Demand for secure and smart buildings has grown and resulted in more complex door hardware and electronic access control system designs. These complexities are driving an increase in the number of issues found during AHJ inspections. The issues found late in projects by inspectors typically require costly change orders to be corrected. Use these three tactics to start preventing the costly 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. Make sure 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. Vetting the designers expertise and understanding of codes and requirements will help eliminate issues found during AHJ inspections 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
Using a single source for designing and writing the door hardware/access control specifications will help alleviate disconnects between the door hardware supplier and electronic access control integrator. Utilizing 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. Too often, designs and specifications are made based on sales targets and manufacturers incentives. Use an independent designer to avoid any conflict of interest.
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.
HSJ provides owner’s representation and design engineering services specifically for Division 8 (Openings), Division 27 (Data Communications) and Division 28 (Electronic Safety & Security) disciplines. The inter-dependencies and coordination necessary between these three scopes of work require a focused expert to prevent costly project delays and ensure reliable operations. CONTACT US to discuss your project.