Coming off a successful ISC West show, Honeywell is sharply focussed on product development, with an emphasis on advanced software. “We have a strong new product pipeline this year – more than two times the number of products than we’ve released in the past several years,” says Luis Rodriguez, Director of Product Marketing, Honeywell Commercial Security. “At ISC West, we received a lot of interest in how AI and new security systems are changing the market.” Although uses for AI are still emerging in security, Honeywell sees an important role for AI in building a connected system to ensure the safety and security of a building, and more importantly, its occupants. AI allows end users to go beyond monitoring activity on a surface level to really understand the scene – from who exactly is in the area to what they might be doing. As more data is processed over time, AI will continue to build on its learnings to help deliver a more accurate assessment of potential threats each time. Machine learning-based analytics End users should explore the use of machine learning-based analytics as machine learning is more advanced than AI-based systems, says Rodriguez. “When speaking to dealers and integrators, end users should also inquire about the detection accuracy of systems that use AI or machine learning technology, particularly around false positives and negatives.” Honeywell seeks to develop integrated security systems that provide the earliest detection “Additionally, end users should always ask to conduct site testing so to understand how well-suited the machine learning-based system is to the particular user’s native environment,” adds Rodriguez. “The testing will help identify the exact needs of their site.” Honeywell is reinvesting in its video portfolio, both in hardware and software innovation, as well as partnering with the top experts in the IT and education industries to stay ahead of customer demand. Honeywell seeks to develop integrated security systems that provide the earliest detection, enable the fastest response, centralise decision making, and allow customers to manage it all from anywhere. Solutions for vertical markets Honeywell Commercial Security is focussed on supporting vertical markets that have specific security needs such as education, banking and finance, and pharma. Each has unique nuances that call for tailored security approaches. “As Honeywell continues to develop its suite of security solutions for the future and identify personalised systems for each vertical, AI such as analytics, deep learning and facial recognition will play an integral role during research and testing,” says Rodriguez. Honeywell is developing video and audio analytics technology capable of studying crowd behaviour as well as detecting guns, gunshots An example is the education market, where eliminating human delay in reporting potential threats to law enforcement and creating faster systems that help omit single-point failures are key to protecting schools and ensuring students’ safety. To address those challenges, Honeywell is developing video and audio analytics technology capable of studying crowd behaviour as well as detecting guns, gunshots and fights, says Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Manager, Honeywell Commercial Security. Testing technology for sports security The software is able to visualise, automate planning, design and efficiency analysis of a video surveillance system"A partnership with University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) is testing technology such as MaxPro Video, Pro-Watch Access Control and UNP Mass Notification in the National Sport Security Laboratory and in connected real-world environments. “The analytics data gathered from these environments will help inform future security innovations,” says Montgomery. Another Honeywell partnership is with JVSG, whose CCTV Design Software offers a new way to design more affordable and higher quality video surveillance systems. Integrators and distributors are now able to add a range of models from Honeywell’s portfolio of Performance Series IP Cameras into their system design from the software’s database. “The software is able to visualise, automate planning, design and efficiency analysis of a video surveillance system,” says Jeremy Kimber, Director of Enterprise Global Product Management, Honeywell Security and Fire. The program is used by more than 7,000 CCTV designers in more than 130 countries around the world and is downloaded more than 60,000 times every year.
Honeywell recently helped the Penns Valley Area School district in Pennsylvania design and implement a custom security system Security systems are just part of the solution to protecting primary/secondary schools. Technology can contribute to a broader, holistic approach to security that is customised to meet the needs of each educational institution. Honeywell has helped many schools customise security systems to meet each school’s unique needs, says Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Manager, Honeywell. “We take a holistic approach to identifying key areas for improvement when designing a system that meets both stringent security requirements and stays within oftentimes lean budgets”, Montgomery says. Honeywell recently helped the Penns Valley Area School district in Pennsylvania design and implement a custom security system that enables school district staff and teachers to leverage technology to