Document Your Projects: A Picture Can Be Worth $1,000

Documentation will enable you to delegate projects, empower your technicians, project a more professional image and generate proposals faster and more consistently.

If you are working on a large project involving many doors, you might use the hardware schedule to set up part kits for each door to better control dispersion of materials on the job site, and avoid wasting time on-site locating materials instead of installing it.


Floor Plan

A floor plan is a drawing, often to scale, showing a view from above, of the relationships between rooms, spaces and other physical features at one level of a structure. Dimensions are usually drawn between the walls to specify room sizes and wall lengths. Floor plans can include symbols for electrical panels, electronic security equipment locations, doors, emergency escape routes and fire partitions (fire walls).

Evacuation plans use a floor plan to define the means of egress. These are an integral ingredient in your design of the life safety features of your access control/ door control system. Evacuation plans are usually posted conspicuously. If a floor plan is not available, the evacuation plan may be useful to you when planning your system, make a copy or take a picture of it.


Riser Diagram

Although riser is a rating (CMR) for wire designed to be used for vertical wire runs between floors through cable risers or in elevator shafts; riser diagrams are simple line drawings using boxes and lines which can serve as a starting point in a system design. They are used to graphically show components and plot relative locations of the components as well as the lengths and wire types required.

When you see the project on paper, you may spot oversights or ways to optimize the job. You can calculate voltage drops between system components and make the necessary adjustments if voltage drops exceed recommended limits.

Voltage tolerances will differ between products so it is advisable to review each component’s specifications. Voltage drop calculators are readily available online.

If you determine there is a problem, the solution may mean using a larger gauge wire, or relocating equipment to shorten the length of wire required.

After evaluating the riser diagram you can order the correct amounts and type of each wire type for your job.

Noting the fire partitions you will need to penetrate in order to wire your project will also enable you to develop a firestop detail for each penetration.


Firestop Detail

The Firestop Detail is a set of documents which describe the number and locations of fire walls you will be penetrating, the specifics of the number of cables, the gauge, the type of wire, and the firestop solution that you will use.


Theory of Operation (Operations Narrative)

This is a narrative of how the system will work, its features, and an outline of how it is managed by the end-user once it has been commissioned. Although clients often assume you can get inside their heads and can read minds, it is usually the case where you cannot fit inside their heads and their thoughts are inaccessible.

So the designer takes notes, tries to interpret what he thinks the end-user wants, then presents the customer with a description of what you’re going to provide to be sure what he envisioning matches what you are planning. Some customers think they know what is going on in their facility but they are working with misinformation or assumptions. Last week I had to show a customer that there was no battery back-up in a particular power supply, and the lock was indeed failsafe. Apparently someone he trusted told him things in the past, and he was basing design decisions on bad input.


Elevation Drawing

This profile of a door assembly or an equipment wall shows system components, their relative locations and perhaps single lines indicating wiring or conduit.


Point To Point Wiring Diagram

This diagram, also called System Wiring Diagram, shows the various elements in a system or circuit, the connection points terminal blocks or flying leads (wires used to connect each item) and how they are interconnected.

Wire color, polarity, what the function of the wire is (power, data, input, output, etc) may be depicted on the diagram as well.

This diagram will be the theoretical wiring based on specifications available to the system designer for the equipment specified.


As-Built Diagrams

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