Tech Trends: The Door-Hardware Dilemma

Nov. 3, 2020
Vendors have stepped up to make the often-confusing task of designing openings easier.

If you spend enough time with a security-design professional, at some point, you undoubtedly will hear them lament the door-hardware-coordination process.

Door hardware is a difficult subject: Limitless part numbers, an evolving technology landscape and a library of jargon make understanding the intricacies of door hardware seem like a doctorate-level exercise. As security consultants and engineers, the onus is, of course, on us to make sure door hardware is coordinated with the security access control and any alarm-monitoring design.

Historically, this has been an inconsistent and imperfect process. The architect, door-hardware consultant and security designer are developing and reviewing door-hardware schedules separately and in parallel, which ensures some changes are lost or superseded by others. It also is time-consuming — particularly on large projects involving hundreds or thousands of doors.

Making the Job Easier

Thankfully, the bellwethers of the door-hardware industry have developed and refined helpful technical tools to help manage the process. Allegion’s Overtur platform and ASSA ABLOY’s Design Studio are two examples. We recently attended a presentation on Overtur and had a chance to discuss the software with Shawn Foster, Allegion’s Overtur content strategist.

Overtur is a web-based platform developed by Allegion to manage the door-hardware lifecycle, from design to commissioning and retrofit. It serves as an online repository for all door-hardware information for a given project. It enables real-time collaboration between the project team and the door-hardware consultant, providing a live forum to review and comment on door hardware sets, review part numbers, cross-reference sets of door hardware and floor plans and see cut sheets without having to scour the internet.

Anyone on the project team can upload drawings to Overtur to ensure that door numbering and scheduling stay up to date. The software accepts BIM, CAD or scanned sketches. The platform also is helpful during construction, because the Overtur mobile app allows for live installation verification and punch listing. Better yet, Overtur isn’t restricted to Allegion hardware, and it can be used by anyone who has a free account to help manage door hardware on a project.

The genesis of Overtur was in helping to solve a major pain point in the architecture industry, and it evolved from there. “Overtur was initially inspired by looking at our industry and recognizing that the problem wasn’t necessarily in content creation, but in coordination,” Foster explains. “Misconstrued information is one of the major issues across any project. Overtur is a key part to the services Allegion provides, particularly in the architectural industry, where we provide hardware consultation and specification-writing services. As Overtur’s use grew and other project collaborators and stakeholders were involved on projects, the inclusion of those roles, such as security consultants, throughout the opening’s lifecycle naturally emerged.”

As security professionals, we often are focused on finding and validating the door hardware for a subset of the overall project. From a data perspective, Overtur combines the disparate information from the opening schedule, the opening’s hardware information and the plan, and presents it for all to use.

“The ability to use the data to quickly find information is a hallmark of Overtur,” Foster says. “For example, finding electrified openings for a security consultant could take hours on a large project. Using Overtur, that task is reduced to seconds, allowing the consultant to quickly move along their tasks and use their expertise. The use of notes provides a communication history around clarifications and questions in context of the opening. Information is versioned to provide an audit history throughout the lifecycle of the opening, from design through construction, handover, maintenance and, ultimately, demolition and redesign.”

Platform Developments

Allegion continues to refine and evolve the Overtur platform. Take, for example, its new Roles & Rights capability. Although all project members could comment and report on information, Allegion personnel were the only project members who could add, edit or configure opening hardware. By adding specific roles that grant certain rights, the platform opens the ability to create hardware on an opening to those on the project who have the proper role. “Project owners can change that role as required,” Foster says.

Site Survey tools within the mobile app also have been developed and added. “Mobile historically included an Installation Status app to indicate what parts of the opening are installed and a Punch List app that allows the verification of the hardware on the opening,” Foster explains. “Both tasks happen during construction. Site Survey helps to round out the journey by providing a way to validate the current condition of the opening. It can be used at the beginning of a project or years after turnover to verify current conditions.”

To learn more about Overtur, visit In addition, visit to reach out to local electronic sales engineers or other consultants at an Allegion regional sales office to set up a discussion around Overtur.

For those interested in ASSA ABLOY’s Design Studio, visit  

Brian Coulombe is principal and director of operations at DVS, a division of Ross & Baruzzini. Contact him at [email protected], through Linkedin at or on Twitter at @DVS_RB.