I am researching the possibility of upgrading to electronic door locks at some point in the future. We would preferably use contactless ID cards for access control. Does anyone have experience with this type of project? Are there any vendors that you recommend? Thanks!
I would only suggest that you ask for motor driven retraction rather than solenoid retraction. They’re quieter and in my experience they’re much more reliable.
We just switched to a Brivo cloud controller. We already had hardware at the doors. Our system is getting finished up this week. It’s very user friendly, app enabled, cloud hosted, API integrations available for an extra monthly fee (LDAP integration for example).
15 doors at two sites was just under $9k for the system and we’ll pay about $250/mo for the cloud hosted system and some ongoing support on the doors. If you need new panics you could be looking at $2000-$4000 per door (I know!), and maybe around $700 for a single framed door with an electric strike.
This article below shows some panic bar models that can be turned into Access Control panics for about $600 + a power supply. Definitely a more economical way to go if you have the listed panics, and the motorized retraction is rock solid.
We installed 4 door locks as part of our school location and renovation of new space. Ours are Geovision units that integrate with our security camera system. Because we had to work with existing doors, electric locks were are only option, strike locks could not be used. BE SURE to check fire codes in your area regarding these locks, esp. if using electric locks. Power to the locks has to be released if the fire alarm sounds, or if building power goes off. We also had to install a sensor to automatically unlock the door from inside when approached.
For us, the ability to talk via intercom and remotely release the door was essential.
With all that, a system should have good scheduling and card assignment features, so cards can be disabled if lost or stolen, and access groups can be set up for different access times.
My concern with a cloud based system is ongoing cost, and the need to communicate online for full function. Our system is self contained and works even if internet connection is down.
There should be a discussion at your church about how the system will be used, and what features are needed. Do you need remote unlock by the church office? Do you need an integrated camera to see who wants in? What hours would the doors normally be unlocked on a schedule? Do the facility people understand this system is maintained by IT, and not facilities (facility may drive policy, but IT maintains the system) and that components reside in network racks, not facility director office?
Giving out cards instead of physical keys for exterior doors is definitely the way to go.
Forgot to mention that the door lock system power controllers cannot be on a UPS, power must be removed from system when building power goes off. Our fire department was quite adamant about that.
Be sure your security vendor has experience with local fire departments; there can be some variation of codes and their enforcement.
We have key fob door entry using a local company, they’ve done alright for us. I’m looking at what I believe would be an upgrade with Avigilon, because they have a camera system that integrates with the door control system. Not sure if that helps you, but they are who I’m looking at.
This is great information, thank you for sharing your experience.
We’re using 3xLogic Infinias for our access control. There were 3 big selling point for us with this product:
- Their UI is web-based, fairly clean, and loads on just about any device out there.
- If you don’t want to navigate the WebUI on your mobile device, there’s a mobile app available.
- In addition to an internal scheduling component, you can also set up door locks to follow an Outlook calendar. This was huge for making this system more user-friendly towards our staff who are responsible for setting door schedules for events.
I hope that’s helpful. I’d be happy to answer further questions if you like.
Lots of options out there. Depending on the exact nature of your campus(es), you might want to take a look at Salto.