Are You Better at Access Control than ADI?

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 07, 2014

There are many methods of controlling access, but not all are worth recommending. When it comes to asking for help, ADI has plenty of advice. But how good are those designs? Do they have your best interest, or their suppliers, in mind when handing out solutions?

We take a look at one simple access example in the note that follows.

The Design Problem

National distributor ADI issues 'price specials' every month. This month they are featuring products from access hardware maker SDC. Catch this video:

Behind an unrealistic mock phonecall between an installer and SDC/ADI phone operators lie an interesting and common access design problem.

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Comments (7)

Let me see what the next monthly issue of [SECURITY MAG] tells me and I'll get back to you in mid-April.

If this is a low-demand application, there are consumer options that are pretty cheap:

For about the same price as the original ADI solution, the customer could likely get a more advanced lock, which would give them some amount of access-card options and audit trails:

(note the RF remote pushbutton looks like it's an additional $65, but these are also retail prices).

You left out the cost of having the fire alarm provider back to add a device to connect your mag lock based system to the alarm system which is required by every AHJ I have ever dealt with......and not required by your Trilogy based system.

As you, Brian, I would like to find a less expensive, dependable single door system than what you proposed but so far, I have not.

Hello Mike:

I mentioned it, but could not count it as a hard cost not knowing whether or not there is a fire alarm to begin with. But in real costs, it adds $30 - $200 to the job just in overhead. (additional gas, non-productive time, phonecalls, trip charges for the fire tech, etc)

You're likely looking at multiple trips to the site if using a maglock... even just one, on one door. Yikes!

Why do they need both an RTE motion AND a pushbutton? They're doing the same job, yeah it's a relatively small amount of money, but you only need one of those devices...

In most jurisdictions, you need two RTE devices if the door is an egress door.

Why? If smoke from a fire obscures a PIR, how do you unlock it?

This scenario is why 2 forms of RTE are required by IBC. Here's the code below:

1008.1.4.4 Access-Controlled Egress Doors

  • A sensor must be mounted on the egress side to detect an occupant approaching the doors. Doors must unlock upon a signal from the sensor or loss of power to the sensor.
  • A manual unlocking device (push button) shall result in direct interruption of power to the lock – independent of the access control system electronics. When the push button is actuated, the doors must remain unlocked for 30 seconds minimum. The push button must include signage stating “Push to Exit” and must be located 40” to 48” vertically above the floor and within 5’ of the doors. Ready access must be provided to the push button.

You might get away with only a pushbutton in some jurisdictions, but never just a PIR. Too risky. The PIR is there for convenience during normal operation, so the door 'automatically' unlocks without requiring people to push a button first.

In some state the Remote Relaese has to be a hard wire connection. You would also have a hard time doing this type of intallation in a elevator lobby because of all of the fire codes.

If you have to call your ADI or SDC sales guy to figure out what to use for this door, then you probably shouldn't be licensed to do the work in the first place. This is a prime example of the traditional ADI customer profile, and a great example of why we don't fit in with their sales model.

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