The added value of access control: delivering time and space efficiencies with integrated lift destination controls

We’ve all found ourselves in the situation where you walk to an elevator bank and call a lift while someone next to you or across from you does the same. You both get in a lift, and the next time you see each other is when the doors open and you’re more or less walking into one another on the same floor. Mildly embarrassing only for the individuals – but for facilities managers and building owners it’s a terrible waste of resources.

Over the years, there has been a growing demand for entrance control solutions to add value by co-ordinating seamlessly with other security and building management elements. Terms such as interoperability and compatibility have driven product development, new system combinations and closer relationships between manufacturers, integrators and end users. Entrance control solutions are no longer separate from other security and non-security systems.

The short video below briefly outlines how integrating Vertical Transportation Systems (VTS) and Destination Control Systems (DCS) with entrance control turnstiles can improve building efficiencies as well as enhance user experience. For greater detail, continue reading…

Seamless integration

Fortunately, Fastlane turnstiles understand all industry communications protocols and can work with all known security and building management systems. We have been developing ways of working seamlessly with CCTV and intruder detection systems for decades, but more recently, we have noticed a growing requirement for connecting our turnstiles to a Destination Control System (DCS).

These systems allow passengers to be associated with destinations prior to entering the lift. This could happen on a landing, with the passenger indicating the desired exit floor, rather than merely issuing the traditional call to an up lift or a down lift. With the correct integration, they can also be automatically assigned to a lift as they pass the entrance turnstile.

The efficiency advantage is significant. The system can’t work optimally if the first time it knows the destination is once you’re in; it’s too late at that point to tell you that the next lift is actually going to floor 3 anyway, so it would be a better choice. The ability to direct the user to the most suitable lift shortens wait times and offers quicker journeys, as well as lowering energy costs for building managers.

Efficient user experiences at a London development

This requirement for a seamless user experience was required at a new office building in central London that had over 2,000 regular users per day across its seven floors.

Antron Security, one of our key installation partners, was commissioned to manage the installation of the security system and selected the Fastlane Glassgate 250 to integrate with the Forge Bluepoint visitor management system, Inner Range access control and Kone lifts, to provide the most efficient user experience and facilitate high-level visitor management and destination control.

Authorised regular users carry proximity cards encrypted with their access credentials and destination information. When a card is presented to a turnstile, it connects with the Kone lift destination system which calculates the most efficient journey to the user’s home floor. The lift number is then displayed on the turnstile’s display screen, directing the user to the most suitable lift car for their destination.

When visitors arrive on site, they can check in using their smartphone by scanning the QR code in the meeting invitation emailed to them by their host, facilitated by Forge Bluepoint. QR readers are built into the turnstiles and, upon scanning, a lift car is automatically called to take the visitor to the floor where they are meeting their host.

Creating a link between the card reader and the building’s control systems

So, how does this kind of integration work? The method of operation can range from a simpler, low-level link to a card reader, up to a high-level link between the VTS, destination control and security systems. Such high-level systems would typically incorporate a mix of both assigned solutions (informing users which lift car to take as they pass through a turnstile) and also call terminals on landings that allow passengers to select destination floors.

The lift supplier typically provides a display to be integrated into the turnstile top, and also to be present on the walls of all landings. Systems store information about the home destination and other preferences of staff and can be given destination information about visitors who have, for example, shown an emailed QR code to the turnstile reader. So, when your credentials are presented at the turnstile, the software alerts destination control that you have arrived, detailing your precise need.

Speed of action is key to user experience

When users approach an entrance control turnstile, they don’t even want to break their stride, so the reader needs to validate credentials quickly. In the short amount of time, it takes to scan a card at the turnstile, and for the turnstile to allow access, the software alerts the DCS as to the required floor and sends a message to the display in the turnstile, directing users to the most suitable lift or VTS option.

“For a lift integration, the primary objective is to enable fast and efficient transit of people through the building,” says Tony Smith, Major Accounts and Marketing Manager, at Integrated Design Limited. “Fastlane turnstiles have advantages over other comparable products due to their speed of throughput. Authorised people are kept moving freely, ensuring that key fractions of a second are not lost. Also, since there is a degree of physical integration required at the turnstile, a key benefit for installers is our ability to customise the hardware at our UK production facility, enabling the card reader and destination control system display to be housed seamlessly.”

The integration of pedestrian entrance control turnstiles with lift Destination Control Systems doesn’t just result in time efficiencies; it can also maximise security, increase space efficiencies and lower energy consumption and costs.

If you’d like further information relating to access control and lift destination control integrations, please get in touch with our team on +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email