protect students in the event of an active shooter on school grounds. The installation added more than 200 IP surveillance cameras spanning five campus buildings, integrated new cameras with existing analogue cameras through one video management system, and added an access control system requiring keycard authorisation at building entry points. Now, each time a card is swiped at a keypad, a camera monitoring the corresponding doorway is triggered to record activity at the entry point. The installation arms Penns Valley staff with a broad technology toolkit to leverage in the event an intruder is on campus. The scalable nature of the technology chosen for the installation is ideal for the growing district, for future enhancements. Expanding beyond CCTV at a Manhattan School Idesco is a security integrator company that currently services and supports many primary/secondary schools in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), including a major school on the east side of Manhattan that has a fully integrated solution. The end user at the Manhattan school started with an upgrade to their CCTV system, and this transitioned into upgrading their access control solution. Idesco provided S2 Security access control with an ExacqVision network video recorder (NVR). When the customer saw the power of the product, they were able also to implement a shutdown solution with panic buttons located throughout the facility. In case of an emergency, the system will respond based on a series of actions, from doors being locked, to text messages and emails being sent out. Idesco has also worked with the school and a third party solutions provider named Steward to integrate the school-based system that has information on active students, parents, caregivers, faculty and staff. The facility is really taking advantage of all the options that a solution can provide. "We take a holistic approach to identifying key areas for improvement when designing a system that meets both stringent security requirements and stays within oftentimes lean budgets", says Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Manager, Honeywell Idesco’s portfolio of security products includes access control, video surveillance, ID badging, biometrics, turnstiles and other visitor management systems. Idesco has been keeping primary/secondary schools safe and secure for more than 70 years, including full customer service and support to keep security systems up and running at all times. Palestine high school embraces IP access control In partnership with KLC Video Security, Palestine Independent School District (ISD) in Palestine, Texas, installed Isonas Pure IP Access Control at Palestine High School. The Pure IP technology is what attracted the end user first. The ability to have the access control system based on the network with an open platform allows the customer to solve all security needs for the six separate campuses and 3,300 students at Palestine ISD. The ability to program the system centrally from one location provides the flexibility to manage the full district. Cost savings and flexibility are other benefits. Due to the IP structure and the need for only Ethernet cabling, the superintendent was able to protect nearly 30 percent more doors than originally budgeted. Palestine ISD integrated the Telecenter U public address (PA) system with Isonas’ Crystal Matrix Software. The integration allows an immediate lockdown at the push of a button, for the entire district or an individual campus, along with pre-recorded announcements via the PA system. From the Isonas software, this lockdown function also triggers a text message and email to local law enforcement; they are alerted of the lockdown and can take action. Idesco has been keeping primary/secondary schools safe and secure for more than 70 years, including full customer service and support to keep security systems up and running at all times Centralised access control with instant lockdown The Aransas County Independent School District (ISD) in Texas recently constructed a new school and refurbished an existing facility and selected complete opening solutions from ASSA ABLOY to boost safety and security, increase convenience and enhance operational efficiency. The district wanted all classrooms and administrative offices equipped with keyless locks that would easily integrate into a centralised access control system provided by software partner, RS2 Technologies. This need was met with Sargent Harmony Integrated Wiegand locksets that were readily compatible with the RS2 system. The compatibility feature appealed to the school district. One of their main objectives was to incorporate classroom and entranceway doors into a centralised access control system to allow instant lockdown capabilities. The harmony locks facilitate lockdowns by connecting directly into the RS2 security system. School administrators also carry a card (red card) that can be presented to any card reader throughout the building. When swiped, it enables a school lockdown. A second card (green card) can be swiped to return all interior locks to the unlock mode. Perimeter doors are secured with Sargent 80 Series exit devices that feature built-in electric latch retraction. Visitors can enter the building only after being buzzed in by staff in the main office. In addition to the open architecture platform, Harmony locks combine all standard access control components – card reader (supports HID 125 kHz Prox or 13.56 MHz iCLASS credentials), door position switch, and request-to-exit sensor – into a single device. So, instead of installing numerous discrete components around the door opening, they are all incorporated into the Harmony lockset. This integrated approach significantly reduces installation time and creates a streamlined aesthetic that blends flawlessly into any environment. Installation of the locksets was further simplified by the use of ElectroLynx quick-connect hinges from McKinney and Securitron power supplies.
