Streamlined and adaptable access for intelligent buildings and beyond

Streamlined and adaptable access for intelligent buildings and beyond

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Smart buildings and smart security serve sustainability and better tenant experiences, reports HID.

In light of the increasingly apparent forces of climate change, it is becoming vital for organisations to take proactive measures toward achieving long term sustainability by reducing the impact of industrialisation on global weather patterns, temperature fluctuations and pollution levels. In fact, recent market reports have indicated that a majority of organisations rank climate and sustainability as their corporate priorities.

Reducing energy usage is still at the front of the mind when it comes to building design and operations, however, while the focus used to be on primary systems like HVAC, in today’s world – the goal is to measure every watt per square metre to see where consumption can be cut.

This is possible with advanced solutions that utilise a broad range of technologies like machine learning, real time sensors and renewable energy sources, to name a few. From a physical access control (PAC) perspective, consultants and end users can also tap into more sustainable options.

The PAC solutions of today still use hardware – including access control card readers – as well as software and credential components to create controlled access at a wide variety of different entry points such as parking garages, building doors and restricted rooms.

These door readers, when configured with Intelligent Power Mode, can go into standby mode when not used, overnight and on weekends, such that substantial power savings can be realised, considering that hundreds of them are installed in large premises multiplied by the 15-to-20-year life span of each.

Commercial enterprises also demand a high level of flexibility and convenience to accommodate the realities of a hybrid work environment that sees employees working in the office and also working from home/other remote environments.

As a result of this, there is a rapidly growing demand for smarter access control that automates employee and visitor access requests whilst allowing for remote management of access rights, providing unified access control and management and integrating seamlessly into existing building management systems and tenant experience apps.

Most importantly, these solutions reduce the need for traditional PVC access cards. The latest smartphone-based credentials – which also support integrations with digital wallets and are easily managed using cloud-based services – avoid the waste and carbon emissions associated with plastic card production.

These are some of the reasons, Charter Hall, one of Australia’s leading fully integrated property groups, opted to deploy mobile access control and readers for access control.

The challenge

Having developed the Charli workplace app to provide its building communities with a range of services for its tenants, Charter Hall recognised that integrating mobile access control into the app would optimise the role Charli could play in achieving a frictionless yet secure and sustainable tenant experience.

At the same time, the company wanted to streamline its access technology by deploying universal readers across Charter Hall properties in tandem with mobile IDs – in doing so, access could be easily adapted for each building but still controlled at a central point.

The mobile access solution

Ensuring that everything would be integrated for both Charter Hall and its tenants was a crucial requirement, so the access control system became a foundational layer to build upon by pulling together all the disparate systems in the buildings. This was done not only through the readers, but also by utilising an API-based approach wherever possible.

The selected mobile access solution, which was provided by HID, allows any compatible mobile device to house a credential so that users can securely access doors, gates, networks and more. By eliminating the need for physical access cards to move throughout buildings and to access secure areas including parking, printers and lockers, the mobile access solution is also capable of reducing costs.

The access control readers, also provided by HID, support the widest range of credential technologies via native Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Apple Wallet, delivering unparalleled performance with ultra-secure storage of cryptographic keys. Each reader is also designed to be connected and managed remotely for easy upgrades.

With everything being on the same backbone, it is a lot easier to manage what is going on from the same central point.

Multiple benefits realised

About 4,000 people in Charter Hall’s Wesley Precinct will be leveraging HID Mobile Access via the Charli app. In conjunction with Charli, Charter Hall tenants and employees can now use their handsets to access the entire Wesley Precinct and its amenities, including end of trip facilities and FollowMe Printing.

Self-onboarding for the building also allows the tenant to request and receive access any time of the day – without the delays of waiting for a physical card, phone call or someone to come to the building.

Typically, because no one forgets their mobile device, tenants can also use their mobile ID as a backup if they forget their physical card. Security guards can also save valuable time when new credentials need to be issued. It may only take 30 seconds to open a second app to do that, but if they are doing 1,000 cards throughout the course of the year, that multiplies at a rapid rate.

As a result, the company and its tenants are realising significant savings through greater productivity thanks to managing access building-wide through a single app and streamlined remote credentialing.

Savings are also realised through the elimination of costs associated with issuing physical access cards as well as deactivating and replacing them when they are lost or stolen.

Employee access through digital wallets

Digital wallets have been around for payment transactions for some time, but they are not used for just payment transactions, anymore. Digital wallets hold medical prescriptions, travel documents, driver’s licenses, ID cards, insurance information and employee badges. 

Using employee badge in digital wallets, employees can access office doors, elevators, turnstiles, multifunction printers and much more using just their smartphones or smartwatches. These digital credentials can integrate into existing access control systems, are simple to distribute and manage – and take advantage of the built-in security features of the devices.

Activation is easy – employee badge via digital wallets seamlessly integrates into a company’s existing access control systems, across a variety of third party hardware and is easily managed by internal staff. So, getting started is quick and efficient.

Private and secure – employee credentials in digital wallets also takes full advantage of the privacy and security features. An employee badge is stored on the user’s device, which means Apple doesn’t see the places staff or employees access, so data is private and secure.

But the more official IDs are digitised, the more complex the solutions will have to be to protect personal data and prevent data misuse. It is important to build a modern authorisation program with security management in the cloud, with scalability in mind. Additionally, digital identity systems must take into account regionally and globally relevant laws, regulations and industry standards, for example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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