Debunking Assa Abloy President's Next Big Thing

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Sep 29, 2014

The President of one of the biggest names in access control has proclaimed the next big thing: energy reduction for electrified hardware.

Assa's leader placed access control as the next frontier for saving money on power, citing his conglomerate's line of EcoFlex locks as key in making this happen.

The big problem with this claim? Most access users will only save a few bucks per year with a 'green lock'.  We examine EcoFlex and crunch the numbers in this note.

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Comments (8)

I agree that the potential for energy savings in this area is negligible, particularly since the majority of door hardware used with access control systems is (or should be IMO) of the "fail-secure" variety, which only requires power when the door is actually being unlocked.

This seems to be an appeal to the A/E community, which is currently obsessed with the Green Movement and LEED compliance.

Agreed.

I'm all for being efficient and smart with energy design, like most of the world. If EcoFlex is more efficient, then great. Make sure that bullet is on the spec sheet. Then we're done talking about it.

Instead, ASSA is spending big bucks whipping up fluff and building a product identity on a (very) minor feature. We hear 'Energy reduction is the next phase' for access? Gee whiz. That's really the next big thing?

How about we talk about how locks improve security?

Also this observation is key here: "This seems to be an appeal to the A/E community, which is currently obsessed with the Green Movement and LEED compliance."

A&E's are the primary target for the EcoFlex marketing, not end users or SIs. ASSA is fighting to get independent specifiers and the decision makers to write in their product on new jobs.

The way I understand it, there are a number of rebates and incentives for using 'green' products in new designs. I have to wonder: If 'Green' wasn't subsidized, would A&Es still care?

How much of an impact does using EcoFlex make in getting to LEED compliance?

This page on Assa's website is devoted to using their products to earn LEED credits.

The above statement would be for an installation involving continuos duty locks, which accounts for a fraction of the systems out there.

500ma peak current draw also known as inrush refers to the amount of current required to retract the solenoid upon initial activation.

15ma holding current draw refers to the amount of current consumed for the duration of the programmed activation of the door lock on average 6 seconds.

so with that being said the average energy consumption per year is more like 25 cents in projects consisting fail secure locks.

if they can redesign the electric solenoid in the 8800 device with electric latch retraction to only draw this much it would be a welcome change.

the other issue this brings about is historically a high inrush is required to account for pressure on the lever or pulling of the door before a credential is presented to the reader. will this eco feature still account for this or will one of these ecolocks just not open when there is increased pressure on the door or lever.

I agree with others who said that this would appeal to the A/E community – and I also agree that the energy savings in most applications would likely be fairly small. Brian’s comment that “ASSA is fighting to get independent specifiers and the decision makers to write in their product on new jobs” is spot on. My general observation is that companies like ASSA and IR (now Allegion) seem to pour quite a bit of effort (and dollars) to get 'written in' on projects – particularly new construction projects.

Perhaps the big win here isn't cost savings directly but with the reduced current draw, you can now power this lock via POE based controllers, eliminating having to run seperate power.

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