The Kirchberg area of Luxembourg is a district which is home to a lot of modern architecture. The administration of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice and, naturally, all major international banks haves modern administrative buildings here. Luxembourg architecture firm m3 architectes s.a. has built a masterpiece of innovative architecture which is geared towards individuals and their needs in this prestigious location in the form of the new Kirchberg "Rehazenter" (physical medicine and rehabilitation centre). The locking system, a mechanical CES "KM-6" system with an electronic OMEGA LEGIC cylinder was designed, supplied and installed by specialist Luxembourg dealer Gilbert. Both systems combine seamlessly and can also be expanded or retrofitted to add new applications.
The healing effect of fantastic architecture
"Awareness that the quality of the environment makes its contribution towards patients' convalescence was crucially important in the design of this contemporary architectural idiom as far as the architects involved were concerned," says project manager Jürgen Simon. "We deliberately distanced ourselves from the conventional design features of hospitals, retirement homes and nursing homes." Natural light and fresh air, natural, authentic materials - for instance pale-faced concrete and wood, rubber or linoleum depending on intended use - south-facing glazed facades, inner courtyards flooded with light and landscaping which matches the straight lines of the architecture all help ensure a sense of wellbeing among staff, visitors and, above all, patients who spend extended periods of time in the facility.
Operation as a rehabilitation centre with around 72 stationary beds and 250 to 300 outpatients a day and a large number of extremely disparate therapy rooms, doctors' clinics, a pharmacy, sports hall and swimming pool, restaurant, conference rooms, an admin wing, plant rooms, parking spaces etc. placed exacting requirements on the design and security of the locking system.
Complexity of locking system resolved down to the last detail
A CES "KM-6" locking system comprising more than 1,000 units was used. Highly complex, mechanical lock cylinders were combined with the trademark-protected, electronic OMEGA LEGIC cylinder.
"Even though the locking system in the Rehazenter building is far more complex than we predicted, the entire system operates perfectly," says the technical manager in charge, Jean-Marie Fautsch. The architecture firm carried out preliminary planning for the security concept and the locking system was then worked out in detail in close co-operation with our technical management and specialists from the equipment dealer.
Jürgen Simon, the m3 architectes project manager in charge, points out that: "Our firm met the requirements set out by Rehazenter management during the locking system bidding and design phase. As is customary, it was only possible to make actual decisions regarding lock groups and access authorisations once the contract had been awarded, due to ongoing structural HR changes being made by the building owner. By this time we had clarified issues such as the security concept, access control, departmental structure etc. The decision-makers defined by the building owner were also involved in discussions on this topic.
This work was intensive and, as is often the case in our experience, discussions with the building owner only ended months after commissioning because routine use yields fresh experience. This is the reason why we looked for and found flexible technical solutions for the locking system."
The large number of special features and details which needed to be taken into account in good time only became evident during actual coordination discussions. Stephan Bergmann, who manages the locking systems division of Gilbert, quotes an example of this: "For the first aid cabinets containing defibrillators which are scattered throughout the entire building, the only provision initially made was the cylinders supplied by the furniture manufacturer. This meant that every doctor would have had to keep an extra key at hand, ready for use. It was much safer and simpler to integrate the first aid cabinets into the locking plan and assign locking authorisations to the competent individuals. Obviously, this also caters for cases where there is nobody with locking authorisation in the vicinity. As with a fire alarm, one can break a glass pane and remove the emergency key."
Patients' apartments protected by LEGIC cylinders
Patients' apartments posed another specific problem when designing the locking system. Long-term rehab patients who are preparing themselves to live independently outside the clinic live in these suitably fitted out self-contained apartments in the protected environment of the rehab centre. Care staff, physiotherapists etc. must have unimpeded access but, at the same time, patients' personal belongings and valuables need to be protected against unauthorised access. The facility operator therefore required logging of all locking actions and hence monitoring of all persons who have to enter the apartments. Using the OMEGA LEGIC cylinder by CES solved this problem perfectly and conveniently.
LEGIC cylinders are also used in the Kirchberg "Rehazenter" on the administration and management floor as well as in the archives. Here too, clients demanded controlled locking and, in particular, convenient operation.
The LEGIC Transponder offers options for many applications. Besides access control, these include e-payment in canteens for example. A large number of further applications can be integrated with minimal effort by programming the locking medium. In the case of the "Time" model (VdS Class B) used in Kirchberg, access authorisations can also be assigned temporarily and every event is also stored together with the date and time of day. This makes it possible to track who has entered the premises at any time.
Fire brigade key vault with triple protection
Allowance also had to be made for construction-relevant and user-oriented requirements in the locking plan. The master key for the fire brigade had to be placed in the entrance area to the site in a secure but easily accessible manner. To achieve this, the fire brigade key vault was flush-mounted in a wall in the entrance area. When the fire alarm sounds, a flap automatically opens. This affords access to a cylinder lock for which only the fire brigade has a key. The master key can only be removed once this cylinder lock has been properly opened.