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  • Writer's pictureRyan Shoop

The Eye of the Stake-Holder

The Door Hardware Stakeholders

"The stakeholder"

It sounds like it could be the name of a piece of hardware, right?

Perhaps available in grade 1 and stainless steel finish?

Actually, it's a person.

Actually... it can be quite a few people.

When selecting hardware, many specifiers consider who will end up paying for it

...(the owner),

and they will work towards a sweet spot of quality and price tailored to that party.

And they don't go any further than that.

Give the client what they want, right? That's enough?

That strategy may work just fine for some simple projects that only have a few stakeholders, such as single family residential.

But what if there are other parties external to the client
who the client has an interest in satisfying?


The restaurant owner wants to impress their guests with quality decorative pulls on the main entrance doors. (The client's customers are stakeholders)

The school superintendent wants to know that the facilities maintenance staff won't be complaining a few months after construction about needing to repair brand new panic hardware. (The client's coworkers are stakeholders)

The hospital administrator wants to keep patients safe from infection by using hardware that allows operation of the door while minimizing the need to physically touch anything. (The client's patients are stakeholders)


If the specifier has the opportunity to sit down with the client and consider all of the different parties who have an interest in the





and other features of the door hardware in their project, they can often pretty quickly come up with quite a long list.

For a market rate hotel project, the list of stakeholders may include:

- the owner

- the developer (if different from the owner)

- the target demographic for clientele

- all clientele, whether targeted or not

- the management staff

- the front desk staff

- the housekeeping staff

- the maintenance staff

For that same project, other parties may not be stakeholders, and yet still may have an interest in the door hardware:

- bulding code officials

- the fire marshal

- the health inspector

And let's not forget the design team members who each hold a piece of the hardware puzzle:

- the architect

- the interior designer

- the electrical engineer

- the security consultant

- the low voltage consultant

- the hardware consultant (you're using a hardware consultant, right?)

That's a lot of people potentially affected by or involved in door hardware selections on a simple hotel!

Do all of these people need to contribute to the hardware specification?

No. Many of these parties often aren’t invited to the process, and the end result is deemed generally acceptable.

But it can be a real disappointment (and an avoidable one)...

if a building is finished...

the ribbon is cut...

day 1 of operation begins...

and somebody props a shiny new door open

with a rock.

We can hope for a moment that it's a grade 1 rock in stainless steel finish with an appropriate bumper that won't scratch the leaf or frame. But then reality sets in. This is not what was intended.

Somehow at least one stakeholder's operational needs were not factored into the design.

Door hardware is complicated. When a large number of people will be involved in the design, use, and maintenance of a building, it is VERY likely that each of them has at least a small piece of the puzzle.

All of their puzzle pieces need to be accounted for so that the door hardware spec can truly address the needs of the project.

No surprise rocks!


Questions? Ask me in the comments section or contact me directly. Also if you think I got something wrong, let me know and if appropriate I will make sure to issue a correction.

Architects, do you have a project with door hardware questions? Check out my website There you can find my contact info, and reach out to set up a call. Let's discuss how I can save you time and money while helping to ensure high quality results for your clients.

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