Blekinge University of Technology

More than 8,000 students and 600 employees at Blekinge University of Technology come and go using ASSA’s ARX access control system and SMARTair®.

Blekinge University of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden, is located in an archipelago and boasts its own jetty and beach volleyball court. Here, innovative architectural additions fit in elegantly between centuries-old military structures. Buildings and levels are connected by glass passages and unexpected stairways. From the inside the impression is open, with large glazed sections facing the sea.

Since 1989, BTH, as the university is called, has billed itself as a nontraditional university focusing on applied IT, innovation and sustainable development. Here you can train to become a nurse or a civil engineer, or study management or media design. The university attracts students from around the world. Roland Westerberg has been the curator at BTH since 2003. “The rolebeen the curator at BTH since 2003. “The role includes knowing the most about the property,” he says. “Premises are a major expense item for us, the second largest after personnel costs. 

The university leases its premises from the municipal government, and the curator is responsible for the locks, electricity and cleaning. ARX, a full-scale access control system with the ability to integrate other systems such as alarms, is used in the entrances, classrooms, laboratories and other spaces to which students have access. “If my card doesn’t work in the reader, I know the area has the alarm activated and I first must disarm it,” Westerberg says. At the entrance to the staff room, a sign reads “Staff only,” and only a staff member’s card can unlock the SMARTair reader on the door. The advantage of SMARTair readers is the costeffective installation. No wiring is required, and no tampering with the door is needed. Access control is administered via the Internet. Each enrolled student gets a card that grants access to parts of the premises around the clock. With ARX, students can gain access to the facilities they need. Nursing students can enter their laboratory throughout their studies, while engineering students may have access to a different laboratory for a limited period. “These access rights are easier to create in ARX than in previous software,” Westerberg says. “ When an employee or student leaves, the access rights of their cards are automatically ended. I don’t have to think about it.”

Why did BTH choose ARX and SMARTair? “We worked with the predecessor of ARX, RiTA, but since the system was on the way out, it was necessary to upgrade the access control system,” Westerberg says. Users seem to be comfortable with the new system. Westerberg has not heard any complaints, and he takes this as evidence that everything is working properly and that users are satisfied.