Although some doors will continue to be secured with mechanical locks, primarily where usage and security risks are low, the use of electronic access control opens up a broad spectrum of hardware choices that can be tailored to specific needs. For areas where usage and turnover are relatively low but higher security is needed, the University uses Schlage CM offline locks, in which access data is managed by computer and transferred to or from the device by using a PDA. This eliminates the cost of rekeying when users change. Because these locks are battery powered, they require no wiring and are easy to install in existing buildings.
In applications where an online solution is needed but the cost of hard-wiring might be prohibitive, wireless locks eliminate the need to pull wiring and provide power supplies for each controlled opening. Instead, these locks are battery-powered but linked to the network for real-time control by wireless data transmission. Two different types of Schlage wireless locks are used. Standard WA Series wireless locks are used on applications such as classroom, storage and equipment room doors, while. WA993 locks are used where exit devices are required for egress.
For new construction or major renovations where door openings can be hard wired, Schlage online locks and card readers are used. Online devices can be monitored constantly and offer a range of features such as door position monitoring. They provide a high degree of security for exterior doors and other critical applications.
The main entrances of all 12 residence halls are equipped with Schlage hard-wired electronic access control. Some rear entrances also are hardwired, and Rhode notes that adding a “service entrance” to the loading zones or back doors of all residence halls will be the next step in the general “hardening” of the security program for residence halls.
Some classrooms and the Beck Hall residence building are already using the new Schlage AD Series locks, which will be installed on most new applications. They are built on an open architecture platform that lets the University leverage its “one-card” solution to provide safe and secure passage throughout the campus. With them, administrators can provide seamless integration with their present software, customize today’s access control solution, and easily migrate to future needs when required. The modular design of AD-Series locks makes it easy to change configurations or upgrade credentials, networking options or software without replacing the locks. Such upgrades can be as easy as changing a module.
These locks also will be easier to configure as the campus moves toward using hotel-style locks in residence hall buildings. Rhode says, “What we’d like to see as a standard for residence hall interior doors is a hotel-style lock with a self-service kiosk. If a student moves to a different room or gets a new card, they can handle the change themselves by using the kiosk.”
Master Expansion Plan
A master Campus Expansion Plan controls the choice of hardware for each type of opening, which helps match security solutions to security needs. “Our users don’t decide what kind of lock is installed on their door,” says Rhode. “Even if they are paying for it under their own budget, it has to meet our minimum standards. They can go beyond these standards, but the minimum level of security must be met.” In fact, she notes, many users are paying for their installations out of their own budgets when funds aren’t available in the facilities budget.
By following the plan, the University is able to prioritize security needs and match solutions within available project budgets. “We believe that every building on campus should have its exteriors secured as a first priority,” Rhode explains. ‘Where we can’t afford the ideal solution, we identify the areas that need the highest security first. We take into account the level of transient occupancy, the number of key losses, the sheer volume of users involved and factors such as whether the building includes cash or contract operations, such as dining or a bookstore.”
This approach pays off and leads to more electronic solutions and the benefits they provide, both for residence and academic buildings. The new Sharadin Arts Building, for example, includes some type of electronic access control on every door, Depending on the application, solutions include offline computer-managed, wireless and online hardwired locks.