Access Control: The Final Frontier for Green Technology

Energy-efficient equipment is a win-win for integrators and end-users

A growing number of the companies you approach are going to have a person or even a department in charge of sustainability, and you must be ready to deal with them, as well as the security department, IT department, facilities managers and anyone else with a say in the decision making. More general contractors are going to want to know how the products are made, the materials used and the environmental considerations of the manufacturing processes.

Making the pitch for energy-efficient solutions should be easier because your customers will be receptive to your message — with a proper pitch, they will recognize it will save them money in the long run. If you need an easy way to frame the pitch (pun intended), explain it in terms of cost savings per door opening: Conventional solenoid EAC locks consume about six watts of power, compared to about 0.18 watts for some newer types. At 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) that saves more than 50 kWh and $5 per year, per opening — which adds up. In a facility with 1,000 doors, that’s more than five megawatt-hours and $5,000 annual savings.

If two integrators bid for a job and only one — you — is pointing out the energy efficiency considerations and the overall impact a green security system will have on a building, you are going to be in a better position to win the job. Obtaining LEED, GBI (Green Building Initiative) and other certifications for you and your company will also be a major advantage.

While security products are clearly “going green,” we are still in the early stages of what is a complete market shift. What is your role in all this? As a security integrator, you will be responsible for what the AIA (American Institute of Architects) calls Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) — your work will literally be an integral part of a building’s total IT, HVAC, design, construction and facilities “ecosystem.”

In order to achieve a net zero building, convergence of every aspect of building design and construction is the rapidly approaching future, which you need to be prepared for today.


Aaron Smith is Director of Sustainable Building Solutions for ASSA ABLOY. To request more information about the company, please visit