Beyond the need to install new systems, often overlooked is how schools are going to pay for security upgrades Limited financial resources are a common pain point for primary/secondary schools looking to implement cutting-edge security technology. But security needs persist despite scarce resources. All school administrators want to do everything in their power to secure their facilities against threats. More schools are recognising the benefits and, in some cases, requirement of upgrading systems to meet evolving threats. The solution is to find creative, cost-effective ways to support these installations. Aiming maximum security amidst fund scarcity Schools need maximum security and yet they have to work with limited budgets, says Andrew Schonzeit, CEO of integrator Idesco. “There certainly is a demand to enhance school safety, but to do so, schools have to look at the bigger picture and think in terms of solutions,” he adds. Integrators like Idesco can help by providing integrated security solutions that cover all their needs from ID cards to access systems and security cameras. “Many schools might think that they cannot afford such a solution, but with the latest technologies, they certainly can,” Schonzeit says. “I believe technology is being underutilised in primary/secondary schools because many schools feel intimidated by solutions. I think the security industry has come a very long way in development of apps for smart phones and iPad devices that are essentially one or two clicks. It is up to security integrators to provide powerful tools that customers feel very comfortable to use.” Choosing the right technology IP access control brings costs down by eliminating panels, excess wiring, and third party electricity at each door The Department of Homeland Security makes grants and funds available to schools for security upgrades and to address school vulnerabilities, Schonzeit says. The primary/secondary education market should be taking advantage more of the technology that is available right now. Schools are starting to have a very strong network infrastructure backbone, which is a resource schools should be looking at to assist them in terms of implementing a solution. Schools should also try to maximise the use of mobile devices to control access to their premises and to intervene quickly in case of an emergency, Schonzeit says. One way to use the network backbone is by adding IP access control, which brings costs down by eliminating panels, excess wiring, and third party electricity at each door. This means that more doors, in existing buildings, can be protected on a tight budget. Isonas, a provider of IP access control, has very close integration with both Video Insight and Milestone video management systems. Isonas feeds access control data to each of these video platforms, allowing them to be the command/control for both access control and video. “As budgets are tight, few districts can afford to put access control across an entire district at one time,” says Rob Mossman, CEO of Isonas. “The integration and the Pure IP structure means that a district can roll in access control school by school without having to manage two separate software packages during the expansion.” Beyond the need to install new systems, often overlooked is how schools are going to pay for security upgrades. At times, it is a matter of school boards making the tough choice to place a higher priority on security measures than other worthwhile programs competing for funding, says John Mosebar, vice president, marketing, Aiphone Corp., a manufacturer of audio and video intercoms. "I believe technology is being underutilised in primary/secondary schools because many schools feel intimidated by solutions. I think the security industry has come a very long way in development of apps for smart phones and iPad devices that are essentially one or two clicks" Recognising government grants Also, the federal government, most states, and private organisations offer many grants to pay for some portion of school security, Mosebar says. But often these grants are not well publicised, making it difficult especially for smaller districts without dedicated grant personnel to apply. This is an area where the security industry – through one of its organisations – could step up to research the various grant offerings and make them available through one website. “It would be a tremendous public service,” says Mosebar. Prioritising security requirements Partially in response to cost challenges, implementing electronic access control in phases is more common in schools than other environments. Schools and districts decide the most critical openings from a security and traffic flow perspective, and prioritise them first, according to Allegion. Priority lists vary among schools, but most start with the perimeter so they can lock down a facility and keep intruders out. Some schools look at crime statistics