Brisbane Boys College Adopts SMARTair

Logo_SecurityMerchants_LARGEformatWidely recognised as one of the most prestigious day and boarding schools in Queensland, Brisbane Boys College (BBC) takes student safety and security seriously. So when this elite private school recently decided to expand their campus, they set about searching for an access control system that could not only meet their exacting security needs, but could also provide the sort of ease-of-use, technical stability and functionality that would enable BBC to retain its image as a technology innovator.

The new five-story building comprises an additional 36 new classrooms as well as lifts and 94 doors, all of which needed to be secured. Since its inception in 1902, the school had relied upon a traditional, mechanical master key system to secure property and premises. However, over the years, a number of incidents involving misplaced keys has resulted in the school having to undertake the expensive and time consuming process of having all the locks changed across the entire campus.

The new building represented a unique opportunity for the school to modernise its approach to security. This resulted in an extensive search to find a new security solution. According to Geoff Bowring, Facilities Manager at Brisbane Boys College, the new solution needed to be able to do more than simply secure doors. The chosen solution needed to be able to provide access logs for all doors and users, it needed to be simple to install, easy to use, simple to maintain and manage, and most importantly, the chosen solution needed to be scalable so that it could grow with the future needs of the school.

After an exhaustive search, Geoff and his team at Brisbane Boys College finally settled on the recently released SMARTair Solution from Security Merchants.

“It was the ease of use of the SMARTAir product, combined with the speed of the installation and, of course, the cost saving, that eventually sold us on the SMARTair solution,” Geoff explains.


A flexible and cost effective access control system, SMARTair’s revolutionary design and technology offers unparalleled benefits when compared to mechanical locks or wired online access control systems. SMARTair consists of an electronic handle fitted with a reader operated by an access card or token. The cards use radio frequency identification (RFID) and operate the handles when presented in proximity to the reader.

SMARTair features include the ability to monitor door usage through a powerful audit trail facility and time scheduling of user access. Remote door opening and closing and automatic updates to user access privileges are available using the wireless system. Furthermore, SMARTair is completely scalable from just one door up to hundreds of internal and external doors. It easily adapts to all kinds of organisations across all industries.

There are four different types of systems available in the SMARTair range. These include SMARTair Stand Alone, Offline, On-Card Update and Wireless.

SMARTair Stand Alone is an entry-level solution designed for a limited number of doors and users. The system is a true ‘out of the box’ solution where the handle set is supplied with a lock and once fitted to the door, the system is up and running in a matter of minutes, fully programmed and secure. A programming card allows you to add or delete users easily. No software or any other programming device is needed. There is also a ‘shadow’ function available which allows two cards to be encoded which are identical. One card is kept on file and used to delete a lost or stolen card.

The lock is available in several variations, including internal and external models.

New Classroom block

SMARTair Offline is designed for a number of doors in one location with the system managed from a PC. SMARTair electronic handles are updated on the door using a portable programmer which takes its information from the easy to use PC program. A special card encoder allows you to manage the coding of the access cards on the system via the PC program. With SMARTair Offline you can:

  • issue new or cancel lost or stolen cards
  • identify every user
  • track and monitor usage of every door
  • limit access of certain cards to certain times.

SMARTair On-Card Update is designed for systems where there are frequent changes needed to access rights across multiple locations.

This system provides all the features of the SMARTair Offline system and enables you to update access cards automatically every hour, day or week, as required.

With SMARTair On-Card Update you can:

  • automatically obtain information from the door so that you know who, where and when doors were opened
  • cancel access cards without going to the door
  • set automatic revalidation which forces users to update their access cards at regular intervals and therefore control their access rights within that timeframe.

SMARTair’s Wireless system is designed for systems where updating is required regularly and remotely. This new generation of SMARTair lock system provides all the benefits of offline electronic locks, but once the doors are initialised via the portable programmer, all changes to the doors are communicated via wireless technology. With SMARTair wireless you can:

  • have centralised control of all the doors via wireless hubs
  • control up to 30 doors from one hub, which in turn will communicate with electronic handles up to 30 metres away, depending on the layout and construction of the building
  • view detailed lock audit and diagnostics for the users of all doors plus remote low battery warnings
  • cancel lost or stolen access cards instantly
  • change access rights of any user to any door instantly
  • change time zones.

In addition to its many features and functions, “It was the ease of use of the SMARTAir product combined with the speed of the installation and, of course, the cost saving that eventually sold us on the SMARTair solution,” Geoff explains.

According to Brian Cross, National Sales Manager for Security Merchants, the reduced time and labour involved in installing the SMARTair system makes it possible to provide a feature rich, highly secure solution at a price point significantly lower than other similar solutions on the market.

“Obviously, this was a major factor in our final decision,” explains Geoff Bowring. “The combination of reduced installation cost, comprehensive features, easy installation and management, a user friendly interface and scalability made SMARTair hard to go past.”

Alex Christie from Foxfire Industries, the group responsible for the Brisbane Boys College project, goes further, explaining how the combination of user friendly, powerful features and cost savings are actually helping them win jobs away from competitors.

Geoff Bowring states that teaching staff at Brisbane Boys College have taken to the new technology really well. “You only have to lose a master key once resulting in replacing all of your locks and you very quickly appreciate the convenience and cost saving that SMARTAir provides.”

Since the initial installation throughout the new building, Brisbane Boys College have announced a staged rollout of the SMARTair solution across the entire campus with a view to gradually replacing all existing mechanical locks and doing away with their older, outdated master keying system.

For more information about SMARTair, please contact Security Merchants 1300 663 904