6 Types of Access Control for a Residential Building and Which One You Should Choose

6 Types of Access Control for a Residential Building and Which One You Should Choose

Dec 27, 2022
3 minutes

If you’re building a residential apartment or any other residential property, you want to make sure that the doors are protected so that only authorized people can get in. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 1,526 thousand building permits given in October 2022 and 1,339 thousand housing compilations in the same month.

There are many different kinds of access control systems for buildings and apartments, but which one is right for your building? In this article, we’ll go through the most common types of access control systems used in residential buildings and explain how each one works.

Automated Access Control

Automated access control is a system that uses electronic devices to control access. It is often used in large buildings, where it can be used to control who can enter the building or an individual apartment.

Building access control solutions improve tenant experience by ensuring they have easy and convenient access to common areas, such as mailrooms and elevators. It also reduces security risks by limiting unauthorized entry into high-security areas like building lobbies and parking garages, which are more vulnerable to criminal activity compared with interior spaces.

FOB Entry System

You may have heard of a FOB entry system, which is also commonly called a proximity card or badge. This type of access control uses a small device to unlock a door. In most cases, the device is held by an employee or resident who has been granted permission to enter the building. 

The person waves the device in front of an electronic sensor on their way into the building, and it unlocks all doors in sequence as they pass through them. The sensor can be mounted anywhere along this path. It doesn't matter if there's one sensor per door or many sensors that unlock many doors at once. You always use your FOB to get through them all.

Fob entry systems are easy to install and maintain because there are no wires or moving parts. They can be used with any type of door material. Wooden ones tend not to last as long, but metal ones do better under extreme weather conditions such as heat waves or cold snaps plus humidity.

Keypad Access Control on a Door

Keypad access control on a door is one of the most popular forms of access control. It can be used to control access to an apartment or building, a room within an apartment, or even just the entrance from the outside. Selecting the right supplier for your access control system installation can help to speed up the process as well as improving the effectiveness of the overall solution.

The main advantage of keypad entry is that it's easy for people to use. No more fumbling around with keys or misplacing them. Keypads also allow you to program many codes so that different people can enter at different times using their codes. This means that you don't need as many keys hanging around, and everyone who needs access has theirs in their phone when they need it.

The biggest disadvantage of this type of system is that there are no real security measures built into it. Anyone who knows what they're doing could easily break into your home by guessing all possible combinations until they find yours.

Apartment Intercom System

Apartment intercom systems are a great way to keep your apartment secure. They allow you to communicate with people in specific locations throughout the building. You can use it to talk to each other or with front desk staff, building managers, and police officers if you need help during an emergency. 

As per Business Research Insights, the worldwide residential intercom market size is estimated to be worth 2.5 billion USD in 2022 and is projected to reach 4.01 billion USD by 2028 with a CAGR of 7.2%.

Apartment intercom systems vary widely in price and features, but most models include two or more microphones and speakers so that everyone can hear one another.

Card Reader Access Control on a Door

Card reader access control on a door is the most common system used in apartment buildings. It's easy to install and maintain, and it's less expensive than other access control systems.

Card reader access control systems use cards with computer chips embedded in them. When you insert your card into the slot of an electronic lock, it checks all kinds of information about you, such as your name and address, picture ID number, etc., before unlocking the door for you to enter or exit. 

Card readers are also good for apartments because they're convenient for both tenants and managers. Tenants don't have to worry about losing their keys, and managers know exactly who comes in and out of each building at any given time without having to check everyone's identification personally.

Video Intercom System

Video intercom systems are a good choice for apartment buildings. These allow you to see who is at the door, so you don't have to open up if it's not someone you recognize. 

Video intercom systems are also affordable and easy to install, making them a popular option among apartment building owners. Furthermore, they can be used with other types of access control, such as smart locks and badges, making them versatile enough for various settings and budgets.


The key to a successful residential building access control is choosing the right system. According to Fortune Business Insights, the automotive keyless entry system market share was 1,340.6 million USD globally in 2020, and it is projected to grow to 3,061.4 million USD in 2028 with a growth rate of 12.02%.

There is a range of options available, and we highly recommend you consult with an expert before making your decision.