Security Portals offer a higher level of security than revolving doors and provide 24/7 unmanned controlled access. They also provide advantages over standard security doors, too, because they prevent tailgating, whilst an ability to withstand physical attack makes them suitable for a wide range of sensitive buildings and facilities.
The latest Security Portals are available in a wide range of sizes, including options for wheelchair access, and they can be easily integrated with third party building management and access control systems.
Here, in our blog series, we look at some of the questions you need to ask when choosing a Security Portal:
1. How many people are likely to use the building entrance at peak times?
A good starting point when specifying Security Portals is to determine how many people will be transiting in and out of the building. If it’s an office or public building the critical calculation will be based on peak traffic, which is when the majority of people arrive for work or leave in an evening. At these times of day, unless you specify the correct number of Security Portals, there is the potential for bottlenecks as people have to queue to transit through.
The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) puts forward a formula for calculating how to avoid this scenario. As a rough guide, when calculating the number of Security Portals required in a particular building, the following formula (based upon 15% of the building population entering/exiting in a five minute period) can be used:
Total Installation Capacity (per Minute) = (Building Population x 15%) / 5
For example, if you have 500 people working or using the building, the number of Security Portals required would be: 500 x 15% = 75, divide this by 5, which means you need to specify Security Portals with an overall throughput of 15 people per minute. If your Security Portal is has a throughput of 5-6 people per minute then 3 Security Portals would be recommended.
Once you’ve determined how many Security Portals are required it’s then a process of deciding if single or multiple portals are best suited to your client’s requirements. If there is one main entrance then multiple Security Portals arranged in banks may be most suitable, similar to what we supplied to Francis Crick Institute in London. Where there are multiple entrances to the building then a double entry portal may be suitable which takes up minimal space but still allows the maximum transit of users – doubling transit capacity without doubling the footprint.
2. What type of users will be transiting through the Security Portal?
There are a number of factors that determine the size and type of Security Portal that is most suitable for your project and an important one is the type of building user. For example, people accessing a gym are likely to be carrying bags and so a cylindrical Security Portal such as our double entry portal designed for use in high traffic areas where space is limited is a good choice. We have supplied and installed over 400 C4 cylindrical Security Portals to budget gym sites around the UK and it is now the standard specification for a wide range of sites including Pure Gym. Its interlocking door conserves energy, whilst it can be operated 24/7 by members without staff intervention, keeping operating costs to a minimum.
The specific use of the building can also have a large influence on the type of Security Portal chosen. For instance, we supplied our C5 Security portal to the VIRTUS Data Centres because it incorporates an emergency exit door. When this emergency exit door is opened the doors of the C5 cylindrical Security Portal simply slide away, creating a wide opening space to allow deliveries, wheelchair access or an escape route in case of an emergency. When the door is closed the Security Portal automatically resets to normal operation as a highly secure interlock system. This gave VIRTUS the flexibility to allow wheelchair access (Equality Act) as well as the free movement of equipment such as data racks and cabinets.
Alternatively our C190 is the largest Security Portal we offer and is specifically designed for busy areas with high throughput. It provides 1200mm entrance access, making it suitable for transiting people, parcels and equipment. With aesthetic appeal, too, it makes a great replacement for revolving doors especially where a higher level of security is needed. Our C190 and C3-S1 to S3 Cylindrical Security Portals are approved to LPS 1175: Issue 7 SR1, SR2 & SR3 and Secured by Design accredited, providing reassurance that they are able to withstand a physical attack by an intruder trying to get inside the building.
Our E4 double entry Classic Security Portal is designed for high traffic areas. The design of the E4 ‘mantrap’ interlocking door system mechanically prevents the inner and outer doors opening simultaneously, ensuring that only authorised users are able to access the secure area. Once inside the portal the user must pass APD ultrasonic checks for the secure side door to open. Alternatively the C4 Security Portals offers a more aesthetically pleasing solution with a reduced footprint.
The E4 and C4 Security Portals feature two independently operated portals, doubling throughput within one secure space saving solution. Our E4 and C4 Security Portal are best suited where you are looking for optimum performance in terms of throughput, cost and usability.
As more companies encourage staff to walk or cycle to work, you may want to consider a secure cycle parking and again Security Portals provide an effective solution. Our Bike Guardian prevents bike theft because it links each individual user to their specific bike, which means it only allows each person to leave with their own bike!
All our Security Portals can be configured to provide different levels of security, day or night.
3. What is the likelihood of forced attack?
In a growing number of buildings and facilities, thieves may try to use force to gain entry and here Security Portals are a good choice because they create a robust physical air-lock entry barrier. An effective way of making sure your Security Portal can withstand a physical attack is to specify one that is approved to LPCB’s LPS1175 standard. This standard is specified across many different sectors including: education, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, the public sector, residential, retail and utilities.
Our C190 and C3-S1 to S3 Cylindrical Security Portals are the only ones in the UK to meet this standard. Not only are they an LPS1175 and Secured by Design approved glazed entrance solution but they are aesthetically pleasing with customisable finishes, meaning they are suitable for prestigious entrance ways as well as preventing tailgating and being suitable for wheelchair users. This makes them a great alternative to revolving doors.
Our SR3 approved Security Portals incorporate bullet resistant glazing – BR3/S EN1063. The SR3 version provides resistance to determined attempts at forced entry using a range of techniques including those that involve the creation of noise.
Our FPJ140 2SX Security Portals is approved to CPNI standards. CPNI is the government authority for protective security advice and its role is to protect national security by helping to reduce the vulnerability of the national infrastructure to terrorism and other threats. Our FPJ140 2SX features an extremely secure interlocking door system that ensures your secure area can only be accessed by authorised personnel. It is designed to sit flat with an existing wall or door opening to create a flush wall installation. The 885mm wide door provides a spacious entrance whilst preventing unauthorised access.
4. What space is available?
Whilst ensuring the efficient transit of people into and out of the building, the physical entry barrier has to fit into the space available. As with most installations, especially in a commercial building such as a Grade A offices, it needs to fit into as small a footprint as possible simply because maximising square meterage rental space is the best way of optimising financial return for your client. That means, a secure, efficient physical entry barrier that takes up the minimal amount of space is going to be a valued part of the overall specification.
Careful consideration therefore needs to be given to space utilisation, and we are able to help in this area with our technical team offering experience and guidance. It helps that our Security Portals are available in a wide range of sizes, including kit form where access to restricted areas or upper floors is a requirement as well as half portals and variable heights.
5. Is your client looking to retain a high level of aesthetic appeal?
The use of stainless steel and glass in buildings is more a prerequisite than a trend and that’s one of the reasons why our Security Portals make extensive use of these architectural materials. The combination of large glazed areas, such as those on our C190, along with minimal sightlines, create a subtle aesthetic that complements other design schemes in the project.
Our Security Portals can be integrated with third party devices, such as the building’s infrastructure and access control system including biometrics (facial recognition, touchless technology and QR readers).
The options available on our Security Portals allows you to take a multi-layered approach to security, meaning you can specify an appropriate physical entry barrier that prevents unauthorised access up to CPNI and LPS1175 standards, whilst still maintaining aesthetic appeal and creating a seamless, uninterrupted entry and exit for building users.