How Visitor Management is Enhancing Security in Multi-tenant Buildings
High-rise buildings continue to be the focal point for tightening regulatory processes, which may or may not be a surprise. Although it wasn’t the first or the last high-rise tragedy on record, the 9-11 World Trade Center attack is, for many, the one event that first comes to mind regarding our thoughts about security in high-rise buildings. But in the day-to-day, high-rise multi-tenant building security is mainly about managing the thousands of employees and visitors that traffic the building on a daily basis, preventing theft and other crimes, and keeping employees and visitors safe.
Many high-rise buildings in the U.S. are multi-use, multi-tenant market-driven facilities, with a multitude of offices and facilities under one roof. With so many people streaming through these buildings every day, security is a top priority for the building owners, facilities managers and local building safety regulatory agencies. The sheer magnitude of space within high-rises, with their multitude of floors, elevators, offices, retail outlets and public areas brings numerous security challenges that must be addressed.
For building and facilities managers, the challenges begin in the lobby. Large numbers of people begin arriving for work or business engagements during the morning rush hour, which means control of building access must be comprehensive, as well as quick and convenient, for the volume of people coming through. Visitor management technology, like Veristream’s iVisitor for multi-tenant buildings, is designed to meet the critical needs of high-rise buildings to make sure access controls are adequate and effective.
Today, many high-rise buildings include visible uniformed security guards in the lobby, combined with visitor management systems that enable companies to provide employees with electronically scanned access cards for easy, fast and authorized entry. Veristream’s scalable iSiteAccess Multi-tenant service allows employers and facilities managers to regulate anywhere from ten to thousands of employee access protocols. Multiple levels of access options allow employers to determine the hours of the day or night individual employees can access the building and even what departments and areas they may or may not enter, so employers can maintain control in an environment that would otherwise be, at the very least, extremely difficult to monitor manually.
Visitor management technology works for managing visitors, contractors and vendors in multi-tenant high-rises as well – an extremely complex task for even the most efficient manual reception setup, which can make a high-rise multi-tenant building extremely vulnerable to security breaches. By scanning a visitor ID (i.e. driver’s license or business card) high-rise managers and tenants can instantly acquire relevant information on anyone entering the building. An exclusion list, often linked to national watch-list databases, can also be maintained with photos and names of people who are not approved to enter.
Visitors receive temporary ID passes issued in the lobby that enable access only to specific areas or business they’re approved to visit.
When you think of multi-tenant high-rises, high volume elevator usage and access also come to mind. i management services can provide electronic access control for elevators as a second level of security, in addition to other security access measures. Using the same type of programmable card reader used for building access, employers and facilities managers can designate exactly which floors employees or visitors are able to access elevators, which can be crucial in skyscraper security with multiple businesses located on each floor.
Employees and visitors will have their access cards scanned by a pre-programmed reader on the elevator that will only allow access to the approved floor for their company or visitor destination. If a button is pushed for a different floor, the elevator will not respond.
Elevator access can be breached if an individual follows someone out onto a floor they’re not authorized to visit. Usually this happens unintentionally, but combined with other security measures, visitor control systems have backups through a variety of measures such as video surveillance cameras – particularly important for protecting property and information.
Other security measures being regulated in high-rise building security plans include ordinances requiring emergency exit stairwell doors be installed and operated in a way that ensures people can gain access unimpeded in the case of an emergency and that they can re-enter the building through stairwell doors at points other than the ground floor.
Anytime a business owner or facilities manager needs to devise security measures for a high-rise building, it is best to find a security system integrator who is familiar with local code regulations and demands of local building and fire officials. Look for an access security expert with a solid track record in high-rise projects, since it is a complicated task that should not be left to an inexperienced contractor.
Make sure the contractor understands the multi-tenant environment of the building as well as the property management’s priorities, for instance, ease of operation and use, as well as budgetary limitations. Bring your security contractor in early in the process, since they will be best able to design an optimal system if they’re included in every stage of the process. Bringing a security integrator into the project as early as possible can save significantly on costs. Bringing a security contractor in during a later stage of the project can seriously impact your budget and possibly compromise the system’s capabilities.