by Emylee Cavallaro
Wholesale Marketing Manager
ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions
Openings: It’s a word that suggests new opportunities, potential for improvement and freer access to the places we need and want to go.
Thankfully, the world is opening back up. But it’s doing so with new expectations and conditions. People are gathering with greater regard for health precautions and hygienic public places. Employees are returning to offices testing out hybrid models like hot-desking and hoteling. Students are back in schools where flexible classroom spaces are taking shape to improve learning. Healthcare is rethinking facility design to aid healing, improve flow and enhance protection.
The welcomed relief and growing excitement surrounding our newest normal comes with increasing demands for healthier, safer and more accessible environments. And revised codes.
While the demands are understandable, they can also be complex especially as they apply to upgrading buildings and their door openings. When you account for the sheer number, sizes, applications and designs involved with door systems, along with latest innovations to consider, the prospect of retrofitting and complying might feel overwhelming at first.
The good news is that ASSA ABLOY can help you address these challenges by providing solutions and products that reduce germ transmission, meet code and sustainability compliance and maximize energy efficiency while improving ergonomics and promoting good aesthetics at the same time. We can also perform professional services like pre-emptive fire door inspections to ensure proper upgrades are in place.
New requirements, goals and annual inspections mean there are a lot of upgrade projects getting underway, all with critical timelines at stake. The key to meeting them is proper planning early on. ASSA ABLOY and our partners can assist there, too, through the clarity of our discovery process. Working together, we provide customers a highly productive way to identify individualized needs, evaluate solutions and navigate through the specification and product selection steps.
Reducing Germ Spread
Whether it’s a hospital, educational setting or place of business, hands-free access solutions have risen to the top of the door openings upgrade list over the past few years. Not surprising when you think of the number of doorways you pass through every day and the levers, knobs, pulls and push bars you probably touch. Consider how many other people in a building are doing the same thing. That’s why it’s important to reduce touchpoints to improve the health of environments around high-traffic doors.
With a continuum of Safer2Open™ products, ASSA ABLOY offers cost-effective solutions for every door requirement ranging from mechanical low-touch hardware like paddle trim and foot and arm pulls to low-touch electromechanical door holders, latch retractors and closers to electric fully automated touchless systems with wave-to-open sensors.
The Flexible Workplace and Intelligent Access Control
Sharing workspace has taken on new dimensions and a higher priority due to the emergence of hybrid options in the wake of the pandemic’s work-from-home routine. Determining who needs desks, storage, and parking during the week now requires more careful assessment, allocation and accountability— particularly in buildings where the workforce is growing but the floorplan isn’t. ASSA ABLOY can help with our range of intelligent access control solutions.
No “one size fits all” when it comes to controlling access. That’s why ASSA ABLOY offers an array of technologies to meet a range of upgrade requirements and budgets, including intelligent WiFi and real-time wireless locking solutions that support both card and mobile credentials and provide an audit trail. Intelligent keys are another access control option that only involves a simple retrofit to replace an existing lock’s mechanical cylinder with an eCylinder.
Monitoring use patterns with access control auditing helps facility and security managers decide how to allocate and schedule workspaces and lockers, approve bookings for conference rooms and authorize access to higher security areas. By tracking occupancy, intelligent access control also provides useful data for planning future expansion. And it makes issuing, modifying and revoking access credentials an instant process that can be executed remotely.
New Design Standards andSustainable Building Challenges
Sterile industrial-looking office, healthcare and school environments are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Today, they’re being purposefully redesigned with specialty doors featuring high-definition embossed panels, wood grain patterns and stainless-steel finishes.
Decorative hardware like door levers, pulls, doorstops, coat hooks, hinges and more create a more harmonious design and atmosphere. Better door soundproofing helps provide the peace and quiet that’s conducive to higher productivity, faster healing and more effective learning. And more glass lets in natural light that lifts spirits, too.
Studies have shown that color is also an important factor for improving the ability to focus, learn, behave and heal in built environments. Whether used on doors, frames or hardware, color can help with wayfinding by creating distinctive landmarks and pathways. In general, practical and tasteful use of color, aesthetic design and innovative ergonomics enhances our overall experience in a space – important upgrades to consider alongside functional, compliance and code requirements.
Contributions to the natural environment also matter and ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions is ready with answers to meet doorway-related sustainable building challenges. Solutions include energy efficient openings that improve building envelope thermal performance and electro-mechanical, WiFi, and PoE (Power over Ethernet) hardware that substantially reduces power consumption. ASSA ABLOY takes its sustainability mission seriously with an intensive focus on developing products produced with renewable, safer materials and recycled content and with waste-cutting manufacturing processes.
Openings Upgrades to Meet Building Codes
Codes and standards constantly evolve, and adherence is important and strictly enforced. The reason is simple: to protect buildings and their occupants, contribute to their well-being and to save lives and livelihoods. Yours included.
ASSA ABLOY products cover a full range of code-related applications from ADA Accessibility, Acoustics and Blast Resistance to Egress, Electromagnetic Locking and Fire Protection to RF Shielding, Sustainability and Windstorm Solutions.
Be aware that codes can change every few years and can vary depending on your state and local jurisdictions so it’s critical to keep current and in compliance to avoid penalties, exposure to liability claims, and expensive do-overs. To determine the right complement of doors and hardware based on your state’s International Building Code® (IBC®), use the ASSA ABLOY Egress Calculator. You can also count on our team of expert door and hardware professionals to answer any related questions. They’re well versed in code requirements currently in effect.
Also, be sure to tap into Code Corner with Katie, a continuing series of short videos from Katie Flower on a subject she’s passionate about. Katie is an ASSA ABLOY Academy trainer who’s an expert in the world of codes. Find videos here and on the Door Hardware Nerds YouTube channel.
More Resources for Why It’s Time to Upgrade
As you can see, there are many extremely important justifications for upgrading openings. Explore them further for additional details that will shed even more light on what’s relevant to your applications, challenges and priorities.
You can also download the Upgrade Your Opening brochure with specific sections on education, healthcare, the workplace and other public spaces.