High Tech Turnstiles & Guard Booths at the World Trade Center

Of the original World Trade center complex, 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC) was the first tower to be rebuilt following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The tower is impressive—it’s 52 stories with 1.7 million square feet of space. With a space that large and in such a symbolic location comes the need for elements like guard houses and turnstiles to protect the employees and visitors of 7 WTC. 

The building reopened in May of 2006 and featured bulky, metal turnstiles that employees and guests said would strike their midsection or legs as they passed through. There were reports of frequent malfunctions. With many people passing through daily, an efficient system was required and traffic was not as well-regulated as it should have been.

Placed inside of a guard house, the turnstiles are designed for the convenience of the tenant, and the way it works is that the tenant has a badge with a barcode and swipes it above the scanner, which is prepared to handle proximity and barcode reads. The turnstile then opens swinging glass doors to allow the person through. 

The property manager of 7 WTC says that people prefer the new turnstiles. In addition to reading an access card, the barcode also signals what floor the employee works on and an elevator is automatically assigned to that person. 

Guests have a similar system. An employee registers the guest beforehand and the guest presents identification to security then receives a temporary day pass. The pass has a barcode that allows you to pass the turnstiles and allow security to direct you to your floor. With the old turnstile there was one incident where a person jumped the turnstile—he was apprehended by security guards from a portable guard booth or security guard booth.

Large events are handled rather elegantly. When the building anticipates many visitors coming in at once, you can override the turnstiles and leave them open for a set period of time while security checks in the guests. According to property management, there is a significant improvement in traffic flow and “you can feel the quality workmanship in both the aesthetics and operation.”

World Trade Center building 3 is set to open in 2018 and will also feature these high-tech turnstiles and a variety of guard house designs.  According to the property manager, there have been no problems and the turnstiles have improved efficiency and security.

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