and prioritise schools by location, starting first with those in the highest crime areas, adds Minu Youngkin, Allegion vertical marketing manager. Others look at traffic flow and determine which openings are most problematic, or put them at the greatest risk, and add access control to those first, says Youngkin. Greater system functionality is another aspect of costs. A key opportunity for security technology in primary/secondary schools is creating more automated systems that lessen or eliminate human delay in response and notification, says Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Manager, Honeywell. Creating an automated “If this, then what?” protocol streamlines a school’s approach to violence and improves response time. A one-button approach – where only one action is required to notify teachers, students and police, trigger a lockdown and provide video surveillance and campus access to law enforcement – is ideal for managing the broad range of communication and logistical challenges in the event of an emergency.
Integrators must understand that the primary/secondary education market has a unique and urgent need for access control, but with limited budgets Systems integrators play a key role delivering effective security solutions to the kindergarten through 12th grade (primary/secondary) education market. Schools certainly depend on an integrator’s expertise regarding which electronic products to choose. However, schools also rely the benefit of an integrator’s experience and the insight gained by putting security practices in action on a daily basis. “Schools need integrators who can help them solve problems by performing overall risk assessment and work within their budget to meet their needs,” says Minu Youngkin, Allegion vertical marketing manager. Forming relationships with school superintendents is one route for integrators into the education market, says Youngkin. However, integrators should also form relationships with other stakeholders, such as architects, general contractors, manufacturers and independent security advisors. Youngkin advises integrators to “follow the money trail.” They should know which districts have bond money and the goals set forth in the bond effort. Integrators can also help districts with grants such as a federal Department of Education hardware grant or a Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) grant. Helping districts write grant applications builds goodwill even if the grant request is unsuccessful. An understanding of the mechanical hardware (as well as the electronics) is foundational to success, says Youngkin. “You have to understand a door opening’s solution in its entirety. In schools, that typically includes a fair amount of mechanical hardware based on how the building is being used as well as Fire Life Safety Codes that dictate the type of hardware you use on certain openings.” New technologies expand integrator’s role Historically speaking, the primary/secondary school security market often has been driven by low bids with very basic security technology requirements, says Sean McGrath, vice president of marketing and business development, ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. As heightened security needs have taken center stage within school systems, the emergence and benefits of security technology innovation such as wireless and power over Ethernet intelligent access control locks, IP video and emergency communication systems are expanding the integrator’s role, which is becoming increasingly more important in creating secure environments. Integrators servicing the primary/secondary education market should be proactively involved with the local committees responsible for defining a school system’s security objectives during the pre-construction phase, says McGrath. In those cases where a school system does not have the budgetary flexibility to hire a professional security consultant to act on their behalf, they will openly embrace the education that many security integrators can provide. The end user community will benefit greatly from integrators taking a consultative approach – not a sales approach – in assisting them to find a balance between the school system’s budgetary framework and its security objectives. It is also important for the end user community to understand the value of a long-term preventative service plan for critical security technology implementation and to budget accordingly post-construction, says McGrath. Look to solve problems, not design systems School security consultant Paul Timm, president of RETA Security, says schools are getting away from relying on integrators to design systems. More often, integrators are asked to solve problems rather than design systems. He says integrators should be solution-oriented and part of a collaborative team that includes the architect, door hardware people and outside consultants. “Administrators are looking for someone they can trust,” he says. Many primary/secondary education districts lack an experienced security director on premises. In those cases, administrators typically seek out a local security integrator to provide guidance in developing a programme Integrators can also help to identify funding sources, says Timm. “If integrators were aware of grant programmes, that would help schools. Any resources you can bring as an integrator can help.” Knowledge of government or foundation grants, money available from manufacturers