Success Story: Wireless Works on Campus

Aug. 2, 2012
Integrated locks are a key to residence hall life at the University of California at Irvine

Arroyo Vista, one of five housing complexes located at the University of California at Irvine (UCI), offers an alternative to traditional residential hall living. The 35 two- and three-story buildings, constructed during the 1970s and 80s, provide residents with an opportunity to experience cooperative living among students from diverse backgrounds.

While the living experience is decidedly unique, UCI’s access control needs were not. The university needed a cost-effective, secure access control system for these residence halls, specifically, a networked system that would not become cost-prohibitive due to construction expense. Upon review and consultation, it was obvious that a typical hard-wired access control solution would not fit the structure of the 35 buildings, or the current student dynamics.

In the end, UCI chose Sargent Manufacturing’s Profile Series v.S2 WiFi wireless lock to meet those needs. The lockset consolidates all standard access control components for ease of installation and better aesthetics. Intelligence is built into the lock for local decision making to ensure operation regardless of network status, and with its common wireless capabilities (802 b/g/n), it can leverage the existing campus IT infrastructure to reach doors where a typical wired solution may have been too expensive or difficult to install.

Kratos/HBE, the integrator of the project, began by installing new entry doors with the wireless locks at the main entrances and side entrances for 35 residence buildings. Each lock provides the proper entry and exit hardware in a single unit, and the university was able use existing keysets for the new locks. Each building was equipped with a new Cisco Wireless Access Point (WAP) located within a secured IT closet, providing connection from the locks to the network.

Reach Systems Inc., an Assa Abloy partner, provided the management software for the locks. ReachNet, the company’s remotely managed Access Management Control system enables full access to the system without the need for onsite computer hardware and special licenses.

The integrated system enables the university to integrate, monitor and manage each access control point via the existing university’s existing IT infrastructure while providing a significant cost reduction in both hardware and installation time. In fact, the actual savings was 52 percent per door over a “traditional” configuration that would include the cost of door hardware, separate electrical conduits/raceways for both power and door communications, wall-mounted card readers, cable management systems, as well as significant installation labor.

The next phase will involve doubling the size of the current system and then expanding it to other housing properties on campus in an effort to provide a single, integrated system.

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