Securing Commercial Buildings with Access Control Systems
28 February 2023
Commercial buildings typically have several security and access control needs that range from ensuring only authorised staff and visitors can enter the site and specific areas, to safeguarding the premises and assets from theft and malicious damage. In addition access control systems need to integrate with other security and building management systems to provide a comprehensive security solution.
EntroStar and EntroNet Systems in Commercial Buildings
The Entro series is built around a complete access control eco-system that includes EntroWatch management software, 2-door (EntroStar) and 4-8 door (EntroNet) door controllers, along with EntroPad access control card readers, and card reader/keypads for multi-factor authentication (MFA).
The EntroWatch software is extremely easy to use (with little training required) for operators or system supervisors. The software provides a central platform from which to setup and manage everyday access control and provides a wealth of reporting information and features.
The reporting suite in EntroWatch is powerful and provides information on Who, Where and When. This can be used for multiple purposes including occupancy management and investigating access control events and incidents. What also makes EntroWatch powerful is its CCTV and Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) integrations.
When integrated with a popular CCTV camera system such from manufacturers including HIKVision, EntroWatch users can monitor specific doors using local cameras. Events are recorded to allow pre and post event overviews when doorway access has been granted or denied. The video footage is saved locally to provide an overview.
With a PIDS such as Sabre II from Remsdaq, EntroWatch can also use a BACnet interface to integrate perimeter fence monitoring. This allows fence alarms including fence ‘cut’ and ‘climb’. Such events open up an alarm graphic to warn the EntroWatch operator and allow them to also view a local camera to the incident (where installed).
EntroWatch is a scalable system. Up to one hundred 2-door and/or 4-8 door controllers can be controlled and monitored, allowing the system to be used for simple 2-door to more complex multi-door sites with up to 800 doorways, gates, turnstiles and entry points.
Card Readers and Keypads
The Entro eco-system includes EntroPad card readers, card reader/keypads and contactless Request to Exist (RTE) pads each with built-in antimicrobial protection to help prevent bacteria and viruses. The Entro system is also highly versatile and will work with any Wiegand compatible reader including mobile phone credential readers, biometric finger print readers and face recognition cameras.
Access Control Settings and Rights
A key feature of an access control system is its ability to manage and control credential permissions. These govern who can go where and when they can do so. EntroWatch makes permissions management easy and straight forward. Users can be grouped, provided permanent or temporary access and the site set for complete lockdown in the event of an emergency.
The Entro series of door controllers is the only access control system to use native BACnet; a communications protocol designed to allow communication between building automation and control systems from different manufacturers. The BACnet protocol was developed by ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers) and is commonly used to integrate and co-ordinate systems within a building management system. For further information see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2016 or ISO standard ISO16484-5:2017.
BACnet defines standard ‘Objects’. Each object has a standard set of properties that describe the object and its current status. As a native BACnet enabled product, the EntroStar and EntroNet door controllers are defined as BACnet Advanced Application Controllers (B-AAC) and incorporate several BACnet objects. The objects including Access Zone, Access Door, Access User and Access Credential. These can be used to monitor door activity and movement within the Entro access control system and co-ordinate this with other building systems.
- Air conditioning and central heating systems to reduce energy consumption and improve the overall working environment and productivity
- Car park automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems to initiate signs to display direction for preregistered visitors.
- Office lighting to save energy and set-up work required work areas and meeting rooms
- Visitor management systems for visitor registration booking in and out of premises
Fire Alarm Panels
EntroWatch can be configured to automatically open doors when fire or smoke is detected by a building fire alarm panel.
The EntroWatch lift call feature, allows access control to building lifts where these are installed, with on-floor access controlled doorways on each individual floor providing a further level of security.
General Auxiliary Inputs and Outputs
The EntroStar and EntroNet door controllers can be used to communicate an alarm trigger from other sensors connected to them. EntroStar can be configured for up to 4 outputs and the EntroNet has 8/24 inputs or 8 outputs. Sensor examples include local temperature, smoke, water and humidity.
The Entro series is a highly versatile door access control system and is ideal for commercial buildings requiring door management from 2 to 800 doors. The system is also ideal for commercial laboratories, manufacturing and industrial sites. For high security and government buildings there is a CPNI version of the EntroWatch system.