such as US Cellular, and other funding sources can be helpful to school systems. “Most schools have no idea of what’s available unless it’s a big statewide programme,” he says. Many primary/secondary education districts lack an experienced security director on premises. In those cases, administrators typically seek out a local security integrator to provide guidance in developing a programme, says John Mosebar, vice president, marketing, Aiphone Corp., manufacturer of audio and video intercoms. This is an opportunity for security professionals to maximise their value by providing the equipment and services each campus needs. The integrator can also help with training on equipment as well as assist in setting policies and procedures for the security function, he says. Take a consultative, solution-based approach Security integrators must address the primary/secondary education market with a consultative, solutions-based approach, says Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Manager, Honeywell. A pitfall can be assuming that all schools face the same challenges and that one previously successful system can be duplicated in its entirety for another school. “Previous incidents and installations should be studied and referenced to provide proven solutions for managing crisis situations, but it is crucial to couple research and knowledge of previous installations with an open mind to seek out the unique security challenges of a particular school,” says Montgomery. “At Honeywell, our research has indicated that using one integrated family of products improves not only ease of installation but, more importantly for the school districts, a unified platform for improved user experience. “ Integrators must understand that the primary/secondary education market has a unique and urgent need for access control, and they have limited budgets, says Rob Mossman, CEO of Isonas. Superintendents have many constituents to satisfy, from parents to state governments. They have limited time windows for installation, and little room for error. IP cameras expanded quickly into primary/secondary education due to the simplicity and cost savings of IP architecture. An integrator must be savvy to provide solutions that build off existing hardware and software systems, rather than rip and replace. Small legacy systems often need to be taken over, and new doors need to be added. Pure IP access control provides the unique flexibility, speed, cost savings and open architecture that work perfectly in primary/secondary education, says Mossman. Security integrators must address the primary/secondary education market with a consultative, solutions-based approach Youngkin of Allegion lists some other ways integrators can foster relationships with education clients: Apply to be listed on a state’s buying cooperative associations. Schools prefer working through these entities because it eases the procurement process and saves time. Attend school association events, networking, industry trade shows. Donate money to a bond campaign. Develop manufacturer partnerships and leverage the training they provide. Help develop a plan and budget that allow schools to consider all the scenarios they face or could potentially face, and put the right resources in place to ensure the best possible outcome. Youngkin also suggests several questions to ask education clients to direct the security conversation: Do you have an emergency/crisis management plan? Who manages the security system? How do you communicate to staff and teachers in the event of an emergency? How do you move through the building on a daily basis (including after school and on weekends)? Do you practice lockdowns? How does a lockdown work? Are there different levels (i.e., lockout versus lockdown)? How long does it take to lock down? How do you react based on different times of the day (i.e., recess)? What are your goals?
School administrators are now choosing products that make the biggest, long-term impact on campus security Well-publicised events such as the U.S. school shootings at Columbine and Sandy Hook lead to an increased demand of security equipment to protect kindergarten through 12th grade (primary/secondary) education campuses. But do they also result in buying decisions made on impulse that don’t necessarily meet a school’s most pressing security needs? Increase in demand for security systems In the immediate aftermath of the December 2012 Sandy hook massacre, for example, many security manufacturers saw significant interest in their solutions. Through 2014, that momentum slowed somewhat as school administrators became more deliberative in their selections, choosing products that made the biggest, long-term impact on campus security, says John Mosebar, Vice President, Marketing, Aiphone Corp. Planning cost-effective school security “Mass shootings put public pressure on school officials to act quickly to deter active shooters on their campuses,” says school security consultant Paul Timm, president of RETA Security. But in reality, these shootings are still relatively rare. Schools need to be prepared for the everyday events that cause problems and put a strain on tight budgets, he says. Those events include burglary, vandalism, gangs and drug sales. Electronic security products can help reduce these incidents. “There’s always value to increased awareness,” says Timm. “Sometimes there’s a kneejerk reaction – let’s install bulletproof glass – but