Are you taking full advantage of open technologies in your building access control?

Smart buildings are becoming a key part of the city landscape, but with so many factors involved in their development, it can be difficult to determine the right technology to improve building operations. One of the key considerations is access control.

The rise of smart technology provides facilities managers with a high level of automated control across a building. Whether optimizing and controlling a building’s lighting, electrical or security systems, you can achieve benefits ranging from reduced operational costs to increased energy efficiency.

Being able to expand your system economically and step-by-step is key. As you start to invest in developing and future-proofing your building infrastructure, consider the role of access control, and the core function it holds within your intelligent building infrastructure.

It’s about breaking silos

Breaking down silos means removing the barriers to change. This is important if you are to meet building needs which are likely to adapt and grow with time. The technology underpinning these buildings must be able to do the same. The key to achieving adaptability is moving away from siloed systems, and investing in open, flexible solutions with easy integration instead.

Whether installing IT infrastructure at the hardware layer or focusing on the software layer, you will create more value in the long-term by choosing solutions that can be swapped in and out, or integrated with other systems easily.

When future-proofing your building, it’s worth considering whether solutions have the potential for more advanced use cases in the long-term. In particular, the merit of access control solutions should be considered against not only what they enable but how easy they are to integrate with other systems, given their ability to be plugged into everything from security to lighting and HVAC systems.

For example, while it may not be a priority today, you may want to eventually integrate access control with the visitor booking system in your building as an added security control or at a more advanced level, grant specific access for a delivery so it can be taken securely from reception to an office on say, the fourth floor, with complete traceability.

Whether installing IT infrastructure and hardware or an IoT product and then adding the software layer or vice versa, opting for open, flexible solutions enable access control functionality to be as simple or complex as you need not only now, but in the future.

Easy, scalable, and flexible

You can explore a wide range of possibilities when you deploy open flexible solutions. For example, being able to scale with access control enables coordination between buildings owned by the same organization and supports security teams in determining who’s inside the building and who can access specific areas.

If prioritizing sustainability efforts, you may decide to build in automation which supports better management of energy usage. At an advanced level, this can mean opting to integrate your access control system with the ventilation system, and automating processes so that the temperature is lowered and ventilation increased where lots of people are gathering in a certain section of the building.

Alternatively, you may want to prioritize combining access control and audio. For example, speakers can be used to instruct and help visitors navigate their way to certain areas of a building, or you may decide to play music in certain areas to encourage people to spend time there.

Furthermore, combining audio and access control can enable you to easily scale your emergency procedures. Whether opting for automated, pre-recorded audio messages sounding in emergency situations or choosing to set up live audio feeds that direct people out of the building safely in real-time, you can flex the solution to suit the emergency scenario.

Suiting your needs today without creating barriers for tomorrow

It’s important to invest in technology today that won’t limit future developments. The ability to scale up with open IoT solutions means you can uplevel your technology in line with your needs. This applies from small steps to the development of a full, end-to-end, complex intelligent building infrastructure. At the more advanced end of the scale, you can create a digital twin of the building to achieve real-time understanding of how it’s performing, and test out which adjustments could optimize efficiency, reduce energy usage, and cut costs.

By advancing your use of technology in line with building users’ needs, you can also provide them with greater benefits. For instance, you could support the wellbeing of building users by mapping stair vs. elevator use and getting systems in place to encourage people to take the stairs.

You can also cater to different demands in terms of building access, enabling people to enter the building with a variety of credentials. These can range from more traditional methods like key cards, to more innovative choices like biometrics, QR codes or even being logged into a social media account and scanning the code at the door. You may not need all of these options now, but steering clear of traditional access control systems that cannot integrate with other intelligent systems means that you won’t rule out the possibility of enabling entry with these credentials in future.

The possibilities are endless

With open, flexible solutions, you can ensure that you don’t get boxed in with proprietary systems and their limitations. From smart buildings in their early stages, all the way to creating complex intelligent buildings, you can rely on access control systems that can scale up whenever you are ready, opening up a variety of possibilities for both now and in the future.

There has never been a better time to start utilizing existing technologies to support changing physical and environmental requirements in public and commercial buildings. Innovation is rife in the intelligent buildings space. By choosing digital infrastructure and access control solutions carefully now, you can ensure you’re well-placed to not only adjust to suit changing requirements, but to take advantage of the exciting new intelligent building solutions which the future undoubtedly holds.

Click here to find out more about the Axis solutions enabling efficiency and security in intelligent buildings.

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