When we moved into 410 Townsend, we installed the Kisi access control system throughout our space, and encouraged our property manager CBRE to do the same. They liked the system and agreed to install it throughout the building, allowing our users to use Kisi to access both the building doors and the Envoy suite.

Envoy agreed to project-manage the deployment and shared the cost of installation with CBRE. Since we were already running new cabling throughout the space, we contracted Idex Global to also run the necessary cabling to the Townsend Street front door, the 1st floor control room, and the elevator control room on the roof of the building. Given the proximity, we installed one of CBRE's Kisi controllers in the 4th floor IDF alongside Envoy's two Kisi controllers.

To save cost, CBRE opted to install very few badge readers, because with Kisi, users can still unlock necessary doors by opening the app on their phones. Similarly, we did not install a Kisi reader in the elevator, and instructed users to use the Kisi app to unlock the elevator when needed. Larry even created a Siri Shortcut to unlock the elevator easily.

This approach worked fine for many months because we kept the elevators unlocked during business hours, so very few employees ever needed this. But in August 2019, following a couple of security incidents, we decided to keep the elevator locked at all hours.

Why didn't we install a reader in the elevator?

Kisi readers require a Cat5+ network connection, which provides network and POE+ for the reader. Most readers use a simpler wiring solution that does not require network cabling.

We asked Thyssen Krup, the contracted elevator service company at 410 Townsend, to install a relay to unlock the 4th floor button and a network cable run into each cab. But adding a new traveler cable to an elevator cab was prohibitively expensive. We were told this project was not possible in our elevators.


A company called 2N produces a converter that allows an Ethernet connection to be sent over long distances across shielded 2-wire cable. Similar to coax cable, shielded 2-wire protects the signal from interference. Conveniently, this is exactly the type of cabling that runs through the traveler to our elevators!

Envoy contracted with ESR Elevators to install a set of these converters in each elevator cab. One end, which is powered, connects to our earlier-run Ethernet cable in the elevator control room. The other end is mounted inside the elevator behind the left side panel, and provides an RJ45 network jack. Standard ethernet cable then connects to the Kisi reader that is installed on the panel.

Our Setup

The system is currently configured in the following manner.

Original LucidChart document available at

Original LucidChart document available at

A few notes: