AEI's Tech Corner

Matt Klepacz
is featured this month. Matt shares some of the important aspects of Access Control and how it can improve security.



" Access Control and Security were 'made for each other'. Properly selected components from each, combined efficiently, make for the best of both worlds.  "

     


" Access control is more than controlling the flow of people traffic.  "

     


" In short the access control system has the ability to manage many more areas of building automation than just the door access.  "




Tech Corner Archives

11/2014 : Recommissioning of Three Stage Cooling Systems
09/2014 : Purposes of Controls
03/2012 : Extending life of legacy Staefa Tools
08/2011 : 3-Stage Cooling & Rooftop Retrofit Update
06/2011 : Saved Over 50% on our Office Energy Bill
01/2011 : Facts About PV Solar Collector Systems
11/2010 : Three-Stage Cooling and Rooftop Retrofit
10/2010 : Run by an Automatic Control System?

ACCESS CONTROL & SECURITY

By Matt Klepacz

Access Control is often used interchangeably with "security". Even though there is a security component to an Access Control system it does not replace the building's security system. Few things disrupt normal people traffic in a building more than the introduction of an Access system. The psychology of "people flow" becomes evident when such a system is implemented. Rarely is there an attempt to impose a "big brother" solution when designing and implementing Access Control, although many believe that someone is "watching" once an Access Control system is installed. If these issues are addressed in the design phase of the system a much smoother transition will be possible.

A security system, on the other hand, is innocuous to the point that once disarmed at the beginning of the day (usually by someone or by a time program), an individual can pass into and throughout the building freely. Its necessity, however, cannot be understated. A properly designed Security system is a modern day requirement.

Working together, "Access Control and Security were 'made for each other'. Properly selected components from each, combined efficiently, make for the best of both worlds. The requirements of the security system are now met and sensitive parts of the building now have an audit trail in the case of an emergency" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Access_control).

This Wikipedia entry does a great job describing in more detail some of the things mentioned above. Atkinson Electronics has the expertise to design, install and implement a system that will be tailored to your building's needs.

Access control is more than controlling the flow of people traffic although this is often the main purpose of the system. Tridium makes a wide variety of building controls that can be integrated with the security controls. Here are several scenarios to be considered.

(1) Access is granted into the building through the access control. The CCTV system takes a snapshot of the individual as he walks through the door. The burglar alarm system is disarmed.
(2) Access to the parking garage is granted through the access control system. The lighting control system turns on the area assigned to the individuals area and the HVAC controls are triggered so the air starts circulating.
(3) An individual is let go from his position within the company and refuses to return his access card. His access card can be deactivated and his access can be denied but an alert can be programmed into the system that will send an email out if he tries to gain access into the building using his badge.

We recently installed a Tridium security system that the customer is using to track personal that are currently in the building. In the case of an emergency evacuation they have the ability to know who was in the building and who exited. They can direct emergency response to the names and locations of individuals who are still in the building.

In short the access control system has the ability to manage many more areas of building automation than just the door access. The system can be designed to do tasks including safety, security and convenience.

- MK

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