As electronics play an increasing role in managing a building's entrances, school administrators can justify a greater initial investment on door systems. Access-security and egress-safety features are being combined into systems that generate data for asset tracking or personnel scheduling. These and many other applications are reshaping the role of entryways and providing solutions that can be translated into savings. The resulting economic benefits are making electrical solutions more affordable.
As more entrances are being equipped with access-control systems that incorporate technology, they can deliver value in other areas. Functions such as personnel scheduling or time and attendance recordkeeping can be automated. Networking intelligent entrances can improve building system efficiency.
In residence halls, electronic keying or deadbolt systems can eliminate the need to replace locks when a new resident moves in, or when key control has been compromised. Old keys can be made inoperative, and the locks can be programmed to give specific keys access only on certain days and times for maintenance or cleaning services.
A door's hardware components no longer are merely individual entities. A growing number of hardware choices increases the complexity of the entrance. As more components become electrified, access-control functions can be combined with egress hardware and sensors that monitor the functions of mechanical hardware. In a networked system, for example, a malfunctioning closer or latch will be reported at once, which allows more efficient maintenance.
Individual door systems can be a part of a building network. Managing 50 doors on one system is much easier and more cost-effective than managing each opening separately.
Replacing locks or rekeying, which can occupy much of a locksmith's time, virtually can be eliminated with an electronic access-control system. Moreover, diagnostic features can make it possible to determine when a door needs maintenance work.
Integrated building systems allow remote monitoring of a door by way of the Internet. This not only improves security, but also makes it more efficient to administer. For example, if a user presents an invalid credential, a signal will alert a security officer, who can redirect a camera to view the entrance.