Apartment style living drives door hardware
Strong growth in the construction of apartment style living in Australia has also led to an increased demand in door hardware that specifically suits the requirements of multi-residential developments. When constructing new apartments, there is often very specific compliance requirements for commercial rated hardware, according to ASSA ABLOY’s Director of Product Management, Nigel van Langenberg.
Apartment compliance requirements are not only over specified from a performance requirement point of view, but also carry necessary complexity to suit the specific requirements of commercial buildings, Mr van Langenberg said.
“It is for this reason that ASSA ABLOY is currently putting the final touches on the release of the Simplicity Series, which is affordable hardware for multi-residential projects made easy. The Simplicity Series provides compliant door handles, locks and door closers in a simple kit to make the selection, supply and installation of appropriate and compliant hardware simple,” Mr van Langenberg said.
“Another imminent new product is the Yale Assure Lock® SL deadbolt. Late last year we released the Yale Assure Deadbolt into the Secure Connect® family. Yale Assure deadbolts are Bluetooth enabled allowing for access to be controlled via the Yale Assure App or updated with a ZigBee or Z-Wave Network Module, to seamlessly integrate into most home automation systems.”
“There’s been a strong response to this release and as such, we are building on the Assure product range with the SL. The Assure SL provides a sleek and stylish digital deadbolt to seamlessly integrate onto a modern front door. The Assure SL is also available, complete with an iM1 Module for Apple HomeKit compatibility,” he said.
However, the excitement does not stop there, with ASSA ABLOY’s in-house team both in Australia and overseas, working very hard throughout the year to develop a number of exciting new product launches, planned for 2019.
“I can’t give away too much now, but ASSA ABLOY expects 2019 to be a game changing year in the access control, digital door lock and architectural hardware market,” he said.
Traditional trends challenged
Interestingly, Mr van Langenberg also pointed out that the safety and security industry remains quite conservative, with product development only occurring in small increments, combined with long life cycles. However, the last 12 months have challenged this narrative, particularly with respect to the type and quantity of new product developments, but the fundamentals are still there, he said.
“Traditional products are holding up and the prevailing trend for black hardware remains strong as does the softening of tones, with coppers and bronzes at the high end. The entry door is increasingly a point of upgrade, especially in new home construction, however we see this more around form, with minimalist locks complimenting feature pull handles as opposed to more functional and secure locking as may once have been the case.”
“Digital door locks continue to grow and the market is providing pathways, through the available products to connected solutions, for mobile phone access or full home automation,” Mr van Langenberg said.
More than a passing phase
Digital door locks are more than just a passing phase, according to Mr van Langenberg, particularly because there is a distinct and growing trend towards a greater use and acceptance of these products, as well as a growth in the expected performance in connectivity and remote access.
“That said, we still see this as a product space where demand is being driven largely by the early adopters, and as such, traditional locks remain the majority product and therefore must remain a focus. Digital door locks are a mindset shift for the traditional consumer with respect to product features, product life and ultimately product cost, so we have still got a way to go towards a majority market. In the meantime, the product space will be much more fluid than the traditional locking hardware space, as form factors and connectivity options continue to evolve.”
When commenting on how a decline in Australian crime rates has affected trends in the safety and security market, Mr van Langenberg said there does remain a definite connection between fear and locks.
“Fear drove the invention of locks and fear drives the purchase decision today, but for most, locks are just a necessary purchase done seldom and, traditionally, it relied on faith in a brand or advice from a security expert. Those factors are not dead, but the 2018 consumer is far better informed than any consumer ever and that has an impact on the safety and security market.”
“Whether your customer’s motivation is better convenience, better security or the latest gadget, consumers better understand what is available, how it compares and what it is likely to cost which is definitely having a positive impact on the total market,” he said.
Digital locks continue to reign the industry – Allegion
The last 12 months have proven to be a particularly busy time for Allegion, with several new product launches taking place. Starting the string of launches was the introduction of the Schlage SL3 Triple Function Lock in May, designed as a particularly ideal lock for the front door, boasting three locking options and completing the Schlage portfolio.
Allegion also introduced the S Series, in late 2017, with the S-480 Touchpad Rim Lock following in early 2018.
The S-480 Touchpad Rim Lock has already proven to be very popular, particularly for those who wish to retro-fit existing mechanical rim locks, Allegion Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Craig Patterson said.
“In our commercial Legge portfolio, we have also introduced four new finishes: oil rubbed bronze, satin brass, antique bronze and satin black chrome, while in our popular stainless steel Schlage 7000 Series, we added three new lever designs: Allesio, Marco and Stefano,” Mr Patterson said.
Next year is set to be another exciting year for Allegion, with plans already in place to launch several more innovative products and continue to invest in innovation.
“Investments have recently been made in new finishes for our mechanical range, and also in features that provide quicker installation and better usability. In our electronics portfolio, we are investing in smart, connected technologies. We are also working hard to reduce our use of non-recyclable material in our packaging,” Mr Patterson said.