wouldn’t we rather have some improvement in safety measures than no improvement? Hardly ever it is a totally wasted expenditure, but we’re trying to educate people to have a holistic, balanced approach.” That’s where professional integrators and risk assessments play an important role. “Here’s what I tell schools,” says Timm. “I’m not focused on the active shooter. I want to help you with the emergency of an active shooter, but don’t forget your environmental emergency plans (such as tornadoes). We’re always more concerned about what puts people in danger, such as lack of access control, which is relevant to an active shooter, or domestic violence or a mentally ill person. I think there’s an overemphasis on active shooter.” Preparing for a security breach Timm compares being prepared for a security breach to the importance of holding fire drills in the school environment. The dangers of fire in educational environments first became top-of-mind some 54 years ago after fire broke out in the Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School in Chicago, Ill. A total of 92 pupils and three nuns could not escape and died from smoke, heat, fire and toxic gases. As a result of the tragedy, today every school does fire drills and has fire systems. "We prepared the kids,” says Timm. “We should prepare people for acts of violence, just as we prepare them for fires or weather emergencies. There's too much violence to say we shouldn't run some drills." Integrating surveillance with access control and intrusion systems in combination with physical deterrents such as laminate on windows and bulletproof mantraps as well as rigorous personnel training drastically improves the likelihood of a positive outcome stemming from an incident Employing various security technologies for a safe educational environment School shootings are devastating to the students, faculty and community, says Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Manager, Honeywell. “I would hope it wouldn’t take an awful incident to prompt administrators to make improvements,” he comments. “That said, many schools have benefitted from taking more precautions, as there unfortunately still are many schools lacking adequate security. Many schools, for instance, have installed surveillance cameras for security purposes. But cameras alone aren’t enough to prevent an incident. Integrating surveillance with access control and intrusion systems in combination with physical deterrents such as laminate on windows and bulletproof mantraps as well as rigorous personnel training drastically improves the likelihood of a positive outcome stemming from an incident.” Anytime there is a school tragedy, the security and safety of the facility gets plenty of attention, says Andrew Schonzeit, CEO of Idesco, a security integrator. “I think when something happens, facilities become reactionary to what they believe they need to make them more secure, or feel more secure,” he says. ”Schools might implement their own internal lockdown drills and then, after a few weeks, there is a return to a sense of normalcy.” Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy to gain awareness, but that should not be, says Schonzeit. Primary/secondary education facilities should have a revolving three-year security plan that involves assessments, costs and a schedule for implementation, he says. “With each of these events comes the realisation that an incident can happen anywhere,” says Sean McGrath, vice president of marketing and business development, ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. “So in that sense, they are a wake-up call and spur quick action from schools that have put off security reviews. In this rush to action, some administrators make the mistake of not considering a holistic approach to security. They may install a few new products without first completing an audit of their facility and carefully researching all available options.” That’s a mistake.
Schools are unlike commercial buildings or other facilities in several ways, and the differences impact how they should be secured. For one thing, the inhabitants are mainly children and won’t carry card credentials. Also, schools have distinct traffic flows and are open all hours of the day for after-school activities and evening and weekend usage. “Security solutions must take into account this flexible and fluid schedule,” says Minu Youngkin, vertical marketing manager, Allegion. Also, schools tend to have a longer selling cycle – typically an average of 18 months, Youngkin adds. The sales process is also more complex and involves multiple stakeholders. Other considerations include propped doors, multiple visitors, high staff turnover and competing budgets. Each school presents its own unique challenges The changing education environment is also among the unique challenges of the primary/secondary education marketplace. “I think the typical classroom setting is long gone,” says Andrew Schonzeit, CEO of Idesco, a security integrator. “Every school is unique and should be treated as such; you may have to alter your installation schedule to not interfere with the day-to-day flow of the school schedule.” For example, there are technical schools available in the 9-12 grade range, and many schools now offer co-teaching classrooms for children on the autism/Asperger’s spectrum. “Ultimately, you want to provide a solution that is driven by the needs of the client,” adds Schonzeit. Another