The best credentials are provided by personal feedback from actual cases
The North East Combined Authority (NECA), a legal body combining the seven councils serving County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland instigated the refurbishment works of the historic Grade II-listed Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels as part of its heritage program. The multi-million pound project, which will include the replacement of two of the original four escalators (largest wooden escalators in the world) with inclined lifts and the replacement of the tunnels’ ageing mechanical and electrical systems. The restoration project has been approved to serve the local residents with easy pedestrian access to both sides of the Tyne river, whilst also support local heritage sites seen as iconic locations in the North East, UK.
Phoenix Eye was tasked with providing a cutting edge, integrated site security system, including access control and CCTV, for the contractors and sub-contractors working on the project for the 18 month development schedule. The system had to be IP rated due to the outdoor environment of the access point of the site and needed to be simple, effective and reliable. The location of the site on the river bank also required robust endurance to withstand varying weather and environmental conditions. The site required two access points, on the North and South side of the river, each with access control and CCTV connected via a stable WiFi connection. A fingerprint biometric solution was used to reduce costs and reliance on secondary credentials being used, and also due to the fast, effective nature of the technology.
Using sophisticated ‘Eye Access’ systems, each of which consists of single full height bi-directional turnstile; two ievo ultimate™ readers (one each side of the turnstile) controlled by one ievo REV4 control board, partnered with a CCTV (‘Eye Tower’) system, Phoenix Eye were able to securely protect both the North and South entry points to the project site. Utilising the IP65 rating of the ultimate reader and the PoE option were vital in fulfilling the standards set out by Phoenix Eye’s cutting edge solutions. The workforce enrolled on the ievo system using the ievo desktop registration unit and time and attendance was monitored with the Paxton timesheet software. The simple and adaptive nature of ievo and Phoenix Eye solutions meant that the entire access control and CCTV was set-up and running within a week.
The site team were highly impressed with the ease of use of the biometric access control system. Vastly improving on the antiquated and time consuming tag system previously used whereby a numbered tag and sign in a book were used to register being on site. The Eye Access system takes care of all of this by registering an employee’s biometric data and allowing the system to determine identification of a user and providing access depending on their access credentials. Since installation the site team have noticed a significant increase in efficiency and enhanced monitoring of attendance.
Since its foundation in 1923, Bowmer & Kirkland has grown to become a major international services company with 29 subsidiary companies offering a wide range of specialisms from construction to homeland security products. B&K now has in excess of 1400 staff operating from its Head Office in Derbyshire, regional offices in Birmingham, Manchester, Motherwell, Newark, Reading and Sunderland and from offices in the USA.
Much of the focus for B&K is within construction with projects often spanning multiple years. On sites across the breadth of the country, a key requirement is to protect not only the equipment and materials from theft but also to ensure the integrity of the location from trespass as part of strict health and safety protocols. However, in the early stages of construction, many sites are not supplied with power requiring the use of on-site generators which can only be operated during working hours for health and safety reasons. To protect these sites, B&K would traditionally use security guards but as Colin Pomfrey, Construction Director for B&K explains, “Manned guarding is not always the best option especially on a construction site which is not necessarily a safe place to wander around at night.”
Automated alternative to manned security
Alongside the high cost of overnight and weekend guarding, this method raises issues around sickness or absenteeism and the physical limitations of a single guard across a large site. Instead, B&K recognised that Video Surveillance technology offers a perfect overnight security function and also plays a useful role in protecting the site during the day, especially to help monitor the flow of materials and plant to and from the site.
In one particular project in County Durham, Tyne and Wear; the 52 week construction of a retail development as part of the redevelopment at Dalton Park would encounter a significant number of months where the only power to the site would be from generators. With over a million pounds’ worth of plant on the site and materials worth much more passing through the site during the construction processes, B&K put out a tender inviting local security firms to offer a solution to help protect the site.
Following a multi-month tendering processes B&K selected Phoenix Eye, a highly regarded security solution provider that had already successfully protected a number of similar sites within the group. As experts in the field of site security for the construction industry, Phoenix Eye had built a great deal of expertise in delivering CCTV and remote monitoring solution, especially for environments without mains power or perimeter lighting.
Lower power consumption
As Craig White, Business Development Manager for Phoenix Eye explains, one of the issues with legacy CCTV systems is power usage. “A typical analogue PTZ CCTV camera will use up to 10 times more power than a mobotix M15 camera. As the construction industry is also very keen on reducing its energy footprint for both commercial and environmental reasons, we developed a solution that recharges power cells during the day from generators that can then be used to power Video Surveillance Systems and other security devices overnight and during the weekend period.”
After testing a number of cameras, White explains that it was MOBOTIX that proved, by far, the best solution. “The MOBOTIX technology has the lowest energy consumption of any device we tested along with the highest levels of image quality and reliability. The fact that everything can use PoE and the flexibility of the modules such as thermal and hemispheric, along with wide angle lens allowed us to deploy the minimum number of cameras for the maximum level of coverage across the site” says White, “We were also impressed by the analytics functions and the ability to set up alerts as well as audio within such a tightly integrated system.”
Protected perimeter enhanced with thermal
The design for the Dalton Park site which covers a large area uses 8 overlapping MOBOTIX M15 cameras mounted on poles at the edge of the site to provide a complete 360 degree view of the perimeter. This is further supplemented by a pole mounted MOBITIX M15 with a hemispheric lens and thermal module to provide a site overview able to detect motion in complete darkness up to 400 meters out. The site also has a number of UV lights and everything is powered via PoE from its rechargeable power cell technology with alerts routed back to an overnight and weekend CCTV monitoring centre via the 4G cellular network. Each camera has built-in video storage allowing days’ worth of footage to be stored locally without requiring video to be constantly sent over the 4G link.
Phoenix Eye designed and installed a high definition IP CCTV, Intruder, Addressable Fire and Biometric Access control systems into one of Newcastle's newest venues. Yolo, a Bar, Eatery and Roof Terrace spread over 3 floors on one of Newcastle's most historic streets. Yolo Townhouse on High Bridge Street (just off Grey Street) has a ton of quirky character and has been fully restored to its once elegant interior.
The IP CCTV system installed covers all areas of the venue, including public and staff areas. The system has been designed to achieve facial recognition wherever you are in the building. This gives the staff and public a high sense of security, great features include 31 days HD recording at 10 frames per second, epos till transaction easy search, easy production of evidence on to USB or disk, cameras operate at just 5 watts of power, off site monitoring at Phoenix Eye's state of the art Remote Video Response Centre.
Phoenix Eye have also designed and installed a back of house access control system using biometric fingerprint readers, these allow only authorised personnel to access back of house areas using their fingerprint. This system can also be used as a time and attendance system.