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The Guest House at PNNL Offers One More Amenity: Keyless Access Control


The Guest House at PNNL
Located in Richland, Washington, the Guest House at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a private 81-room hotel for visiting scientists, students, and researchers. The Guest House offers visitors three different room types:  dorm rooms for students, studio rooms, and one-bedroom apartments. All rooms are arranged in pods or groups of rooms and attached to central living areas. Operated by Paragon Equity Management, the amenities include:

  • Housekeeping and linen service 
  • Laundry facilities
  • Vending and ice machines
  • Exercise room 
  • Keyless entry 

“When we first started managing the Guest House in 2008, the hotel employed locks with magnetic stripe keycards,” says Amy Crawford, guest services manager. “While the locks were good, we had issues with the keycards. They often would become demagnetized, leading us to lockouts.” The front desk isn’t staffed 24/7, so an on-call employee must issue new keycards to locked out guests. To eliminate guest inconve

Paragon on Oracode
Oracode integrates a web application, handheld maintenance unit, and locks to create a system for generating encrypted numerical access codes. A time- and date-specific code allows the guest entry into a room, while eliminating keys and cards and time-consuming access control management. According to Crawford, “When a guest enters a code into a lock, the lock uses a stored digital key to decrypt the code. If the lock ID matches the lock’s real-time clock and indicates that the current time is between the designated parameters, the lock will open. Otherwise, it will remain locked and secure.” 

With the Oracode system, there are two lock models available: full body or deadbolt. Full body 660 locks work with a variety of locking device options, including cylindrical, mortise, and exit device. The small, sleek 480i deadbolt replaces existing deadbolt hardware and blends with most existing levers. Both locks use three alkaline batteries that provide approximately two to three years of operation before the batteries need replacing. In addition, the lock’s audit memory stores up to the last 5,000 entries and captures date, time, user, and code. The Guest House installed Oracode model 660 locks, which replaced their previous full body locks.

“At the end of the day, it’s about servicing the guest. And, Oracode let’s us do that.”  —  Amy Crawford, Guest Services Manager Paragon Corporate Housing

“Oracode is really easy to use—I can make a code in a couple of seconds, which is a lot easier than making a keycard,” says Crawford. “If a guest has an issue, then we can make them a new code or if they forgot their code we can look it up. Once I create the six-digit code in the Oracode web application, I copy it into our Oscar® reservation system; then Oscar creates arrival instructions.”

In addition to guest codes, Paragon provides the on-site operations manager, two full-time housekeepers, and any maintenance contractors access codes for entering units. The multi-user feature allows up to 128 different users entering the lock for any given time period. Each user has their own traceable code, and the code is time specific and linked back to the individual. “A benefit of the Oracode system is that if we needed to know who entered a particular room and when, we can audit the lock for that information,” says Crawford. “But, the biggest value is that guests like the keyless entry,” adds Crawford. “The check-in process is really simple—guests get their code ahead of time, so when they arrive at the Guest House, they can head straight to their room. At the end of the day, it’s about servicing the guest. And, Oracode lets us do that.” 

Amy Crawford
Guest Services Manager
Paragon Corporate Housing
2455 George Washington Way, Suite D 114 
Richland, WA 99354 
Tel: 888.632.5511