Reykjavik University (RU) is a vibrant international university located at the heart of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Reykjavik University is Iceland's largest private university and focuses on research, excellence in teaching, entrepreneurship, technology development and co-operation with the active business community.
RU has been happily using HID proximity technology to secure its buildings for many years. About three years ago the university decided to build a larger, more modern and first-rate facility to accommodate all of the university's five-degree courses in the future.
Designing this new facility for RU was not an overnight task. Many hours of planning and research were put in to ensure the best possible building for RU. The university's technical manager Ellert Igni Hararson spent almost a year researching the applications and products that may be suitable for RU and in the course of his research, he also met with HID Global at their EMEA offices in Haverhill, UK.
To make the new building a success, RU worked closely with Securitas Iceland who, together with the University's building consultant Eiríkur K. Þorbjörnsson, designed a solution to fit the university's vision.
RU's vision was to have an almost "key-free" building, not only to increase the convenience and security for students and staff but also to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Whatever solution was to be chosen today needed to also be able to grow and fulfil our future requirements of a high-tech system and building.
"Our vision is to have a true multi-application s art card that in the future can be enabled for cashless vending, canteen, on-de and printing, photo ID, library, use of lockers and maybe even more! We are also working with the wider community to extend the use of student cards for public services, such as for buses, the museum and swimming pools. We really would like to see the use of smart cards adopted even beyond the boundaries of the university and make the advantages of multi-application ID cards available to everyone," explains Ellert.
Eiríkur adds, "by planning for a true multi-application future from the start, with this project we were able to ensure a quick return on investment for the university."
Content with the existing HID PROX® solution and after much research, the university decided to transition to HID iCLASS®, using both multi-technology cards and readers. iCLASS was considered a cost-effective and convenient choice as it made migration to smart cards simple. "From the outset it was important for us that students who were issued access cards for the old building would be able to use their cards and gain access also in the new building", Ellert explains.
The university charges students a nominal fee for their cards, which according to Ellert has helped to reduce card loss to almost zero, as students associate value to their cards instantly.
The overall system now installed at the university extends the boundaries of access control and has also seamlessly integrated lighting, electrics and room allocation control. "We are trying not only to provide a secure and high-tech facility for our students and staff but to also be green and conscious of our environment around us. Such integrated solutions helps us to learn about how rooms and areas within the university are used, allowing us to become ever more intelligent and efficient",says Ellert.
"We are trying not only to provide a secure and high-tech facility but to also be green and conscious of our environment"
Today, HID Global's multi-technology's art cards provide about 4000 students access to all the university buildings and by students uploading a photograph to the university's intranet, their card will be issued to the on their very first day of school with all their details and photo already printed on it. "We use a FARGO® HDP5000, which is handled by our receptionists who are able to deliver cards to new students even during the busy periods at the beginning of term", explains Ellert.
The cards are used throughout the old and the new buildings to gain access to classrooms, lab rooms and study areas 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. The new ca pus is not yet complete and the current facility is still being extended by another 7000m2, which is planned for completion in August 2010.
"Iceland itself is a very-forward thinking country and most of our local and international students have been in touch with s art cards and access control cards before, therefore the adoption of s art cards was very quick and we have received very good feedback from our students and staff so far", says Eiríkur.
Ellert and Eiríkur conclude that they are excited about the possible future use and applications of their s art cards, hoping that one day in the not so distant future, the university cards can be used on the local bus, the public library and even at the theatre.
"RU has the determination to think big, to always improve the university's ability, and to decisively carry out our plans. We are all responsible for our continued success. The future of RU is in our hands", says technical manager Ellert. "With HID Global solutions, we are set to make our ambitious vision for the future a successful reality today and build on it for the future".
For more information on how HID helped Reykjavik University , watch the case study video:
|Watch the video to see how HID helped upgrade Reykjavik University's security system|