Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
August 8, 2022


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The growing importance of BIM and green building certifications – “The ROI is both ethical and financial”

As more buildings aim to be smarter and greener to hit sustainability goals, the construction process is beginning to digitise. Here, IFSEC Global speaks with Marc Ameryckx, BIM Development Manager at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEIA on the importance of this process and how the company’s dedicated BIM team can help.


Marc Ameryckx, BIM Development Manager at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEIA

IFSEC Global (IG): The demand for green building certification and specification is rising fast. Can you explain a little about why this is?

Marc Ameryckx (MA): The UN Environment Programme estimates that buildings currently consume around 60% of the world’s electricity. Addressing this urgently is critical if we want to reduce global carbon emissions and slow climate change.

Greener building is a logical step, covering materials and technologies deployed both inside and outside a building.

This includes security and access control systems. In a survey for our most recent Wireless Access Control Report produced with IFSEC Global, 90% of industry professionals said sustainability would influence their future security commissioning.

The ROI can be financial as well as ethical. In another recent study, Knight Frank “found a positive and significant effect of Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding BREEAM ratings on prime central London office rents – ranging from 3.7% to 12.3% premiums.”3

Greener buildings are also more energy efficient. Energy is a growing and unpredictable running cost for businesses. It’s also one they cannot do much about, except use less of it.

IG: Do you envisage a bigger role for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in green building projects?

MA: In this relatively new field of green building, the transparency and knowledge-sharing that BIM brings is invaluable. This is because BIM is much more than just a 3D rendering of a finished building. It is a data-rich, digital collaboration process, whose goal is to place every product and component within a comprehensive model which has ongoing value through a building’s life-cycle.

Doing BIM right makes the process of building design more intelligent and adaptive. BIM can be especially beneficial for security specification, which is often complex and can eat into an architect’s precious design time. With detailed specifications supplied digitally at an early stage, architects can visualise door and security solutions accurately as soon as possible. This way, aesthetics and usability are not disrupted by last-minute specification surprises.

At the end of a successful BIM process, the digital resource or model becomes a store for up-to-date information on specifications. It can inform site audits, health and safety policy, maintenance schedules, refurbishment projects and more. It also streamlines the project handover from construction phase to facilities management.

IG: What type of support can ASSA ABLOY offer to architects, investors or building owners who are seeking green certification?

MA: Globally, ASSA ABLOY has expertise and experience in supporting green building projects of every size and type. Local BIM and specification consultants based all over the world can enhance any project team with specialist knowledge about door solutions and technologies, as well as regional regulations and certifications around the door.

As well as this collaboration, we have created resources to support a submission to the most important green building certification schemes. For example, detailed contribution sheets for six leading certifications are available to download: BREEAM, LEED, Green Star, WELL, DGNB and HQE.


Every sheet identifies the contribution of multiple ASSA ABLOY products and technologies towards criteria or credits in each scheme. They cover electronic access control solutions; doors and door closers; mechanical and electromechanical locking systems; and accessories including handles, panic devices and drop seals.

ASSA ABLOY is also an official partner in the World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network. This enables us to advocate for the transformation of buildings and the construction sector — and to help communicate the benefits of greener building to everyone in the chain.

IG: Can you talk about any projects in particular? Where have your solutions helped a customer as part of an energy saving or green building strategy?

MA: The University of St Andrews has sustainability at the heart of its mission. It’s also home of the renowned St Andrews Prize for the Environment. So, when they wanted new access control devices for student accommodation, university estates managers looked for an energy-efficient access solution which respected and reflected these principles.

They chose our Aperio wireless access control devices. These now integrate fully with both the university’s existing security system and their student ID card. Facility managers enjoy the efficiency benefits of controlling access from a single point, and in real time, for multiple buildings.

Aperio devices offer significant energy efficiency benefits over a wired access control solution. Aperio escutcheons are wireless, so are installed with little energy use and no need for cabling to the mains. They consume no energy when idle and their standard batteries even draw minimal power during operation. Maintenance under typical use demands nothing more than a battery change every two years.

Here and elsewhere, a wireless access control solution combined with specification support and green building certification can be an important part of the picture. We are all trying to create buildings and businesses which meet the needs of a more sustainable future.


Keep up with the wireless access control market

Download this free report to find out more about:

  • The current state of wireless access control solutions in the market
  • The rising popularity of mobile access control
  • Awareness of cyber security regulations and how this relates to access control
  • The growing use of the cloud and ACaaS to manage access systems
  • How your choice of access control solution can impact sustainability

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