important point is that the needs of all primary/secondary schools evolve very quickly and from one year to the other, their security requirements might change. As an integrator, it is essential to anticipate these changes and provide each school with a scalable solution that can be adapted at any time, says Schonzeit. Primary/secondary school security is different from other types of installs, agrees Rob Mossman, CEO of Isonas, an IP access control company. The motivations in primary/secondary schools are different and more urgent. The windows of time for installation are tighter. Buildings are often older and budgets are tighter. He says IP technology provides a solution for primary/secondary schools because the flexibility and cost savings fit these unique problems. Upgrading basic school security Reducing costs by improving system efficiency is not a new concept, but with growing interconnectivity of formerly disparate building systems, the opportunity to leverage connected upgrades may continue to gain ground Schools are beginning to rethink the basics, adds John Mosebar, vice president, marketing, Aiphone Corp., a manufacturer of audio and video intercoms. That trend will result in taller and stronger fencing to protect campuses, for example. More lighting will illuminate schools at night. And CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles will guide building design and landscaping to maximize security benefits. From advanced video management systems integrated with access control authorisation technology to intrusion sensors linked to email and text message notification, true end-to-end solutions can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each education installation, says Bruce Montgomery, business development manager, Honeywell. Native integration between access control, video and intrusion products and services streamlines the user experience, providing one unified platform at a cost-effective price point, he adds. The primary/secondary school market is also increasingly interested in security features combined with or complemented by automation features, says Montgomery. As schools revamp their systems to improve and integrate intrusion, access and video systems, there is an opportunity to present additional lifestyle enhancements, such as lighting and HVAC control, that improve ease-of-use while simultaneously reducing costs and easing environmental burden. Reducing costs by improving system efficiency is not a new concept, but with growing interconnectivity of formerly disparate building systems, the opportunity to leverage connected upgrades may continue to gain ground among this group of customers. ASSA ABLOY’s smart door opening solutions ASSA ABLOY provides all the components to create door opening solutions that meet the needs of any end user application – doors, frames, locks, hardware, gasketing, door controls, electronic access control devices and key systems. By bringing all these doorway components together, ASSA ABLOY is able to create solutions that address common security challenges. For schools, these challenges include the obvious like classroom and perimeter security, durability and reliability. Then there are the not-so-obvious factors, such as noise abatement, energy efficiency and sustainability, storm shelter requirements (depending on geography) and accessibility needs. ASSA ABLOY Group brands work together to create door opening solutions that address all these school-related issues. New locking and access control innovations are filling the technological void that occupied the realm of medium security doors, says ASSA ABLOY. Long trapped in a vacuum between high- and low-security openings, medium security is now filled with electronic locking solutions that secure doorways without draining budgets. The void was the result of a technology gap that left facilities with a difficult choice – protect the assets behind these doorways with simple mechanical locks or over-secure the openings with costly hardwired devices. There was no continuum of technologies to bridge the gap between high- and low-security openings. Electronic locks have now evolved to the point where it’s possible to examine every opening in a facility and customize the level of security needed for each door. The motivations in primary/secondary schools are different and more urgent. The windows of time forinstallation are tighter. Buildingsare often older and budgetsare tighter Wireless access control locks Today’s wireless access control locks are making it possible to implement online access control on any facility doorway, even if it’s in a remote part of the school. This will give administrators better control over all facility doorways without having to run expensive wiring and making other infrastructure improvements. Impact of sustainability Sustainability is another big issue that impacts security of schools. Buildings that want to improve energy efficiency can now choose an access control solution that consumes up to 97 percent less power than previous generations of technology, says Sean McGrath, vice president of marketing and business development, ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. Product transparency is another hot sustainability-related topic. May new construction projects will only consider products that have Health Product or Environmental Product Declarations that list material ingredients and their potential health impact.