Security Systems of America Waves Integration Flag

Everything Distills to One PC
Technologies and systems deployed in the Metropolitan included: RFID vehicle access control; perimeter and interior access control; perimeter and interior door monitoring; individual unit access; intrusion alarm; emergency assistance; temperature control; fire alarm; video surveillance; telephone communications; data networking; cable TV; and individual unit A/V.

The building itself features an expandable, upgradeable and interconnected structured core. The current infrastructure consists of individually home-run composite cables that include RG-6U quad coax and Cat-6 UTP. Each unit and each common room of the Metropolitan has at least one of these composites.

“There was a discussion to add fiber but there was no immediate need to justify the cost of including it in the core and shell phase,” says Sandulli. “It was disappointing that a Verizon central office just 100 yards away from the building could not offer the much-anticipated FIOS service to residents.”

Equipment used included: Lenel, access control/time & attendance; Elk Products, individual unit security, fire and automation; Fire•Lite Alarms, building fire safety; AES IntelliNet, back-up alarm transmission; Bosch Security Systems, camera surveillance; Channel Vision, unit and common building structured wiring; Panasonic, building and unit telecom; and Russound, unit A/V.

Here is an example of how the entire system integrates: Within 100 feet of the building an RFID tag inside a resident’s car triggers open the garage door. The tag alerts the attendant to the resident’s arrival by name and switches on the garage entry camera to be viewed on a monitor in full screen. The resident proceeds to the elevator accessing operation through a proximity keyfob. The owner then uses that keyfob to gain access to their unit and the building’s office receives an arrival notification via the access software. The building’s concierge can then make the owner aware of any deliveries, messages or guests.

Elk’s M1 Gold system serves as a platform in each unit, allowing fire alarm, intrusion, emergency assistance, temperature monitoring and even the doorbell to be controlled. Dual condition monitoring is achieved onsite via the access control software, and offsite through standard contact ID alarm monitoring.

Each resident has the option of being monitored by SSA’s central station in addition to the 24/7 in-house service. While away or out of town, residents are afforded further peace of mind by using Elk’s RM software and telephone control to view their unit’s status. Walnut Capital also has the ability to remotely monitor alarms and video.

All visitors to the building are announced or processed through the front desk. Authorized visitors are issued limited access credentials that only allow them access through the front door and either to a resident unit or to one of two guest suites.

“The Metropolitan is a highly secure environment,” says Sandulli. “While residents can come and go at their leisure, visitors can proceed no further than the main vestibule. Even if an unauthorized person gains access, every door, elevator and unit entrance is layered with access control.”

Those carefully planned layers of automation funnel down so the whole enterprise can be controlled with a single PC and two monitors located in the front office.

The Lenel solution allows administrating card access control for the building; RFID access control for garage employees; emergency assistance alarms (in each unit, guest suite, and health & fitness center); temperature; air duct smoke detection and furnace shutdown; door ajar and held open alarms; and the building fire alarm interface.

System Dazzles in Its Debut
Looking at the finished project and exterior of the Metropolitan, most would never fathom the extensive wiring, systems and technology included in its construction — and that’s just fine with the client. “The Metropolitan is a stealthy installation. The finished building in no way hints at the thousands of feet of cable, hundreds of man-hours and cartons of equipment contained within its walls,” says Sandulli.

Despite its complexity, much to SSA’s surprise and delight, all the devices, systems and integrated functionality worked flawlessly right out of the gate. “The most amazing outcome both to the developers and us was that each system fired up without as much as a minor glitch. We had prepared for the worst contemplating hours of trouble-shooting that never occurred,” Sandulli says. “This is a testament not only to the equipment manufacturers but also to the diligent work of our lead technician, Cris Beatty.”

Still, if Sandulli had it to do over again there are some things he would consider changing — albeit relatively minor tweaks regarding items commonly involved with this type of installation.

“For our next project of this type and/or size, we would seek improvement by making better use of supply house delivery services, prefabricating and perhaps packaging items such as multimedia wall plates with all of the intended inserts and connectors,” he says.

For now, with an eye on the future, the Metropolitan’s system has been designed with change in mind. The solid wiring infrastructure that allowed everything to be connected and work so well can be re-engineered or removed to make room for new technologies.

So enamored with SSA and the results of this project, Walnut Capital and its general contractor have asked the integrator to work its magic on an even larger condominium complex and tackle a lifestyle center scheduled to be completed by spring 2010.

“I believe the greatest testament to the satisfaction of the owners simply lies in watching the residents coming and going unhampered by the level of security that surrounds them,” says Sandulli. “This also rings true when watching the building staff being alerted not only to alarms but to the routine coming and going of residents.”

Although such success is indeed enough of its own reward, SSA was bowled over when its name was announced as 2009’s Integrated Installation of the Year winner.

“Winning this award of course showed us how we stacked up in the national marketplace,” says Sandulli, “but most importantly it instilled a sense of pride and accomplishment in our employees for having their work recognized by industry experts in
such a prestigious venue.”

Scott Goldfine is SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION’s Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125 or [email protected].

About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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