Building Access Coordinator Guide

Building Access Coordinators (BACs) play a critical role in keeping our campus buildings safe and secure. By knowing the people who work in your building, you know who can have access to an electronically secured building during off hours and who can access specific rooms, labs and offices. Thank you for helping Facilities' Site Protection keep our campus safe and secure.

This how-to guide includes general procedures and detailed instructions for tasks Building Access Coordinators are authorized to perform. 


Key Definitions

Before jumping into your responsibilities, let's start with a few key definitions. These may help as you navigate your role as a BAC.

  • Access Cards = TigerCards or temporary ID cards that store codes allowing access to locked doors 

  • BAC = Building Access Coordinator (click to see listing of all BACs, requires a university id) - building representatives authorized to request clearance codes for building occupants and request temporary access to their buildings outside of normal business hours.

  • Clearance Codes = Codes stored on a Tigercard or temporary ID card, allowing a cardholder to unlock certain keyless doors 

  • CACS doors = Campus Access Control System doors have electronic, keyless locks with locking/unlocking centrally controlled by Facilities and via requests from a BAC

  • DAF = Departmental Access Facilitator - select departmental representatives authorized to request electronic access across multiple buildings

  • Directed Patrol = a temporary service from Public Safety for malfunctioning, non-locking, exterior doors that cannot be repaired by Facilities in the same day 

  • SALTO doors = brand name for the other keyless locking system on campus, mostly used in dormitories; requires access code updates via a hotspot 1-3x a year.  


General Procedures

  • Building Access Coordinators (BACs) and Department Access Facilitators (DAFs) will be responsible for working with the Facilities access control manager to design and assign clearance codes to serve the needs of the department. In addition, the Building Access Coordinator and his/her pre-approved delegates will schedule normal building open hours, and authorize building “unlockings” for special events.

    • Emergency protocol: if you notice suspicious behavior, security concerns, protests, etc. and need to lock all exterior doors to your building immediately, please contact the Department of Public Safety, 609-258-3333. DPS has specific protocols in place that directly address emergencies and securing buildings, and will communicate as needed with Facilities.
  • Facilities is responsible for programming clearance codes and special events into the system as well as issuing clearance codes to individual cards. For security reasons, Facilities can only respond to requests from BACs/DAFs, or their pre-approved delegates. 

  • Facilities requires that BACs and DAFs send a list of names with cooresponding 9 digit PUIDs and specific door clearance codes to assign authorized access for their building(s). 

  • Each DAF or BAC may request Loaner Cards from the TigerCard Office, and will be responsible for checking those cards out and getting them back. A fee will be assessed on all replacement cards. Facilities will activate/deactivate the cards and program the clearance codes for Loaner Cards “on demand” as well as offering “active” cards programmed with the exterior doors only. Any department requesting “active” cards will be expected to comply with Facilities key control policy.  

  • Facilities will accept authorization for unlocking exterior doors for a University sponsored event if authorized by the Department of Public Safety since the Department of Public Safety is the primary contact. 


Assign Clearance Codes

To allow an individual access into an electronically secured building, a specific clearance code must be programmed into a cardholder’s record. Site Protection does the programming centrally after receiving an authorized request.

How to add/change Clearance codes


Review and update existing clearance codes

Clearance Code Report provides information regarding the name of each person having a given clearance code by buildings or employee roles. You can use these reports to monitor and control who has access to your secured building(s). We ask that you review the clearance codes under your responsbility once a year.

Please email us at bacsdafs@princeton.edu to request your annual Clearance Code Report.


Change door lock/unlock schedules 

Once a door's lock/unlock schedule has been determined, changes may be needed for a variety of reasons including summer hours, the addition of a library, or simply changes in the way the building is being used. For security reasons, only BACs are authorized to request scheduling changes. 

  • Emergency protocol: if you notice suspicious behavior, security concerns, protests, etc. and need to lock all exterior doors to your building immediately, please contact the Department of Public Safety, 609-258-3333. DPS has specific protocols in place that directly address emergencies and securing buildings, and will communicate as needed with Facilities.

Please follow these guidelines when requesting a specific door be locked or unlocked outside of the normal schedule:

  • Send an email to BACSDAFS@princeton.edu 

  • Include the following information: 

    • Building name

    • Door name(s) and number(s)

    • Time to unlock, Time to relock the door(s)

  • Facilities will send you an email confirmation when the change request is complete

  • Requests may take up to 24 hours to be programmed, although an effort will be made to handle requests as soon as they are received during business hours.


Request/Update a temporary access card 

Loaner cards

Loaner cards act as a “key” to an electronically secured area and are used by people who are not eligible for a TigerCard or a Contractor/Visitor BadgeBACs may request a loaner card and the appropriate clearance codes by submitting a loaner request form (BAC access only). Loaner cards must be picked up at the TigerCard Office,  sorry, we cannot send access cards through the mail.

Please follow these guidelines when requesting a Loaner card:

  • Include the following information:

    • Reason for the request

    • All clearance codes needed on the card

    • Chartstring for the $15/card fee

  • 
All loaner cards expire June 30 of the current fiscal year, and new cards must be requested annually

  • Picture cards are required for visitors who need access for longer than 14 days

  • BACs can request clearance codes for their buildings and we will be happy to provide you with a list of your approved clearance codes by sending an e-mail to bacsdafs@princeton.edu.

