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City of Westminster College in the heart of London is well into an ambitious programme of redevelopment and refurbishment that will see their education and training supported by state-of-the-art facilities. The College offers around 250 full and part-time courses to over 7,000 students each year so to make the new building a success much though had to be given to the design and implementation of a robust security plan that would allow for free flow of traffic throughout the building while safely and securely controlling who could access what, where and when. To achieve the aim of creating an almost totally keyless environment for the Paddington Green site, the access control system selected was the SALTO Virtual Network System (SVN). The SALTO system was selected because of its unique ability to distribute card holder and system information to access controlled doors that are not cabled to any controller, which is made possible by using the card to upload and download information between on-line and off-line door. Of the 264 access controlled doors in the new building only 21 are on-line, negating the need for power and containment at each door. This makes for a system that is not only effective but also considerably reduces the cost of ownership per door when compared with standard on-line systems. Management of students, staff and visitors is crucial for the College and this would be the key application for the new access control system. To achieve it the College's vision is to have a true multi-application smart card environment totally removing the need for traditional keys, where as required cards can be enabled for photo ID, cashless vending, canteen, library, on demand printing, use of lockers and more. To accomplish this, a highly secure and flexible access control system has been designed using off-line XS4 E9450 handle sets and locks and a mix of on-line WRM9000 wall reader units utilising the power of the SALTO Virtual Network (SVN). This system allows the XS4 units to read, receive and write information via the College's student and staff ID cards. Since most access related information is kept encrypted on these cards, the wall readers are able to update and receive information from the cards at any time. So not only is the system easy to use, but its clever functionality also provides 90% of the benefits of a fully on line access control system at the cost of a stand alone system. The ‘smart' ID cards build up 'on-card' audit trails through normal use giving the College complete control over access and enabling the movement of students, staff and visitors to be tracked through both the off-line and on-line parts of the system if required. This enables a complete access profile of each individual to be established and updated as necessary at the up date wall readers. Thanks to SALTO SVN system 64,000 users and doors can be managed in a single system if required It can also programme keys to allow access to specific rooms or areas within the College for selected periods only, with the doors auto locking at pre-specified times as required. And if key security is breached due to the loss of a key card, it can be instantly deleted from the system without the need or cost of rekeying or changing locks - saving the College time and money. City of Westminster College is a very forward thinking environment and with the incorporation of the latest access control technology into their new campus facilities they have taken the necessary steps to ensure they will be able to achieve far reaching and long lasting control over their security requirements. Key operational benefits met by the technology include a more flexible and reliable system for a lower total cost of ownership, the benefits of an almost totally keyless environment and thanks to its SALTO SVN system, the ability to manage up to 1,000,000 users and 64,000 doors in a single system if required, making the college a secure and accessible environment for all its users.
AElement grants access privileges to individual guest rooms and gathering audit trail data from every door in real time In the competitive, not to mention crowded, world of hospitality, standing out from the competition and convincing travellers that you have something different to offer can be a hard call. BLOC Hotels have pulled this off in style at Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal. Establishing a niche by taking the hotel room as a blank design, stripping out all the stuff you don’t need while upgrading the finish around all the stuff you do. Rooms are offered at a competitive price (starting from £59) with everything booked, accessed and controlled by the very latest in smart technology. The company opened its first hotel in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in 2011. This has been well received within the city, its small but perfectly formed rooms bringing a touch of class to the low-cost hotel concept by offering four-star standards at two or three star prices. In March 2014 the group opened a second property in a very different location at Gatwick Airport. So, how do they do it? Adoption of integrated smart technology BLOC uses Hospitality specialists Boxbuild to design, procure and fit out the physical rooms and to provide the smart technology solutions the Hotel runs on. The key to their success is to build the individual hotel rooms off site in pre-fabricated kits. These are then delivered to and rapidly assembled on site. High quality, long lasting materials are used so no plastering or painting is needed speeding up the fit out process and providing a long lasting space that requires little maintenance. The bathroom is modular so it simply fits into place and is connected to power and water. The result is a uniformly dark, but practical and contemporary room that perfectly suits the needs of the business or family traveller. The Gatwick hotel is spread across five floors with 245 rooms divided into standard, business and executive level offerings with 5 disabled-friendly rooms per floor and is located in an old renovated office block built above the airport with reception inside the South Terminal – just steps from departures. The North Terminal is just