Upscale Security for Highbrow Development


Located in the heart of the MetroWest master-planned community in Orlando, Fla., a new Italian-style village center called Veranda Park is turning heads with its lavish construction. The $400 million mixed-used development is intended to be the city’s second downtown, a 30-acre cluster of swanky condominiums, restaurants and a luxury hotel, all inspired by the villas of Tuscany. With ornate fountains, Italian marble palazzos and trendy retailers, the idea is to bring urban glitz to the ’burbs.

In a place of such swing-for-the-fences extravagance, residents, business owners and patrons expect to be safe and secure. Thus, no pennies were pinched on the development’s security solution.

Designed by HDR Engineering Inc., Veranda Park’s complement of electronic security systems feature integrated IP-based video surveillance, access control and call assist intercoms. Sean Wicks, design group leader for HDR’s security operations at the firm’s Orlando office, led the design project. Winning the bid to make the installation come to fruition was SmartWatch Security & Sound, a full-service systems integrator that has been serving Central Florida for eight years.

The project’s integrated design is a fine example of the potential for IP-based solutions to expand a security contractor’s service offerings. And while a networked solution can often make for a smoother installation, that doesn’t mean those gremlins found in traditional installations aren’t still around to trip up your workflow.

Networked, Integrated Security

The 1.6-million-square-foot Veranda Park, developed by Veranda Partners LLC, consists of six buildings that densely commingle 500 condominiums with office and retail space. Combining commercial development and private residences placed an added emphasis on making sure homebuyers have peace of mind for their personal safety and financial investment.

Working as a subcontractor for the Orlando office of PCL Construction, SmartWatch first gave precedence to installing a Pelco Endura IP video surveillance system integrated with GE Security’s Summit eNT® access control solution.

“The cameras and access control had priority because they affect life safety,” says Dean Farrell, a SmartWatch operations manager who played a leading role in the installation. “They want those systems up and operating so the fire marshal can start coming through and do his inspections.”

The developer’s blueprints called for a fiber-optic communication infrastructure all through Veranda Park to handle the network needs of retailers and office space tenants. This provided SmartWatch the necessary bandwidth to handle its security network requirements. The integrator also provided a HP ProCurve 5406-48G core network switch.

“The network allowed for the simple interconnection of system controllers and workstations,” Farrell says. “The Endura platform uses the network to distribute the video between managing blocks, recording blocks and viewing blocks.”

A three-level parking garage is topped by three more levels of condos. Retail space surrounds the exterior of the development on the first floor. Public parking is relegated to the first and second floors; the third floor is secured, allowing only homeowners to pass through entry gates with an access control ID card. Pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) cameras also watch over the parking area.

SmartWatch used a Zenitel AlphaCom E26 exchange for the head end of the intercom system to go with integrated call assist stations located in the parking structure.

“We kept it pretty simple. We did camera call-up upon alarm. If someone was to press a call station, the local p/t/z would pan to that station,” Farrell explains. For example, if someone is scared or maybe has lost their ID access card, they can press the intercom button to reach an attendant. The p/t/z video feed will then be viewed in the security control center, which is located on the first parking level.

HID Global’s ProxPro wall switch proximity readers provide access control for about 50 doors throughout the development, plus a telephone entry system by DoorKing provides further access control protection for the residential areas.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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