  • Once you request a loaner card, you are responsible for the use of the card and keeping records of who is in possession of the card

  • Lost or stolen cards must be reported immediately to Public Safety

  • To add clearance codes to an existing loaner card submit the clearance code request form (BAC access only).

Contractor or Visitor cards

Contractor or Visitor cards act as a “key” to an electronically-secured area and are used by people who are not eligible for a TigerCard but will require access for longer than 14 days. The TigerCard office will confirm the request, and the contractor or visitor will need to go to the TigerCard Office for a photo and to pick up the card.

Please follow these steps to request a Contractor/Visitor card:

BACs and DAFs please complete Tigercard's contractor/visitor badge request form to obtain a card: 

  • Information required: cardholders name, birth date, company name, supervisor, and expiration date

  • You will also need a valid chart string for the $15 per card fee

  • NEW as of April, 2016: Card Access and parking infomation is now included in the contractor/visitor form


Resolve access problems for existing card holders

Preventive maintenance is performed on all of our electronic locks, however, problems may still occur. It is sometimes difficult to determine the exact issues with building access. It could be a failed reader or missing clearance codes on the cardholder’s record. Please review the most common issues with resolution ideas below.

When presenting a TigerCard to the reader the reader light is not lit.

  • Issue: The reader is malfunctioning and needs to be repaired by Facilities.

  • Contact Facilities Customer Service at (609) 258-8000 to report the problem. Please specify the door location, including entry where relevant, and include the results of  troubleshooting. After business hours contact Public Safety. Please note if the reader is on an interior door, our technician may require an authorized occupant of the building to accompany them. In the event an exterior door lock cannot be repaired during the day, you can request a Directed Patrol from Public Safety to verify the doors are secure periodically throughout the night.

When you present your card to the reader it does not beep.

  • Issue: a TigerCard is "dead" and needs to be replaced by the TigerCard Office.

  • Go to the TIgerCard Office during regular business hours, with the non-functioning card for a card replacement. If the non-functioning card is not damaged there is no charge for the replacement card. If, however, the card is physically damaged there is a $15 replacement fee.

When you present your card to the reader, it beeps, the door does not open, and the light on the reader shows solid amber.

  • Issue: The access card does not have the appropriate clearance code to enter this door. 

  • Contact your Department or Building contact to obtain their approval and have them request the additional clearance code for the card. Please note clearance code changes are made during business hours only.

When you present your card to the reader, it beeps, the door does not unlock, although the light on the reader flashes red and green.

  • Issue: The lock is not functioning properly and needs to be repaired by Facilities.

  • Contact Facilities Customer Service at (609) 258-8000 to report the problem. Please specify door location, including entry where relevant, and include the results of your troubleshooting. After business hours contact Public Safety.


Educate building occupants on door alarms

When an electronically wired door remains open, an audible alarm sounds in the building alerting occupants of the situation. Building occupants have an obligation not to cause “nuisance” alarms by their behavior. Avoiding door alarms can be accomplished by reviewing the locking and unlocking schedule, requesting an open door for events, granting additional clearances, or reminding those in the building their responsibilities include closing the door for security.

Response to Held Open Alarm

When a locked door is opened with a card, allowing access to the card holder, there is an expectation that the door will close within 90 seconds. If, for some reason, the door does not close within those 90 seconds, an alarm will sound. If there is a valid reason for the door to be held or propped open, it can be programmed to do so (see Event Scheduling). 

If the door does not close within 10 minutes, Public Safety will dispatch an officer to close the door. During working hours, Public Safety has the option to call a building contact in an administrative building and ask him/her to close the door rather than dispatching an officer. Public Safety attempts to respond within 10 to 20 minutes of the alarm sounding.


Response to Forced Open Alarm

When a locked door is opened without a card being presented, there is an expectation that someone has forced the door open. These alarms may be the result of the door not properly closing due to a mechanical reason or to human behavior. If human behavior is not the cause, these doors may need to be repaired as soon as possible. An alarm will sound in the building at the door and it will appear on Public Safety’s monitoring station. Unlike a “held open” alarm, the alarm will continue to sound even after the door closes until it is “acknowledged” by Public Safety communications officer.

Anyone hearing an alarm should call Public Safety to advise them if an immediate physical response is needed.


Response to Environmental Alarms

Within a building, there are various monitors of environmental equipment such as HVAC, water detectors, etc., which may be on the CACS system, the Fire Alarm system, or even a local, departmental system. Public Safety will respond to environmental alarms that they have been requested to monitor

A contact is called only if the department has left a protocol on file and the information is current. Protocol and contact information must be provided to Public Safety and posted on the room/lab door. Public Safety will call individuals listed in the protocol provided by the Department. Public Safety is not involved in “local” alarms internal to a department. It is the department’s responsibility to know which alarms are being monitored by Public Safety.


Panic Alarm Response

There are a few buildings with panic alarms. Those alarms do not sound, but activate an alarm on Public Safety's monitoring station, and will result in an immediate response. If a panic alarm is set off in error, and it happens occasionally, please contact Public Safety (609) 258-1000 immediately.