a couple of minutes away accessed by a free monorail service. One of the key factors making BLOC a unique offering, beyond its quick-build construction techniques, contemporary styling and great locations, is its adoption of integrated smart technology to run every aspect of the hotel, at every level. Use of Near Field Communications or Bluetooth Low Energy technology One of the key factors makingBLOC a unique offering is itsadoption of integrated smarttechnology to run every aspectof the hotel, at every level. According to recent research by hotels solutions provider HRS, guest demand for the use of smartphones, tablets and corresponding apps as part of their hotel experience is increasing. The new research surveyed 4,377 users and found that 44% of guests from the UK would like the use of a tablet PC in their room, and 42% would rather operate their hotel room’s lighting, air conditioning and television via a touch screen display instead of using a separate remote control or switch. The survey also revealed that business travellers in particular are looking for a home-from-home experience when it comes to the use of smart technology in their hotel room. “Research such as this is encouraging as we know the hospitality industry is exploring the use of smartphones and tablet technology, but we’re probably 12 to 18 months ahead of everyone else when it comes to having a fully-functioning, cutting edge hotel that has been designed from the ground up to operate this way,” says Gary Holmes, Managing Director of ConnectedHotels, the technology division of Boxbuild. “The technology we’ve delivered for BLOC goes far beyond just offering free SMART TVs, free Wi-Fi and super-fast broadband; it encompasses everything from the Guest Experience including mobile and web, access, self-service kiosks for check-in and tablet control of in-room systems, through to back of house operations processes, automating and integrating check-out and housekeeping, building management, energy efficiency and operation of the live hotel environment. “Take room access, for example. We had a good look at what other hotels were doing and what they were using and decided we wanted something that was sleek, cutting edge and contemporary, not to mention smart. If you look at the door locking systems a lot of other hotels still use they are big, bulky, and in many cases downright ugly. Often they run on old-fashioned swipe technology because it’s cheap and guest security in some cases is not always their highest priority. We were determined to be different. “Our strategy is focused around the use of mobile apps that are free for Guests to download from the Apple AppStore or Google Play and able to tap into developments such as NFC (Near Field Communications) or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) so that the Guest’s own smartphone becomes not only their room key, but their wallet and remote control device as well. "AElement is also NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled so it was the perfect choice of product to work with the Boxbuild mobile device approach", says Darren Keating, National Account Manager Hospitality, SALTO “With this complete digital experience, guests can book a room, check in and use their smartphone as their electronic room key. Once in the room, a passive infrared sensor detects their presence and turns on the lighting and if we want, the air conditioning to a preferred temperature, and switch the television on with a welcome message. The same app then enables the smartphone to control room features such as lighting, air conditioning, electric blackout blinds and the smart LED television. Each room also has a dedicated Samsung Galaxy Tablet to provide in room controls with a very simple interface so guests of any age or technical ability can use the features of the room without downloading the app. “Finding a room lock that could work with this technology to our high standards was a fairly short search as many manufacturers’ offerings were simply not up to the job. This led us to SALTO who are world leaders in wire free and wireless access control technology and have an established reputation as manufacturers of advanced security solutions to the hotel and hospitality industry. After listening to what we needed and what we wanted to achieve, they recommended their AElement hotel lock as being the right technology for the job.” SALTO NFC-enabled AElement smart locks “We pride ourselves on delivering the things that matter to our clients - the best possible design, technology and features, and so our collaboration with BLOC on their latest hotel was critical,” says Darren Keating, National Account Manager Hospitality for SALTO. “AElement has been developed with the needs of hotels in mind and features a range of hospitality-specific applications including the ability to control the security of the entire hotel from a single location. This includes granting access privileges to individual guest rooms and gathering audit trail data from every door in real time – all without leaving the front desk. Other benefits for the hotel include instant room move and instant extended stay abilities as well as lost card cancellation, intrusion alarm, door ajar alarm, remote opening, real time audit trail, passage mode activation for meeting rooms and automated low battery reporting. “And not only that, but AElement is also NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled so it was the perfect choice of product to work with the Boxbuild mobile device approach. This in-built technology gives the hotel the ability to continuously upgrade their security without having to upgrade their locks, saving them long term operating costs while providing the hotel with what it needs most – total control.” Result Summing up Gary Holmes says, “To ensure the hotel’s guests are secure during their stay with us and to compliment the design led ethos of the hotel brand, we wanted a stylish high performance locking system that not only looked good, but also offered us the latest technology and was capable of growing with us in the future. SALTO has provided us with all of this and more and we are already working with SALTO to roll out their AElement smart locks across the Bloc Hotel brand.”
