St Peter’s School, Cambridge, is an independent, co-educational secondary school in New Zealand. With over 1,000 students, 450 students living on site, and approximately 350 staff, St Peter’s is one of the largest boarding schools in the country. Around the clock site security and facilities management is imperative to ensure safety and deliver optimum operational efficiency.

St Peter’s originally contacted Gallagher more than ten years ago for main gate security and access control for their gymnasium to assist with facility hire. “We needed a system that was modular, discreet, scalable, SQL based, and that allowed us to add and retrieve information via OPC,” said Gareth Pryce, ICT Manager at St Peter’s School.

Since installation, the scale of the Gallagher system has grown considerably. St Peter’s has now integrated the Gallagher Security solution as their building management system on an impressive scale and the return on this investment has been significant.

Central management software solution

In buildings where we have purely installed the Gallagher system and nothing else, we are achieving a 30% energy saving"Gallagher’s central management software solution Command Centre is utilised to control all aspects of facilities management at St Peter’s School. The Gallagher solution monitors and controls heating, lighting, air conditioning, PIR’s, windows, read status and doors open/closed within all St Peter’s rooms. The installation of smart electricity meters, which can identify and quantify savings, is being utilised to measure and report energy savings across the site.

In buildings where we have purely installed the Gallagher system and nothing else, we are achieving a 30% energy saving,” said Gareth. “Return on investment is being seen within 6 to 24 months of a complete solution being installed, dependent upon the type of heating system and the staff within the building.

As a direct result of the Gallagher installation, an additional saving for the school on plant investment has been identified. Specifically, this can be seen in an increase in the life span of air conditioning units due to their reduced usage and the removal of time clocks on site due to the system’s ability to control all individual systems.

Monitoring swimming pool temperature

Command Centre helps to automatically facilitate health and safety protocols within the swimming pool complexSt Peter’s School’s continued commitment to fully utilising the capabilities of the Gallagher system is evident in their most recent additions of an indoor swimming pool facility and Junior School building. The Gallagher system for the indoor pool has been configured to monitor the pool temperature, humidity, chlorine and wind direction.

Business rules have been added to deliver appropriate responses, including the determination of whether to engage extractor fans, increase water filtration, or open the windows for passive ventilation. With complete control over all systems, Command Centre helps to automatically facilitate health and safety protocols within the swimming pool complex.

An example of this can be seen in the way in which chlorination is monitored. Should the system detect a high level of chlorine in the water or atmosphere, windows are automatically opened for ventilation, the pump speed is increased to help restore chlorine levels in the water, and the access control system denies entry to the pool area until the monitors identify that the chlorine level has reduced.

Integrating database with Command Centre

St Peter’s has integrated their student database with Gallagher’s Command Centre software management platformSt Peter’s has integrated their student database – Synergetic – with Gallagher’s Command Centre software management platform, providing a single source of data and one central point of reference. This interface allows St Peter’s to create, update and remove individuals and their access groups within Synergetic and this information automatically updates the access control system.

This ensures that any updates made in Synergetic are reflected in real-time in the Gallagher system, proving invaluable in terms of time efficiency, administration and reducing the margin for error.

St Peter’s has an impeccable reputation for safety and security. Through the Command Centre platform, the school has managed to implement a highly efficient one-touch system to deliver enhanced site security for Assistance, Critical Incidents, and Full Site Lockdown.

Contacting campus security team

Utilising any computer on site, both staff and students are able to quickly and easily contact the campus security team for assistance including an escort to their car after hours. Controlled by Command Centre, an Assistance request sends an SMS and email to security personnel identifying through the access control system the name and exact location of the staff member or student.

Selected personnel on site have system permissions to initiate a full site lockdown across the campus

Again, utilising any computer on the campus, a Critical Incident can be registered in a single, simple, action. The system then alerts the Critical Incident team (including registered nurses, and staff trained in Critical Incident Stress Management) via SMS and email, providing information on the location where the incident has occurred.

Initiating full site lockdown

Selected personnel on site have system permissions to initiate a full site lockdown across the campus. This action can be achieved via any computer on site. Command Centre also sends an immediate notification to local police that the school is in lockdown. Simultaneously, all buildings across the site automatically respond to the lockdown by closing windows, locking doors, and initiating air conditioning to maintain the temperature.

St Peter’s is committed to further reducing their carbon footprint through reducing energy use. During 2015, the school will invest even further control in their Gallagher system by installing heat recovery units which will eliminate the need for air conditioning at certain times of the year. “It’s about seamless system management,” said Gareth, “because of that control, we’ve experienced very real energy and cost savings.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
Managing security during unprecedented times of home working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behaviour, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organisations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behaviour of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education programme. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices of employees.

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?