When looking at trends in the safety and security market over the last 12 months, Mr Patterson said there is ongoing growth in the electronics and smart technologies market, as well as a greater consumer demand for non-standard finishes.
“We have noticed builders and consumers wanting to make greater statements on their front door in recent times and this is being achieved with an increased interest in non-standard finishes,” he said.
In saying this, digital locks continue to be the reigning product of the industry, with the electronic product category continuing to grow year-on-year.
“It is a very competitive market. There are a few big brands in the industry developing quality products, but a lot of cheaper alternatives that are not necessarily right for the Australian market as well, especially when it comes to fire and safety regulations, disability codes and climate.”
Mr Patterson believes Allegion’s point of difference in the competitive electronic market is that its electronic portfolio continues to evolve, by drawing on technology from America, Europe and Asia, as well as Australia to develop the best solution for Australians.
“Technology is becoming smarter, more reliable and more affordable. We will still see keys around for a while yet, but as consumers get more familiar with technology, this category will continue to grow faster than traditional mechanical locks. We have also found that the growth of home share and changing demographics in Australia is contributing to the growth of electronic, particularly smart, locks,” Mr Patterson said.
As a company, Allegion sets high quality standards to meet consumer needs, as well as developing products that will last, according to Mr Patterson. However, the trade-off is a higher price at the counter, which consumers may not be prepared to invest in, even though the products may be more reliable and made to last, compared to cheaper quality products.
“Consumers are always looking at the balance between protection and convenience, and are willing to invest in the right technology to meet their needs. A person’s home is their sanctuary and protecting family and property will always be important,” he said.
Quality door furniture builds quality homes
A well designed home should not only be comfortable to live in, but also effortless to move through, according to Gainsborough, with decisions your customers make when designing a home, such as floor plan, colour scheme, furnishings and appliances, all important when creating a comfortable space.
However, when they finally receive the keys to a new home, what is first thing they will actually experience? As they turn the key, the first thing they touch is of course the door handle.
It might seem like a small part of a home, but door furniture is one of the most tactile and interactive components, according to Gainsborough Head of Sales and Marketing, Mark Nilsson, because it must be built to last and effortless to use.
“As new homeowners move from room to room, opening each door in anticipation, they will no doubt feel the reassuring sturdiness and satisfying click of the door handles. It might seem like a small thing, but door hardware is one of the most tactile and interactive components in any home. The right choice of hardware is essential to make a home feel like quality,” Mr Nilsson said.
“When it comes to actually interacting with their home, as in the touching and moving parts of the house, opening a door is often the closest they will come to interacting within the home,” he said.
Proof of a well-built house
For your customers, there is no other part of their home’s structure they will touch more than the door furniture, which is why Gainsborough believes each interaction needs to encapsulate everything it has invested so much time and money into.
Quality door furniture is essential for making a home feel solid and well-built, according to Mr Nilsson, with the heavy feel of the front door as they enter or the neat click as they close the bedroom door at night, making all the difference in how they feel about the quality of their house.
“This is combined with the the grounded feeling of safety that comes with using quality door furniture products. This is also where Gainsborough comes in for its customers,” Mr Nilsson said.
“Gainsborough is proud of the role we play in turning a house into a home. The tactile nature of door furniture means we help to make your customers feel confident in their home. Quality door furniture needs to offer more than just functionality though. Like a nice watch, it is about making a statement. As one of the most noticeable components in any room, door furniture adds the finishing touch to style and design,” Mr Nilsson said.
Cutting-edge and traditional style
With Gainsborough’s product range continuing to reflect the breadth of the industry, the company remains adamant in producing high-quality home entrance sets to suits all styles and budgets, according to Mr Nilsson.
“Our most innovative designs take advantage of cutting-edge technology as we move into the era of smart homes. Around the home, we can tailor solutions for every room. Our versatile range of knobsets and levers deliver the perfect combination of fixings. Maybe satin chrome levers for the bedrooms and our polished brass doorknobs in the bedrooms for example. Plus, we have plenty of commercial products in our ‘architectural’ range. Gainsborough continues to design new products to meet the needs of its customer, particularly when it comes to the needs of the modern builder,” he said.
“Our range will assist your customers in completing any build, be it a new development or high-end renovation. As trends in the industry change, our designers work to stay ahead of demand.”
“This is particularly evident in our new matte black range that offers a unique finish and quality feel that’s perfect for contemporary builds requiring a special touch. Our team of engineers and designers are innovators and their focus remains on designing beautiful, high-quality products that end-users love,” Mr Nilsson said.
Gainsborough maintains that it is also in the business of making lives easier for the industry professional –the builder.
“Beyond looking great and pleasing clients, every Gainsborough product is quick to install and widely compatible with industry standards. All this means is we make it easy to build a house that feels secure and well-made, while also looking beautiful and modern,” he said.