A gym and bike club for cyclists and runners commuting to work in London’s Soho has installed over 1400 lockers all equipped with smart electronic locks from SALTO to provide secure storage. Located next to Carnaby Street, in London’s media, advertising and entertainment district, H2 Bike Run is the brainchild of property developer and keen cyclist Piers Slater. Like many cyclists he was fed up with arriving at work hot and sweaty, then having to shower and change in cramped offices or health clubs. Tired of this and of using poor facilities he decided to create a solution to the problem. With the growing popularity of commuter cycling in London, Slater invested £1.9m raised from family and friends to develop the first H2 Bike Run facility which has been built on the site of a former car park. Eventually he plans to develop the concept into a chain across the capital and believes there is a demand for up to 20 clubs across central London. He has already identified 10 locations for development where the whole potential catchment area is within a five-minute walk. The club offers 300 secure bike parking spaces inside the building on Josta racks, useful in Soho where space and parking, even for cyclists, is at a premium. There are more than 40 luxury showers, well appointed changing facilities, the women’s ones even provide hair strengteners so that female cyclists can smarten up their helmet hair before the working day, 1,400 lockers, sports therapy, a laundry service, bike servicing, cycle retail accessories and repairs and a small gym equipped with kettle bells, medicine balls and a ‘War machine’ system of pulleys, which is claimed to be a more holistic way of working the body’s muscles. Personal trainers are available, and the whole set-up is designed to fit in with the likely needs and time constraints of commuters. And for cyclists who want more, there is a large spin studio. This is affiliated to the New York-based Spinning programme that guarantees serious quality workouts. A timetable tells you in advance who your instructor is, and whether the session will be an endurance, interval, strength or race/recovery ride. It also indicates the target heart-rate zones. As well as attracting individual memberships, H2 Bike Run believes the clubs will appeal to employers who will see corporate membership as a cost-effective alternative to providing facilities for cyclists and runners themselves. "As world leaders in advanced battery powered wireless access control solutions, the SALTO XS4 electronic locker lock was ideal for H2 Bike Run" From the start of the project Slater knew that a high level of security for the extensive locker facilities at the club was something that had to be got right first time. With work bound cyclists and runners arriving with their personal possessions including money, smart phones, laptop computers and the like, his lockers required a secure and reliable solution that could be customised to meet H2 Bike Run’s specific environment. “As world leaders in advanced battery powered wireless access control solutions, the SALTO XS4 electronic locker lock was ideal for H2 Bike Run,” comments Chris Saxby of Ansador Ltd, SALTO’s local business partner. “Working in consultation with Piers Slater and SALTO we designed and installed a highly secure and flexible access control system to meet all of the security demands of the locker room environment at H2 Bike Run. The XS4 locker Lock can be fully integrated with the SALTO access control solution or be operated as a stand-alone system. Part of the brief was that the lockers had to be flexible enough to allow for change of use patterns, allowing for permanent storage use or variable – maximum 2 hours – use, so to achieve this we fitted 1,400 lockers locks as well as 9 XS4 E9450 electronic escutcheon handle sets to provide the benefits of full access control rights programmed via software as required and an automatic audit trail facility to record the last 1000 events at each locker,” Saxby continues. Most OEM lockers are supplied with very basic mechanical locks that offer little in the way of protection. SALTO XS4 electronic locker locks solve this problem by offering the latest in state-of-the-art electronic access control technology in a simple easy to use format. “With an ergonomically designed twist operated locking handle making for easy use, even with wet hands, and a durable wipe clean construction that’s highly resistant to chemicals, UV radiation and physical wear and tear, our XS4 locker lock solution has added real flexibility to the security requirement of H2 Bike Run,” comments Rex Palmer, Area Sales Manager for SALTO Systems. “The battery pack, electronic components and locking mechanism are all located on the inside of the locker door, safe from potential vandalism or sabotage.” The access reader is built into the locking handle and the ID carrier - key card, wristband, key fob or bracelet using i-Button, Mifare, Mifare plus, DESfire, DESfire EV1, Ultralight C, HID iClass, Legic, Picopass or SKIDATA technology is simply presented to the reader and the XS4 locker lock will grant or deny access. A family option allows for multiple ID carriers to operate a single locker if required. With future expansion plans and a possible move to other cities, the flexible XS4 locker lock system can easily grow to meet ongoing security requirements for H2 Bike Run.
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