Smart Buildings and Their Door Entry System Needs
Camilla Ashdown, 02. 11. 2023 | 5 min read
In an age of rapid technological advancement, our living spaces have undergone a remarkable transformation: but what do smart homes require from door entry systems?
They're more than just concrete, steel, and glass; they're intelligent entities that provide occupants with a seamless and comfortable living experience. In this blog, we will explore what smart buildings are, understand the needs and expectations of their residents, and examine how door entry systems can play a vital role in these expectations, and enhance the entire living experience.
What Are Smart Buildings?
Smart buildings, also known as intelligent or connected buildings, are architectural structures equipped with advanced systems that optimize efficiency, comfort, and sustainability for those who reside in them. They integrate a variety of building-wide systems, including HVAC, lighting, alarms, and security, into a unified IT-managed network infrastructure.
A Brief History of Smart Buildings
The history of smart buildings can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s when the development of computer-based building automation systems began. These early systems mainly focused on managing energy consumption and ensuring a comfortable indoor environment. However, it wasn't until the late 1990s and early 2000s that we started to see the integration of information technology and the Internet into building management systems, giving rise to the truly "smart" building concept.
As technology continued to advance, smart buildings became more sophisticated. They incorporated features like real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and increased connectivity with other systems and services – including the door entry system!
How Does a Smart Building Function?
A smart building utilizes its intelligence to gather actionable data from user devices, sensors, systems, and on-site services. The application of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to this data empowers the building to be both programmable and responsive to the requirements of its users and the building manager.
The intelligence of the network also plays a crucial role in securing the network. For instance, the network can identify and categorize devices while learning their behaviour, thus enhancing the detection of anomalies and potential intrusions.
Resident Expectations in Smart Buildings
Smart buildings are usually premium living spaces, and as such, the people living in them expect a higher standard of living. Although the door entry system may not be the first thing residents think about when moving to a smart home, it needs to fit in with their expectations.
- Comfort and Convenience: Residents of premium smart buildings expect a seamless, automated experience. Things such as climate control, advanced lighting systems, and integrated entertainment options, make their lives more comfortable and convenient – and you can extend such convenience to the door entry system, too!
- Security: Security is a top priority for residents: and of course, a top priority for the door entry system. Smart buildings offer advanced security features, which include premium access control, surveillance, and alerts in case of unusual activities.
- Sustainability: With the demand for sustainability on the up, it’s only natural that residents often seek eco-friendly features like rainwater harvesting, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances, contributing to a sustainable lifestyle. The door entry system is not necessarily a part of sustainable features such as these, but efforts should be made to ensure that
What Should Be Included in Smart Building Door Entry Systems?
Door entry systems can be a critical aspect of smart buildings. They ensure that only authorized individuals can enter specific areas within the building, and the right ones can be integrated with security systems, home automation platforms, and so on – creating an entirely cohesive smart home experience.
As mentioned previously; the tenants of smart homes want certain things from the door entry experience! So, when installing a door entry system in a smart home, consider the following:
A smart building is a connected one. Integrating your door entry system with security systems, home automation platforms, and so on, should be an integral requirement when choosing a provider. 2N partners with a huge range of leading providers and builds products on open protocols – which means integration is always a breeze!
It goes without saying that old analogue systems have no place in smart buildings. Residents want modern features that enhance their convenience and comfort, and IP-based access systems are the way to go to give them this.
Alongside modernity also comes security – the features that IP-based door entry systems can offer will enhance safety, too. For example, Full HD cameras on IP intercoms offer a clearer view of visitors for secure visual verification, and innovative features such as adaptive face zooming take that to another level. And, of course, IP systems can be integrated with security systems – which means door entry can be managed in the same interface as other security.
What Devices Do Smart Building Door Entry Systems Need, And Which Features Should They Offer?
For single villa projects, the 2N® IP Verso 2.0 could be the best choice – its modular design means you can build an intercom that matches the exact needs of every project.
For larger buildings, the 2N® IP Style can do clever things such as display messages to residents on the 10’’ touchscreen – and with the customisable GUI, there are no limits to your imagination!
Of course, the IP intercom you choose totally depends on your project’s needs. Discover the full 2N portfolio – you’re sure to find one perfect for you!
When it comes to access credentials, mobile access control is becoming increasingly popular for several reasons:
- Modernity: Mobile access control is quite simply a standard now in advanced modern living. Smart homes and other very modern developments can no longer be considered truly future-proof if they are not offering mobile credential access control!
- Convenience: Residents can unlock doors and gates with their smartphones, eliminating the need for physical keys or access cards. They can also remotely answer their doors or monitor their front entrances using apps such as the My2N App.
- Enhanced Security: Mobile access control systems are often more secure and difficult to tamper with compared to traditional methods.
When it comes to indoor stations, it should be crucial that the device looks at home in a modern interior, offers modern features, and can be connected easily to the IP intercom within the door entry system as well as home automation platforms.
The 2N® Indoor View is a good choice – boasts a 7-inch touchscreen with an expansive viewing angle, making it an ideal selection for upscale projects with its sleek design and tempered glass surface. It also offers video surveillance capabilities where the resident can see what’s going on in places where no intercom has been installed, and there is only an IP camera (e.g., a hallway, yard or garage) – and easy smart home integration as it can send up to 3 different HTTP commands. The resident can turn on the air-conditioning, and lighting or even call the lift directly from the display on their unit.
Access control readers
When it comes to securing common areas in smart buildings with access control readers, it’s good to focus on flexibility in terms of access credentials – and always go for a reader and controller combined in one device.
The 2N® Access Unit 2.0 offers combinations of multiple access technologies – for example, modern mobile access, fingerprints, or the more conventional methods of RFID cards and PIN keypads. Can’t decide? Select a combination of several methods in one device.
Cybersecurity Concerns in Smart Buildings
Cybersecurity is a top concern when it comes to smart buildings. As these structures become more connected and reliant on the Internet of Things (IoT), they become more susceptible to cyberattacks. Some common cybersecurity concerns include:
- Data Privacy: Smart buildings collect and store a vast amount of data about their occupants. Ensuring the privacy and security of this data is crucial. Choose a supplier, like 2N, that complies with all GDPR requirements and designs their devices with data privacy in mind.
- Device Vulnerabilities: IoT devices in smart buildings can have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain access to the building's systems. Ensure that the access devices you install are designed and developed according to:
- International security standards (ISO 27001, SOC 2)
- Principles of the Secure by Design specifications
- Check out 2N’s policies and high standards for device security
- Network Security: The networks connecting smart building devices must be secure to prevent unauthorized access!
- Regular Updates: Ensuring that all software and firmware in smart building systems are regularly updated is essential to patch known vulnerabilities.
Smart buildings are a significant step forward in modern living, offering convenience, comfort, and sustainability. Access control is a vital component, with mobile access control providing residents with a secure and convenient way to enter their living spaces. However, cybersecurity concerns must not be overlooked, as smart buildings are only as secure as the technology that safeguards them. As technology continues to evolve, finding a balance between convenience and security will remain a key challenge in the world of smart buildings.