By Ross Bale
With the advent of BREEAM and the growing concern over global warming, organisations are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption.
Intelligent buildings, where systems are integrated, contribute to this goal, but can security systems help to save energy?
When integrated with other building systems, security systems can be programmed to assist with reducing energy consumption.
Access Control and Building Management Systems
Imagine a situation where an organisation has an office building that remote workers can access and work from when required. The building has multiple floors and each workspace area can be booked or reserved for use. As the building is for use by remote workers, it’s much harder to determine building usage at any time.
By integrating the workspace booking system with access control, we have some control over the building. In this configuration, once a person books a workspace, their access permissions are passed to the access control system to enable access.
Until all the desks on the ground floor are occupied, heating, lighting, and non-essential power on the first floor are all switched off. When someone enters the building with a booking on the first floor, access control sends a command to the Building Management System to switch on the lighting and heating. Once the employee gets to their workspace, everything is up and running, yet five minutes earlier, everything was powered off.
Car Park Space Guidance
Another area closely related to security is the management of car parks. With most large car parks, we drive around and around to find an available space, increasing fuel consumption and releasing more carbon dioxide. By investing in guidance technologies, such as space detection systems and digital signage, we can reduce carbon emissions.
The driver can use a smartphone app, follow digital signs, or even use the in-car navigation system to find an available space. Not only can this reduce fuel consumption and emissions, it also improves the visitor experience.
Battery Powered Security
Most wired access control installations use magnetic locks to secure doors. These magnetic locks provide extremely low levels of physical security but consume lots of power. They also need high capacity power supplies and backup batteries to ensure that they remain operational and secure the building.
In the event of an extended power failure, once the power (or backup battery) runs flat, the door will unlock. Compare this to a wireless lock, which can do everything a wired system can, but will only use power to engage and disengage the bolt.
Once the door is mechanically locked, it will remain locked without requiring constant power draw. These locks are not only more power efficient, they are secure and cost less. Wireless locks however are not a silver bullet solution as they are not suitable for every door type or for high-traffic doors.
In light of energy prices rising and the increasing need to reduce our environmental impact, here at Cundall we feel that it is our responsibility to continuously identify new paths that eventuate to the reduction of our environmental footprint. This is something that we both subscribe to and live by as a company and as individuals.
Our leadership in this field has been recognised through various awards across the globe and by charity Bioregional, who endorsed Cundall as a One Planet Company, the first consultant globally to do so.
To find out more about how you can save energy through security, please contact our Security team.