Door Industry Journal - Winter 2018

Also online at: 108 THE door industry journal winter 2018 Entrance & Bi-folding Doors Creating an Access Strategy for your building Whether you are designing a brand-new healthcare facility or planning a refurbishment of an existing hotel, your access strategy should be at the forefront of the initial planning stage. The purpose of an access strategy is to allow a designer to detail the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of their access plans in terms of ‘how’ it will function and comply with building regulations, and ‘why’ they are choosing this approach for this project. We spoke to industry specialists KCC Architectural about their advice for architects or construction professionals on designing an effective, integrated access strategy. Norman White, Director of KCC Architectural’s Munster operations, has worked with architects and designers to create customised, integrated access strategies for projects across all sectors including healthcare, education, retail, hospitality and commercial to name a few. Norman says “Each project is looked at individually, we don’t go for a ‘one size fits all’ approach because each clients’ needs are different. For example; if we are working on a hospital build, they are going to have different access requirements to a hotel – in a hospital, they’ll need to restrict access to certain areas such as drug storage areas or intensive care units or a psychiatric ward for example. In a hotel, we look at bedroom locking systems, restricted access to staff areas and how to link it all into the Building Management System (BMS). We work with our clients to create a bespoke access strategy for their project”. Norman details how they analyse the access requirements of a project saying “Part of it comes down to experience, part of it down to compliance with building regulations and requirements and part of it comes down to common sense. We look at the building as a whole – starting with the front of the building – how do you get in? who needs to get in? – we move inside the building to the reception area or lobby and again, depending on the building in question, there’s going to be access requirements here too. Then we look at the greater building area, i.e. different floors, corridors, areas and we identify the individual access requirements for all of these.” Looking at KCC’s method for logically breaking down the building externally and internally, Norman brings us through their approach in greater detail using a typical healthcare project example as a reference point. Externally – The front entrance “If we take the example of a hospital, there are a few different elements that need to be considered, such as the Access needs of those who will be using the entrance. For a hospital you can assume that is a mix of patients, visitors and staff, for example. The front entrance is generally a universal access point, accessed by all of the above so the door should be simple to use and operate efficiently whilst meeting the building standards and the design brief,” Norman advises. “The security needs of the building also need to be taken into consideration – is there a need for security? Does the door need to function freely 24 hours a day or should access be restricted after visiting hours? We can create timed systems that work around the specific requirements of the building.” Norman says the level of usage of a buildings’ entrance can vary dramatically – For example, a commercial office development may have busy times of day but in general the footfall going through the entrance is relatively low, whereas in a hospital environment, there could be a steady flow of people entering and exiting the building all day long. “The usage of a main entrance of a hospital is generally going to be extremely high, so the choice of motor needs to be fit for purpose and the access control system needs to work in tangent with the requirements of the door system in question.” Aesthetics also play a major role in the external access control strategy in terms of the entrance system selected. The main entrance is the first experience people have of a building and needs to set the tone. While this often comes down to

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