Security solutions for green building

smatheny's picture

I work for a sister division within ASSA ABLOY Americas.

Through my position, I meet with architects and designers every week, and it’s clear that they, and their clients (building owners and facilities managers), are eager to find green and energy-efficient solutions for their new and existing buildings. With energy costs escalating, there is an increasing awareness of their responsibilities to regulate their buildings’ energy consumption. In addition, changes in building codes across the US are mandating higher levels of energy efficiency, and municipalities are rewarding sustainable design and construction practices.

More often than not, the focus for energy efficiency is on a building’s heating, and air conditioning or electrical systems - the systems that regulate heat loss or gain. HID Global offers access to control solutions that provide users with physical access to the building and logical access to their computer. These solutions can also be connected to facility management systems to control ventilation, lighting, heating and other controls based on the profiles of the employees and/or how many people are in the building, and manage these controls accordingly.

And not to be overlooked is the building envelope - a building’s roofs, facades, foundation and fenestration, including doors - which is also critical to a building’s energy efficiency.

There’s absolutely no doubt that air infiltration or leakage through door openings can negatively impact a building’s energy performance and indoor environmental quality. If you think about the number of exterior doors in a high-rise commercial office building, you can begin to imagine the true impact that exterior door opening solutions can have on a building’s energy efficiency.

ASSA ABLOY Group brands like CECO and CURRIES make hollow metal doors with insulating cores, they make thermally broken hollow metal frames, and hollow metal frames with integrated weather stripping. PEMKO makes gasketing and weather stripping and thermally broken thresholds. NORTON introduced the Trinity closer, an off-the-grid closer with a built-in generator that consistently and predictably self-adjusts to ensure door closure. Our wood door companies, MAIMAN and GRAHAM, are making beautiful, FSC and Chain of Custody certified wooden doors with rapidly renewable veneers, agrifiber and recycled cores. Many of the products made by our hardware companies contain high percentages of recycled materials, low-emitting materials and can contribute to the LEED rating of a building. Installed in exterior door openings in combination, these products can mitigate heat loss or gain through the building envelope and will substantially improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of a building.

Currently, the LEED® Green Building Rating System only recommends that some form of Building Envelope Commissioning be performed during construction. There is a requirement, however, for buildings to undergo Fundamental Building Commissioning for systems in order to achieve LEED® certification. Building Envelope Commissioning will, among other things, identify areas of concern related to air infiltration and leakage through door openings that would negatively impact a building's energy performance and indoor environmental air quality.

I truly believe that sustainable and energy-efficient door opening solutions will be one of the trends that will greatly affect our industry as we move forward. To meet this challenge we not only provide the solutions I mentioned here but the ASSA ABLOY Group is continuously seeking to improve its processes. From sourcing to recycling, sustainability initiatives are based on an ongoing risk analysis as well as on our Code of Conduct, involving both internal and external stakeholders.