The use and complexity of door hardware and electronic access control systems is skyrocketing as the demand for secure, green and smart buildings becomes greater. These complexities are driving an increase in the number of issues and violations found during installation, inspection and commissioning of doors and electronic access control systems. Issues with these critical building elements result in significant change orders that often come late in the construction process and are very costly to address. Use these three tactics to start preventing change orders related to door hardware and electronic access control systems.
1. Ensure Specification Clarity & Code Compliance
Many times change orders are a direct result of unclear (“loose”) specifications or contradictions between specifications and current building codes. Ensure your designer has a clear understanding of current building code requirements, the systems that can be integrated best with each other and the owner’s requirements for functionality. Doing so will help eliminate the last second changes often imposed by the authority having jurisdiction and prevent the launch of systems that don’t meet the needs of the end user.
Real project example: On a recent project, the door swing direction was not specified accurately to meet code. This “simple” issue required the replacement and rework on over 50 openings costing the owner $50,000.
2 . Use One Team for Door Hardware and Access Control System Design
Utilizing a single source for designing and writing the door hardware/access control specifications will eliminate the disconnect often seen between the door hardware supplier and electronic access control integrator. Using a single source can also speed up the design process and will provide one point of contact for architects and contractors.
Real project example: Multiple doors that required card access did not have the correct door hardware to enable the system to operate as required. This occurred on 20 openings costing the project $20,000 and delaying inspection and opening by a month.
3. Use an Independent Designer
Engaging an unbiased 3rd party designer for door hardware and electronic access control systems will help ensure you are getting the right fit products and that integration “oversights” aren’t made to meet a sales’ target or to hit a manufacturer’s incentive threshold.
Real project example: An inferior locking set that didn’t meet code was specified by a manufacturer. The inferior locking sets were caught by the AHJ and it cost the project over $80,000 in rework and 5 weeks on the timeline.