Access Control Bollards

Access Control is a practical approach to protect commercial and public properties from intrusion and crime. Businesses that do not have physical security systems and physical access controls can become hot targets for criminals. Access control bollards provide enough time for a security team to identify, authenticate, and authorize vehicles and personnel before entering a facility.

Access Control Bollards Infographic

What are Access Control Bollards?

Access control bollards are designed to form part of physical security layers aimed at securing entrances of buildings such as military bases, embassies, government ministries, hotels, office complexes, exhibition centres, golf clubs, and even residential areas.

Access control bollards are integrated with additional security measures such as a gate or rising arm barrier and can also be equipped with lights to increase visibility.

Types of Bollards used for Access Control

  1. Automatic retractable or automatic telescopic bollards can be used for access control in high traffic areas. These bollards can be raised or lowered on command in 3 to 5 seconds. They can be operated with a hydraulic system or by electromagnetic detection loops which detect vehicle presence.
  2. Semi-automatic rising bollards can be used if the amount of traffic or daily movement in and out of the facility is limited. They are also used to define or prevent temporary parking or transit of vehicles in pedestrian or private areas. Semi-automatic bollards can be operated by gas (pneumatic), mechanically lifted or manually pushed to the ground. Pneumatic bollards are raised by gas spring actuators and lowered by pressure.
  3. Collapsible or removable bollards can also be used when occasional access for vehicles need to be considered such as maintenance vehicles, emergency vehicles, fire trucks, and other utility services. Collapsible bollards remain fixed in place and can be folded flat to allow approved vehicles to drive through them.
  4. Fold down bollards. Fixed bollards can also be used to prevent access for long periods. Bolted to the ground, they can be taken down once the access point is open.


Managing traffic in commercial facilities

Access control bollards can help manage vehicle traffic entering commercial facilities. Access is granted for employees coming to work, trucks delivering goods or picking up supplies, visitors, and VIPs upon approval or submission of an access permit. Access control is crucial for large industrial complexes.

Controlling Paid Parking & Controlled Parking Zones

Access control bollards are also used to effectively manage paid parking inside buildings and private facilities, including controlled parking zones for permit holders.

Protecting pedestrian movement

Access control bollards are a popular choice for park entrances and building plazas as they can allow pedestrians and cyclists to pass through while blocking vehicle entry.

Restricting unauthorized access

Access control bollards provide the security team enough time to identify, authenticate, and authorize or restrict unauthorized vehicles from entering the facility. Access control bollards are often used in tandem with layers of security measures in places considered to be high-risk areas.

Residential driveway access control

Installing access control bollards can prevent errant motorists from parking in front of residential driveways. The presence of access control bollards also has a double purpose of preventing illegal parking.

Securing Drop-Off Points

Residential apartments and mixed-use residential developments, commercial offices, commercial retail facilities, hotels, apartments, government facilities, schools and universities, industrial complex, logistics centers, and sports facilities are required to have designated drop off points for passengers and disabled persons. Access control bollards can be used to deter any motorists from parking in these designated areas.

Anti-Break In

Access control bollards operated electromagnetically have also doubled as anti-break in measures in places with high-security requirements such as embassies, military bases, and government ministry offices. Automatic electromagnetic bollards are often equipped with anti-vandal function, which helps detect forced command, resets, and activates an alarm.

Supporting Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) Strategy

Sites that require protection from hostile vehicles can install HVM access control bollards. For example, security experts generally recommend restricting access at goods entrances and service yards and even pedestrian entrances in malls, hotels, and other crowded places that are common targets of terror attacks. Crash-rated access control bollards can prevent vehicles carrying explosive devices from entering underground service areas where the risk of structural damage is high.


It is necessary to conduct a test to check soil permeability before installing bollards that require excavation. Always ensure that the excavation has proper drainage. To test if the drainage is working properly, fill the pit with 40 liters of water and check to see if the water subsides after 25 minutes. Aspirate the water by an electric pump before laying the pipes.

Automatic bollards can be controlled remotely using a key fob. This makes it an easy option for access control. However, automatic bollards require a more extensive installation process. Automatic bollards operated electromechanically can be relatively easy to install due to its integrated foundation box that can be assembled on-site without welding. They are also equipped with anti-vandal function.

If the site has a high water table, it is not recommended to use telescopic bollards. In addition, removable bollards might be more suitable if underground pipes and wiring limit excavation.


When trying to choose the right type of access control bollards, there is a need to identify the volume of vehicles coming in and out of the facility on a daily basis. Another consideration when choosing a hydraulic system is whether to choose a stand-alone oil tank or a common tank.

If the automatic bollards need to be crash-tested or HVM bollards, more information is required to identify the right selection. This includes the number of bollards considered for the crash test and how many times the bollard can be subject to impact without losing its functionality.

HVM automatic bollards generally require a deep foundation and need to be coordinated with underground services at the time of installation. In the case of an accident, the vehicle’s impact on the bollard may damage or compromise the foundation supporting underground services.

Published by

Fouad Sleiman

Backed by a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering along with 22+ years of experience in Strategic Marketing and Business Development, Fouad has a clear vision for the company’s goal in the coming years. In his role as Director , he strives to capitalize on ebollard brand reputation to develop plan that provide excellent service and value.