Working with Leeds-based systems integrators, Dynamic Networks Group, Comelit has supplied its ViP door entry and SimpleKey access control solutions to over 150 luxury apartments at two networked buildings in the centre of Leeds. Q One and Q Two are both former office blocks that have been repurposed in carbon-friendly projects to utilise the existing structures of the buildings.
The Dynamic Networks Group has installed a full data-cabling infrastructure, including CAT6 and a fibre backbone, throughout the apartment complexes alongside internal and external IP video surveillance in communal areas. A wireless mesh network connects the two buildings and the plan for the future is to have a centrally managed virtual concierge service.
Visitors call residents through audio-video communication using Comelit entrance panels at ground level. The entrances are street-facing, which meant the equipment needed to be particularly robust. Developers Broadley Group opted for Comelit’s stainless steel Vandalcom units, which can withstand sustained attack and have no pry points to deter would-be vandals. They feature back boxes with 1.5 mm galvanised sheet steel, while the buttons use minimal movement.
The panels have a modular design, meaning that functions can be added to the panel as the project develops and non-essential components can be left out. This approach generates cost benefits that are passed on to the managing agent with the focus on scalability, future-proofing and the ongoing needs of residents. Options include numerical push-buttons, a name directory and proximity RF reader – all as part of a tailored combination to suit the exact needs of the site.
Residents in their apartments communicate with visitors at the entrance panels using Comelit’s Smart ViP monitors. These enable hands-free video and audio communication with visitors at ground level. The monitors feature intercom speaker units and a 3.5-inch LCD display showing images transmitted from the entrance panel camera.
Role-specific access control
As with door entry, access control at Q One and Q Two had to be of the highest order. Dynamic Networks opted for Comelit’s SimpleKey advanced solution, with the access readers installed on their own stand alone network at the two buildings. Residents, staff and trusted contractors are issued with MIFARE-compatible key fobs that contain their individual access privileges in terms of which areas they can enter at what times. A SimpleKey reader is integrated into the Vandalcom entrance panels for secure but hassle-free resident access. For gate automation purposes, there are additional readers that car-owners activate to open the car park gates and barriers.
Fobs are managed with the help of management software and a USB encoder without the need to visit the site to perform commonly occurring tasks, such as adding a new fob or blocking and replacing a lost one. There is secondary access control via SimpleKey (beyond the main entrances) from freestanding networked readers throughout the buildings to maximise resident security. SimpleKey is also used for lift control.
Forward-thinking and modular
Nick Stevens, Regional Business Development Manager North East at Comelit, said: “Dynamic Networks’ forward thinking in the design stages meant that it was important to “future proof” the IP investment in technology throughout the building. In the near future, the idea is to install multiple VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks). These will link the buildings together to form part of a larger strategy for Offsite Management and Remote Engineering of the buildings.”
Q One (86 apartments) is at the seven-storey Brunswick Point in the Leeds Arena quarter adjacent to Leeds Metropolitan University. Q Two (71 apartments) is three miles away in the financial district of the city. At both sites, Box Architects preserved the original external fabric, but introduced minimalist internal design to which the sleek lines and compact dimensions of the Comelit units are well suited.
Comelit is currently enjoying great success in Leeds: other recent installations include The Edge, a �15 million development that is providing luxury boutique hotel-style accommodation to international and postgraduate students at Leeds Metropolitan and three other world-leading universities in the area. Dynamic Networks Group are currently in talks with the developer regarding the expansion of their portfolio of properties, the next two new projects already firmly in their sights.