Keying Meetings: Why Are They So Important?
During a commercial construction project, finish door hardware is generally supplied nearer to the end of the scheduled work with the doors. The finish door hardware will usually include the locks which require cylinders and keys to operate.
During construction there may be a need for what is called construction cores which are keyed to allow the construction team to secure certain areas of the building, including the exterior perimeter doors. Once construction is complete the permanent cores would then be swapped with the construction cores and the permanent keys would be delivered to the Owner or their representative.
Due to the complex nature of keying systems, it can take weeks or even months to complete a working keying system. If decisions on keying are not made until the end of the project, it can delay the completion of the project and complicate the security requirements of the job. (Read this previous blog post about keying)
Nothing may be more frustrating than not knowing how to deal with keying. Fortunately, many problems can be prevented when keying meetings are taken seriously and are done early on in a project.
So, What Is A Keying Meeting?
Keying meetings are necessary to determine the requirements for the project up front. The earlier these meetings are held during the construction schedule the better. The distributor, such as Beacon Commercial Door & Lock, can help explain how a key system will function once the hardware is installed. Beacon CDL can help guide the Owner through what decisions need to be made and help identify the benefits of different options available based on the door hardware specified on the project.
As much as possible needs to be decided at the beginning of the project so that delays are mitigated. Things that should be discussed include things such as the keyway, key control, core type, quantity of keys, security requirements, existing key systems and key system growth, electronic access control, and much more. Each door opening with a cylinder will need to be assigned a key symbol (AA1, AA2, etc.) that identifies how the cylinder will be pinned and how the keys will be cut.
Owners often have a basic understanding of how key systems provide security and convenience, but they may need to be educated on many other aspects of keying that they hadn’t thought about before.
People who would be in the meeting might include the Owner, the General Contractor, the Architect, and the key decision makers so that plans are finalized in the least number of meetings as possible so that everyone can continue the work. Decisions made in the keying meeting may change hardware groups or even how a building should be designed. So, if these decisions aren’t made until the end of the project, it can require doors and frames to be remade to be compatible with hardware changes. This can cost a lot more money and require a lot more time to rectify.
When keying decisions are left unclear it can delay the ordering of locks and cylinders because manufactures rely on accurate keying information to build the correct hardware.
Owners may also find a need for a locksmith or other services Beacon CDL provides that the Owner can take advantage of after the construction of the project is completed. Ongoing support is a win-win for both the Owner and Beacon. Re-keying or adding electronic access control can be valuable services Owners may want to know about for the future.
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