales growth.

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